Are you overloaded with too much stuff? If you want to pare down but find yourself struggling to let go of items, ask yourself the following questions:
Have I used it in the last year?
Part of an item’s value comes from it’s utility to you. How often you use it a great indicator of how valuable an item really is in your life. If you haven’t needed or wanted to use it in at least a year, consider moving it out to make use for something more valuable.
Do I value this item? Does it have personal meaning?
It’s fine to hold onto items just because they add beauty to your space or you’re sentimental about them. But beware! If those items crowd out things of utility and you can’t function easily it’s time to pare down the collection.
Is it the best reminder of the person who gave it to me?
Gift guilt is a common cause of clutter. We’ve all heard the phrase “It’s the thought that counts” but it can be hard to put into practice. If the gift giver cares about you they wouldn’t want you to have something you really don’t like or that creates clutter in your closets or cabinets. Honor the giver and yourself by moving the item out into the hands of someone else who will use it and enjoy it.
Is it something I can get on loan from somewhere else?
Information, tools, and specialty kitchen appliances…we often see valuable space taken up with items that are only needed once in awhile. Consider using lending and sharing resources to “have” these items without storing them full-time in your space. Sharing builds community when you rely on others and they rely on you.
What’s the worst thing that could happen if I didn’t have it?
If you’re still struggling after asking the previous questions, re-set your perspective by thinking about the worst-case scenario if this item wasn’t in your life. Could you live with those consequences?
The stuff we have in our homes is there to facilitate a healthy, active life. Take a fresh look around and don’t let unnecessary attachments keep you from creating space and homes for the items that truly your support your life.