I am not a lover of clutter. It seems the older I get the more stuffocated I feel when things start to add up. I crave space, breathing room, and love knowing exactly where everything is. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not the best house keeper or anywhere near OCD, but opening a closet or cupboard and being able to see each item clearly with plenty of empty space feels peaceful to me.
Decluttering is quite trendy now, especially after Marie Kondo published her books about tidying up. She suggests we hold up each item we own and ask ourselves – Does this spark joy in my life?
I love that. It’s a great beginning. But, for some of us it’s just not enough.
There are other questions we have all heard before that work well, too.
- Have I used it in the last year?
- Does it still fit?
- Is it still in good condition?
- Do I have duplicates of the same item?
But, some of you may still be feeling attached or unclear about some items you no longer need. I have a few more questions I use with my clients that might help clear that up.
If I was out shopping today, would I buy it again? – Most of us have closets full of old clothes that no longer go with the newer things we wear. Our personal style evolves and it may be hard to let go of items that are perfectly good, but we probably will never use again.
Would it be more meaningful to someone else? There are many people in need who would love to have some of our old stuff. There is a good chance it will enhance their lives a lot more than it does ours.
If I moved cross country, would I take it with me? Last summer when I moved from California to a small town in Missouri it was clear to me that bringing some of my stuff would be like dragging along old baggage. Not that it was bad stuff. I just wasn’t sure it was worth paying to ship or giving up valuable space in my car for.
I rented one shipping pod and limited myself to what I could fit in it. This made each decision more clear because whatever I took would use up precious space. In the end, I sold or gave away half of what I owned and it has made my life feel a lot more peaceful.
How do I feel when I look at it? Our subconscious mind is constantly providing clues that we can use in this process. When you look at each item does the energy of it feel heavy or light? Does it feel good or like a burden? Keep the light things and let the heavy ones go. Just imagine how good your life would feel if you did this all the time.
Is it worth the maintenance and cleaning it will require? This is why I don’t have a lot of knickknacks. Owning them is not worth the time and energy it takes to dust them. I don’t need unnecessary chores. I would rather spend my time on something more meaningful.
On a scale of 1-10 how valuable is it to me? Choose a number as the cut off point. My clients usually say 7 or 8. Anything that is rated at that number or above is a keeper and the rest goes.
Keep in mind, the idea here is not to overload you with questions, but to give you more options to choose from. Try them out and focus on the ones that feel right for you.
I know I will be using them soon, myself. Now that I live in Missouri where there are seasons I find myself evaluating my wardrobe more. Pulling out long sleeved tops and sweaters this week made my closet feel cluttered. I’m not going to let it stuffocate me and I know the questions I have shared here will help.
What about you? What area of your life can use a little decluttering? You can share by commenting below. And, if you would like professional support as you clear out stuff, you can contact me here.