If it doesn’t survive these simple questions – away it goes!
Do you find decision-making difficult while you make your way through the house, attempting to spring clean and round up donations? You’re not alone.
The answers can be found within ourselves, but we often get stuck or feel burned out when we over-think our decisions! These 9 questions will lead you get straight to the answer you need (and to the clutter-free and tidy version of your home!)
What kind of memories or feelings does this bring me?
Good? Bad? Ugly? The Christmas snow globe from Aunt Betsy that came with a hilarious back story that still brings a smile to your face? Keep. A vase that you acquired when you lived with your ex so now it’s a constant reminder of him? Bye.
Consider that the hot term coined by organizer Marie Kondo “spark joy” is hot for a reason. If you’re on the fence about any item, just acknowledging that it doesn’t bring you joy anymore can be reason enough to let it go.
When is the last time I’ve used this?
If it’s been over a year, ditch it. Got a seasonal item you didn’t use last season, ditch it. When reality is that you don’t truly have a need for it, do not dwell on it any longer. Off it goes! Let it become useful for somebody else.
Do I like how I feel when I wear this?
This is a personal biggie for me. I used to keep clothes that I wore in high school but could no longer fit. I kept sentimental clothing items that were out of style and not getting worn. I even saved old, baggy and tattered tees from various events I’d participated in and 5k’s I’d run. Why?!
As soon as I began applying the principle of only keeping clothes that made me feel good when I wore them, I am pretty sure that my need for a walk-in closet disappeared. I only wore pajamas I felt cute in. I ditched too-big and too-small jeans and felt so satisfied knowing that no matter what, the clothes in my closet fit me right.
Plus, girlfriends will love you for being blessed with the opportunity to paw through the clothes you no longer love!
Do I have multiples of this?
Initially this sounds like a no-brainer, but get real with yourself. The reality is that Americans have a tendency to keep loads of multiples of the same item inside their home.
How many spatulas are in the kitchen? Scissors in the office? Power drills in the garage?
Keep the one that you like the most, use the most, or would re-purchase if you had to. Which brings us to our next question…
If I saw it in a store today, would I purchase this again?
Let’s face it, some things get old, lose their luster or go out of style. Are you hanging on to something just because you liked it at one point in your life? Or because it was a gift? Maybe it was an impulse purchase?
Be okay with letting things out of your home when they have finished serving their purpose. Make room for something else that makes sense for you in the present day. Don’t live your life looking in the rearview mirror!
Am I holding on to this because I spent money on it?
Because if you are, the money’s already been spent. That value is strictly a notion inside your head.
Often we feel our things still hold the dollar value of the price we paid. In reality, time devalues our things rather quickly, and other people without any sort of attachment to our things will value them much lower than we would.
Keep perceived values in mind when making your decisions. It will become much easier to let something go if this is the only reason holding you back.
Is there somebody else I could bless with this?
Let me tell you from experience – Giving feels good.
Giving a thing to another person who could use it feels insanely better than the pangs of remorse you might (but probably won’t) have from letting the thing go.
Don’t let greed take over your decision making! Try blessing others with your stuff a few times and I promise it not only gets easier, but you’ll find yourself looking for more things to give because it just feels so awesome. Generosity is addictive. Have fun.
Why do I keep this?
I’m not asking for a list of reasons. Can you come up with even one or two?
Asking ourselves this question forces us to be real. Your response should come to you immediately. If you find yourself pausing, or digging deeper for viable answers, just do yourself a favor and try getting rid of it.
Still struggling after asking yourself these questions? Try starting small.
Fill just one bag of stuff to bring to the donation drop-off center. After you’ve overcome the initial anxiety (because truly, that is all it is) of donating the small load, graduate to bigger ones. You’ll learn that the fear and inability to make these choices will disappear, and that decluttering becomes so much easier – and more fun – with practice!