We all struggle from time to time when it comes to pairing down our belongings. People keep and accumulate things for different reasons whether it be sentimental reasons, fear of being without, ‘needing’ the thing one day, or there’s simply a great sale deal that might not come around again. The truth of the matter is that everyone needs to declutter sometimes. Making those decisions when getting organized can be really difficult. What can you do?
As you evaluate the things in your home ask yourself these questions:
- Do I love this item? It is more than ok to keep things that you love. If you love it then it will make you happy to look at it, use it, and own it.
- Do you use it regularly? A lot of times we purchase things because we think that they will be useful. It is important to consider how many times you may actually use the item. It may not even be worth your time and money to own it. Also if you haven’t touched it in the last 6 months (unless it’s a seasonal item) ask yourself if you really need to keep it.
- Am I saving this just in case? Perhaps you are keeping multiple items ‘in case’ one breaks. It is a legit fear that people have – to get rid of something that they may end up needing one day. Ask yourself if having a clutter free space is worth more than the what- ifs. I am guessing it will be.
- Is this item worth the time that I spend cleaning it? I have come to realize that there is a price that comes with owning collections and knick-knacks. That precious commodity is my time. My time is worth so much more than the time it takes to move, clean, and store these things. (Unless I really love it! Another thing is to evaluate how much time you have spent going through a storage room time and time again just to remember what is in there? Why do you store these things? Are all of the items necessary for your life?
- What could I use this space for? Shawna and I always tell people to think of their space as prime real estate…because that is exactly what it is! Every item that goes into your home is taking up room and we all know that square footage is not cheap. Let’s say you have a small 10×10 room that you use for storage at $175/sq ft. that room suddenly becomes a $17,500 storage unit. Yikes!! So if you weren’t holding on to this clutter what could you do with this space?
- Am I going to fix it one day? We all have good intentions but do we have the time, the patience and the know how to actually make it functional again? Be realistic and set a time limit – if it is not fixed within two weeks then recycle it or give it to someone that will repair it.
- Do I have multiples? Do you have more than one of the same thing? How many plastic food tubs, shopping totes, purses, and kitchen utensils do I have to have? Keep in mind that if the multiple items are making you more efficient on a regular basis then by all means keep it.
- Am I keeping this because I feel that I have to? Yuck – keeping things out of obligation never feels good. Ever. We have all received something at some point from someone that we really don’t need or like. Do we have to keep it? The answer is no. The thought was lovely but it wasn’t something that you asked for and it is your home – you are in charge of what stays and what goes. Again if you don’t love it or use it then why hang on to it?
- Are you hanging on to it because you don’t want to be wasteful? We have bought things at one point or another that we really thought we would love, brought it home and not touched it. It sucks but it happens. Sometimes we get caught up in the hype of the latest trends and the popularity of things that we don’t stop and think if it is right for us individually. It’s fine though – return it, sell it or give it to someone that will appreciate it and move on. We all make mistakes.
- Do you have things that have multiple uses? Some of our specialty tools especially in the kitchen may not be needed as another basic tool will suffice. The same can go for hair products, accessories and even furniture.
Also here is a neat little list (oh how I love lists!) before you buy something consider obtaining the item in one of these ways. Only if you really need it or love it tho. 😉
Don’t forget to reward yourself with a little self care after you have spent some time decluttering. You are important. You are worth it! May you create a beautiful space to just BE.