Have you ever been standing in an attic or basement, with a tidy box in hand, motivated to finally get things organized, but started to hesitate about whether or not to actually make the decision?
Perhaps it’s a particular category of item (books, hobby supplies, sentimental items). Perhaps it’s just an item that carries more emotional weight than others. Or maybe you just don’t have the confidence to put everything away.
Well, your situation and reaction are nothing special. The process of clearing out clutter can be physically and mentally exhausting. But that doesn’t mean it should stay there.
Some items may be more difficult to minimize than others, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on the process. Especially if it gives you a better life after work.
To get started, here are five questions to ask yourself when tidying feels overwhelming.
1. Does this item match my present or do I keep it because it is part of my past?
Marie Kondo says: “The space we live in should be for who I am now, not for who I was in the past,” she said.
Life is a journey and the seasons of our lives are ever-changing.
Items that once meant a lot or brought great joy may not hold the same value today. Whether it’s hobby-related items for a hobby you no longer pursue, or keepsakes from a chapter in your life that ended, whether those items still have a place in your current and future lives. is important to evaluate.
Too much fixation on the past can prevent you from making the most of the present and the future. I am grateful for my past, but I am just not moving in that direction — and neither are you.
When the item no longer matches you or where you’re headed, it’s probably time to let it go.
2. How often do you use or enjoy this item?
An item’s true value lies not in its price, rarity, or its “potential” uses, but in the enjoyment and value it brings to our lives.
If an item sits unused and unrated, it doesn’t contribute value. Worse, it robs us of our potential.
That means unused items like clothes you don’t wear, tools you don’t use, and books you don’t read can take up space and energy. It’s fine to keep a few items that we don’t use regularly, but unused stuff stuck in boxes and bins hinders our potential.
So if the item isn’t used often or enjoyed, it may not be as worth keeping as you think.
3. If you were to shop now, would you buy this?
This question provides new perspectives and helps you make new and objective decisions.
Imagine you are in a store and seeing the item for the first time. would you like to buy? If not, why?
This helps you realize that you may be holding on to items out of a sense of obligation, guilt, or endowment rather than their actual value to you.
If you don’t incorporate this item into your life today, it may not be worth having.
4. If you give other people the chance to use this item, will it bring more life to it?
Think about a book you read and loved, a dress you wore once, or a gadget you rarely use. These are all items that can enrich someone’s life.
In fact, the fact that you struggle to tidy up and have dust on your shelves may be what someone in your area is praying for. Especially when thinking of items that can be used by young families with young children who struggle with tidying up.
If you’re underutilizing or not cherishing something, consider giving it new life with someone else. This thought makes letting go easier and more fulfilling.
In this way, organizing things is not just about throwing them away, but also about redistributing resources to make better use of them.
5. Is it worth the mental or financial cost to maintain this item?
Every item we own has a cost. It can be financial costs such as maintenance and storage fees, or emotional costs such as stress and guilt.
It could be a photo album that reminds you of painful memories, or an expensive item that you never use but feel guilty about getting rid of.
We tend to underestimate the mental and emotional toll of clutter. Clutter can drain your energy, distract you, and weigh your mind down.
If the cost of maintaining an item outweighs its value to you, it may be time to let it go.
Sometimes we wish we had items from past seasons of our lives that we loved, but we wished we had kept those items from past seasons of life and turned out differently. There is also In either case, there is a wage that you pay every time you look at the product to keep your emotions at bay. Free yourself.
As I said earlier, tidying up can be difficult. And different people struggle to minimize different categories of possessions.
These five questions may not solve all of the difficult decisions you’ll have to make on your journey to lessening your possessions, but they will help you to think about what you have, especially the things that are hard to let go of. , which I believe provides a strong foundation for starting to think differently.