I don’t know whether it’s the change in seasons, or whether it’s because I finally got around to reading Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but I’m feeling a renewed enthusiasm for decluttering.
And like everyone else, I find myself pondering certain items and wondering whether or not letting go of them is the best move. Kondo takes a strict approach: if an object doesn’t “spark joy”, out it goes. Well, frankly I find that a little extreme, and if you’re not ready for that level of purge, I think there’s a danger you’ll get stuck and do nothing.
So, I looked back at my materials from my Professional Organizing business and refreshed and updated 25 questions to help you if you’re struggling with the decision to let go:
- Do you use it regularly?
- When was the last time you used it? …1-2 years is a good cut-off.
- When do you next plan to use it? …if you don’t know, don’t keep it!
- Are you obliged to keep it for legal/tax reasons?
- Is it broken? …what are the chances you’ll ever fix it?
- Is it dirty or obsolete?
- Is it an unnecessary duplicate?
- Do you wear it? Does it fit? Does it flatter you?
- Could someone else get better value from it?
- If you lost it in a fire, would you replace it?
- If you were moving overseas, would you pay to ship it with you?
- If you were to die next week, would your relatives wonder why you kept it?
- What’s the worst that can happen, if you get rid of it?
- Can you borrow or hire the item, if you find you need it?
- Can you find this information online, instead?
- Could you turn this item into a digital version?
- If this item were gone, would you notice?
- Do you love it?
- Do you love the item, or just the person who gave it to you?
- If it represents a memory, can you keep just part of it instead?
- What does this teach you? Can you learn the lesson without keeping the item?
- Does this item represent someone you no longer are?
- Do you welcome the feeling(s) this item triggers?
- Would you miss this item if it were gone?
- Would you be happier without this item?
You may not want another sheet of paper in your life(!) but if you’d like to download a pdf of these questions for handy reference when you’re decluttering, here it is:
I’d love to know if prompts like these are helpful for you. How do you make the decision on what to keep and what to lose?