Decluttering ~Do I keep it or let it go? This is the very basic question you will find yourself asking as you are decluttering your world. Sometimes the answer comes quickly, and other times you will ponder it for a while. As I have been decluttering I realized that there are underlying questions to ask in order to find the answer to the original keep or let go question.
The questions I have found myself asking fall into several categories including, practical, emotional, quality of an item you have versus the quality and cost of the same item if it needed to be purchased in the future.
- Do I need this item to function in the future?
- Will it fit in my future space.
The future use of an item can be very important. In our case we will be going RVing for a year, and everything we keep will be in storage. BUT at the end of that year we will be setting up housekeeping again. This means we will need many things that we have not needed during this year of travel. Our decisions must consider what our needs in a year will be as well as how much space we have in storage.
I own 4 bureaus, and 1 bureau that is also a desk. Our goal is to live in half the space we are living in presently. I have made the decision to let go of 2 bureaus. I will keep 2 bureaus for our next bedroom, and the desk bureau will be placed in the second bedroom of our next place. I could have easily let all the bureaus go, but I took into consideration the following points.
- The quality of these bureaus far surpasses anything I could buy in the future as a replacement bureau.
- I do not believe I will be able to replace these bureaus easily in the future. In order to replace them I would have to pay a very high price to get the same quality. Not necessary when I already have something that I love and works.
- Have you all noticed how poorly made things have become, and that they are twice as expensive?
- We have a saying around here. Everything today is twice the price and half as nice.
While decluttering I keep asking myself, “Will this fit in into our future space?” I am decluttering my favorite space right now, and it has presented me with many challenges. It is my art, crafts, sitting area, and office space. I love everything in it. OOOPs now what do I do? I evaluate…
I am an artist, and own a studio sized easel. It is huge and difficult to move around. Mr. Man gave it to me, and it is sooo special. I also have a table top easel small and easy to use. Now I am faced with the question…Will the huge easel fit into the next space? I highly doubt it. Plus I have a small easel that will do the job nicely. How often am I using the large easel? Not very much. Mr. Man wants me to keep it because it is so sentimental…well he was no help…No decision yet, but I am leaning towards selling it. I have to do the hard things, and sometimes it is just difficult.
1. What mood am I in and how will it affect my choices today?
2. Am I having an emotional upset about letting go of a certain item?
Most days I am in a fine mood, and get to decluttering quickly without any difficulty at all. Other days I am feeling more sentimental, and it affects my choices. Once I realize this is happening I set my heart to the task acknowledging my mood, but not allowing it to take over the decision-making process. The most important part is to recognize that your mood is directing your choices. Once you understand that you can go back to the basic questions that will guide you in the letting go process, and use them to keep you on target.
I really find it amusing what items have elicited a deep emotional response as I declutter them. I was chatting with my life long friend Dee about my response to letting go of my 30 or so puzzles, hundreds of vcr tapes, and my games. She had such great wisdom. Oh, she says you are having trouble letting go of those items, because they represent the fun times you and your family had using them…Daaah, slaps forehead, and breaks out laughing. I took pictures of my special videos… I also decided I would buy some dvd’s of my very favorite titles as they take up less room lol. Once I really understood that I was able to move everything along.
Letting go or keeping something is the question that will follow you through the decluttering process. You will find that there will be some deeper questions you will need to answer as you move through these choices. I created several questions for me to answer to help evaluate the letting go process. You can use the same questions, or better yet create your own for your unique circumstances. Overall letting go has been a very easy choice for me. I am glad that I had an easy framework to rely on for the tougher items and choices.
What questions have you used in your decluttering process, or what questions would you like to use to help you with letting go of all those things you really do not need?
Till next time,