8 Questions To Help Declutter Any Room In Your House
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Simplify
Emily Co breaks it down:
Stop making excuses and clean up the clutter in your home this summer!
It'll make you feel better and make your living space look better, as well. Ask yourself these questions and get rid of your items based on your answers. And when we say dispose of your clutter, we mean either sell it, donate it, recycle it, give it away to friends and family, or throw it away.
1. Have I used this in the last year? If your answer is no, it's time to toss.
2. If I were shopping right now, would I buy this? If the current you wouldn't buy this item now, why would you even keep it?
3. Is the only thing that's keeping me from disposing this item that I don't want to waste money? Think of it this way: You wasted money when you bought an item you don't use.
4. Am I holding on to this for sentimental value? Be strict and keep only a few of the items in a small memorabilia box. Then take a photo of items you are throwing away so you can keep them forever.
5. Do I have a similar item that serves the same purpose? If yes, then get rid of one of them.
6. Do I have a realistic plan to use this? Remember, don't lie to yourself about how perfect an item would be for Halloween. Make sure you have a concrete plan to use the item, and if you don't use it within the time frame you set for yourself to use it, then toss it.
7. Does it fit me or my living space? You may love it, but do you have space for the item or does it even suit you now? Think hard on what to keep — your space is sacred.
8. Am I holding on to the broken item to fix in the future? Fix it now, or if you don't get around to fixing in the next two weeks, then toss it.
I am guilty of all of these things btw.
#4 and #8 are my deepest pitfalls. Especially #4, because tactile!
I am working on the basement. Not going as quickly as I thought. Improving, though... This is the essence of zen.
Letting go IS exhausting. Especially for sentimental stuff!
Emily, this is a process you'll have to go through again and again as your children grow up.
It's no wonder Geege is says #4 is her deepest pitfall!
Dawn, the basement is the least of my concerns. My whole house is filled with holding on!!
I never felt sentimental about baby clothes. I received them as hand-me-downs and passed them on. It's easier for me to give things away if they go to people. I craigslisted things and made some cash, and I used Freecycle. I had a ton of trophies that I threw away, but I photographed.
In my classroom, I had cabinets of that 5 cent paper Staples use to give, notebooks. I started giving it all away. When I'm out (and I don't stock for my students) I'll be out. And more zen. (Adam: there's a chapter about this in The Upcoming Book).
My books are my stumbling block. I do use them from time to time on an academic cycle. In this new house there is only cellar space on bookshelves, and I hope they won't ruin.
One great site when I started decluttering was flylady.net. That site puts together 15 minute challenges and makes it fun. Even if you aren't in deep clutter trouble, it makes you think about the reasons we hold on to things, and it's never, ever about the things.
that's a lot of great info, dawn! thank you!
what do you teach?
History. It changes from year to year:) How's your decluttering--are you there yet? :)
it's going well, thank you! but am i there yet... will i ever be? :)
history! wonderful! this is my favorite history lesson:
There is no finish line. And Danny McBride is hit or miss but when he's on he's hilarious!
the storyteller is what gets me. SHE is hilarious!
The storyteller IS hilarious!
It's not my kids' stuff, it's my late parents' stuff! I can still touch my sons but all that's left to physically connect with the dead are their possessions. And some of those things reach back generations so in a way you become the curator of your family "museum."
I totally understand that feeling. Don't throw out anything you would later regret tossing!
oh lordy, this is so what i am dealing with now! my grandmother's paintings. it does feel like i'm curating a museum. and now what? keep them in storage for eternity?
The article says to take pictures of them and then give them away or throw them away.
But you gotta do what feels right to you.