When you begin an organizing project, regardless of whether it’s your closet, garage, kitchen or another room in your home, it’s likely you will come across something that you can’t decide about letting go or keeping. Choosing not to decide or “deferred decision-making” is one of the leading causes of household clutter.
So how do you know what to keep (or toss) if you’re not sure what it’s worth to you?
Here’s an easy guide to help you make a decision you can live with.
Start by placing the object you are trying to decide about in front of you then ask yourself each of the five questions below, in the order they appear:
- Do I love it? This means the item gives you a great deal of pleasure, you associate it with a happy memory or you enjoy having it in your life now. If not, ask yourself:
- Have I used this item recently or do I expect to use it again soon in its current condition? Not everything you own, you’ll love but some things are worth keeping because they still serve you in some way. If you don’t love it, it needs repairing and you haven’t used it recently, ask yourself:
- Would keeping this item add value to my day-to-day life now? Perhaps this is an item you know you’ll need at a certain time of year or for a particular event or purpose such as for travel or for the Holidays. If you can’t think of a way the item adds value to your life now, ask yourself:
- If I didn’t have this, would I choose to replace it? If yes, keep it. Otherwise, ask yourself:
- Could someone else benefit from this item in its current condition? If you answer yes, then it’s time for the item to find new life somewhere else. Consider donating or if it’s worth your time, sell it. If not, then recycle it or dispose of it safely.