Could that be clutter hiding there in plain sight? It very well might be.
But what if it’s perfectly useful stuff? It could still be clutter.
But what if it cost a lot, surely that matters? Not so much. Expensive things can be clutter, just as easily as inexpensive things.
So how do you know for sure what’s clutter and what isn’t? How do you know what clutter to get rid of?
Let’s take a cue from investigative reporters. You know how they get to the truth, right? They question everything! And that’s just what we’re going to do – we’re going to ‘interview’ our clutter and we’re not going to stop until we get a definitive answer.
Clutter or keep-worthy, these questions will help you uncover the truth about your belongings….
What do you do for me? If the answer is anything other than help you function on regular basis or otherwise improve the quality of your life, then it’s almost certainly clutter. Unless you need it for legal reasons, you can safely assume it truly is clutter. Unless you’re wanting to play custodian and take responsibility to a do-nothing interloper, say goodbye and let it go!
Are you earning your keep? Is the item in question giving you a good return on the investment of your time, energy and money? If something takes more from you than it gives back, it may be quite freeing (and smart!) to let it go.
When did you last serve me? It’s a keeper if you can answer that with today, yesterday, last week, or even last month. If you have to stop and think for a bit, or if come up empty, that’s a sure sign you’ve got clutter. If it doesn’t get used on a regular basis – even it’s a perfectly good item – it not not serving you well. Let it go so someone else can enjoy it.
Are you worthy of the room you take up? Every item, no matter how small, requires space. Decide what’s more valuable to you – the item or the space it occupies (just in case you forgot, space creates room for possibilities and requires no upkeep). Which would you rather have?
Are you worth more than your weight? If you’ve got a perfectly good, but a hardly used item hanging out, consider selling it. This especially true if the item is something you could borrow if and when you need it. Not sure? Refer to the above question for clarity. And remember this – we often place more value on the objects we own than they deserve – it’s called the endowment effect. This is why it’s so hard to let go of perfectly useful stuff. So be realistic in what your stuff is really worth.
Are you aspirational clutter? We all have aspirational items hanging out. Sometimes it’s been there for years and has actually become part of your home’s landscape, taking up valuable space, but not giving anything back. Sometimes it’s much more obvious – you feel a pang of guilt every time you look at it. Aspirational stuff is the stuff that reminds us of what we ‘should’ be doing, or ‘should’ have already done. And that’s not healthy – it’s clutter at its worst. So it’s time to let it go! I loathe this kind of clutter – it’s insidious! I feel so strongly about it that it was the focus of a clutter challenge. You can watch what to do about aspirational clutter here.
Need a little more help? Then be sure to sign up for the free How To Clear Clutter and Get Organized E-Course. In six simple steps you’ll learn how to move from chaos to calm! And for added support, I invite you to join our private group – you can find us here on Facebook.