Parting with stuff is tough. Our emotional attachments to things can stand in the way of creating an organized and clutter-free home. There is no magic formula to overcoming these obstacles, but I find asking the right questions about your belongings can help you see them in a new light. Here are some of my favorites: 1. Does this bring me joy? Imagine a home filled only with things that make you happy. How good would it feel to live there? (As suggested by organizer Marie Kondo.) 2. Does this bring value to my life? Value can mean different things: it’s useful, it makes you feel good when you see it, or it reminds you of a happy memory. (As suggested by authors The Minimalists.) 3. Have I used this in the last year? If an entire year has passed and this item has gone unused, the likelihood that you will need it again is very, very slim. 4. How many of this item do I own? You might have things that you like and are useful, but you have too many to justify keeping them all. Some examples might be coffee mugs, dishes, towels, or pens. 5. Would I buy this again today? If you encountered this item in a store today, would you pay money for it? If not, why are you keeping it? 6. Do I have a place for this? Some beloved items simply don’t fit into our homes. The reality is, we all have limits on our living space, and it’s not practical to hang on to everything. 7. If I had to downsize would this make the cut? Imagine having to relocate to a smaller home, even if you have no immediate plans to do so. Would this item be one of the things you would bring? 8. Do I want my family to have to deal with this when I’m gone? This is a difficult topic to face, but when each of us passes on we leave behind all of our stuff, and someone will have to deal with it. Making the effort to clear out the clutter now is a great gift you can leave your family.
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