When embarking on a decluttering mission, I bet you often make excuses to keep things that deep down you know you should get rid of. No matter how often you reassure yourself that clutter “will come in useful one day”, in reality, the items you cling onto are probably more trouble than they’re worth. Not only can a cluttered home look unsightly, it can also cause unnecessary stress and anxiety while weakening our finances. Next time you decide to have a clear-out, ask yourself these 5 questions to help you decide what to keep and what to bin:
1. Does this item bring me joy?
Every time you pick up an item during a decluttering session, ask yourself whether it makes you happy. If it doesn’t, why would you want to keep it?
Obviously there are functional items that you’ll need to keep regardless of whether or not they make you happy. If an item neither serves a purpose or makes you smile, get rid!
2. Where does this belong?
If you can’t find a home for a particular item, ask yourself whether you really need it. When you can’t find a logical place for something to go, that’s where problems arise and clutter begins to take over.
Make sure books are on the bookcase. Toiletries are in a toiletry box. Clothes are in the wardrobe.
If things are overflowing, you need to condense them until they fit.
Asking the “where does this belong?” question is a great way of identifying those little odds & ends that far too often end up either in a junk drawer or the spare room/garage/cellar/shed.
3. If I was to move house tomorrow, would I want to take this with me?
Imagine you’re packing up your belongings and getting ready to move house. There’s only so many things you can take with you. Pretend that if you take too much stuff, you’ll need to hire an extra removal van.
If you don’t feel passionate enough about a particular item to take it to your imaginary new home, remove it from your life!
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4. If I saw this in a shop right now, would I buy it?
While decluttering my room today, I stumbled across an owl-shaped candle holder and couldn’t for the life of me remember why I bought it. I don’t particularly like owls and I very rarely use candles.
I bought it a few years ago when I first moved into a rented flat with my friends. I was so excited at the concept of having my own space that I just went wild and bought tons of home decor regardless of whether I needed it or not. I wouldn’t buy this sort of thing now, so there’s no point keeping it. It’s going straight on a car boot sale.
5. Am I only keeping this because I don’t want to waste money?
Far too often I find myself thinking about getting rid of an item only to stop myself because I don’t like the idea of my money going to waste.
The problem is, if we buy something and don’t use it, we’ve already wasted our money anyway. Stashing it under the bed or hanging it in the wardrobe for another six months isn’t going to increase its value or save us money. In fact, the longer we hoard these items, the more their value decreases.
By selling these unwanted items on to someone else we can get some of the money back, reduce clutter in the home, and ensure the item is achieving its full potential. Now isn’t that nice!
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