Now is a great time to start decluttering your closets, cabinets, bookcases, drawers, toy chests, shelves – any space overflowing with “stuff.”

Letting go can often be difficult, but it’s true that clearing some of it out will be a good thing.  Creating more space would make life easier and help you feel more peaceful.  Also, think of all the people you will help out and make happy by donating or passing on your unwanted and unneeded extras.  In this age of recycling, it’s the right thing to do.

To help you make decisions and let go of stuff consciously and confidently, here are 10 essential questions to ask yourself while you are decluttering your space and your life.

1.    Do I own more than one of these?  If your answer is yes, ask yourself why you would need two or more.  Chances are, you own duplicates because you forgot about your original purchase and went out and bought another needlessly.  Pick out the best one and recycle the rest.

2.    When was the last time I used, wore, read or looked at this?  If it has been more than six months, you no longer need it.  Let it go.

3.    Does the condition of this item reflect the image I want to present?  If the item does not meet your standards you don’t need to hold on to it.

4.     If I throw this out, will I deeply regret it?   Tap into your intuition for the answer.  If you feel a tugging in your heart, set the item aside and take a second look later.

5.    Am I ever going to read, wear or use this again?   Just be realistic.  If you’ve outgrown, forgotten about or replaced this item, you probably have already dismissed it from your life.  Pass it on.

6.    Have I gotten all the possible benefit from this item?  If it has served you well and over time and become worn or outdated, you’ve probably gotten your money’s worth from it.  Lay it to rest; it has been a worthy servant (book, shirt, mug, etc.).

7.    Does this item represent who I am now, or someone I used to be?  What once was original and interesting might now be old hat (or an old hat).  If you have moved on to new tastes and interests, you can let what suited the old you go to someone else.

8.    If I had to replace this, would it be easy and affordable?  Just about anything can be replaced.  Venues such as craigslist, amazon, ebay, thrift stores and garage sales are fun places to search for most anything you need or want.  However, if an item is incredibly valuable, absolutely irreplaceable and you are still in love with it, don’t put it back into a box or the back of a closet.  Commit to finding the perfect place to display or use it.

9.    Do I have a sentimental or emotional attachment to this?  If it would break your heart to let Grandma’s tablecloth go, then by all means keep it.  But, if you don’t have room or are ready to let it go, take a photo of it and keep the picture instead.

10.  Is owning this item more trouble than it’s worth?  Some items demand more attention and maintenance than they are merit.   If your goal is to simplify your life, get rid of the high maintenance items and set yourself free.

Bonus question:  Do I really have space for this?  What is more important:  this item or your peace of mind and well-being?   Crowded spaces are energy thieves and safety hazards.  If you are cramped for space, you will always have to stumble over what’s in the way, or dig around to find what you really love, use and want.  Today is the day to let it go!


by Mary Sigmann CPO ® | Categories: How To Declutter | Tagged: , , , | No Comments

There comes a time for most people when they decide they need or want less “stuff.” Often individuals decide to downsize or eliminate some of their accumulated possessions because they want to realize the benefits of a simpler life. Some do it because they get tired of all the attention and maintenance that possessions demand. Whatever the motivation, decluttering is a process that can be accomplished easily and effectively and will also bringing greater peace, freedom and control into one’s life.

A great way to begin the decluttering process is to start “subtracting.” Look all around the house for anything that could easily be thrown out or immediately given away. The idea is to create some space and get the “energy” moving. Once you start to “subtract” you will experience greater well-being, and a more optimistic outlook.

Pick a place to start and stick to it until that area is decluttered. Many people get overwhelmed because they get easily distracted and never complete the organizing task they started. Once you complete an area you will be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment that will provide the motivation to keep going.

Whenever we declutter, it is normal to experience emotional attachments to our possessions. These attachments are not easy to break. However, if you take a realistic look at the condition of these things, you may realize that they are outdated, worn out or no longer useful. Although letting go of these things may be difficult, making the commitment to keep only what is truly meaningful, necessary and irreplaceable, can make it easier. Through the decluttering experience we can learn how holding on to too many possessions can limit our freedom and our space.

The most important thing to remember is that your attitude can make all the difference in the ease and success of your project. If you approach organization or decluttering  with the end in mind — a simpler, happier, more carefree life — you will enjoy the process so much more.

by Mary Sigmann CPO ® | Categories: How To Declutter | No Comments