Knowing what to keep, toss, donate or sell is half the battle when deciding to declutter and get organized… truthfully, the decision making is the hardest part!
Do you have a love/hate relationship with your stuff? Perhaps, you have a long history of shopping and collecting and now, what seems like all-of-a-sudden, there is so much stuff in your home that you can’t focus on what really matters, and you just don’t know what to do or where to start.
One thing you know for sure is that you would be totally fine with someone breaking into your house in the middle of the night and doing all the challenging work. They would figure out what to keep and where to put it, and then they would get rid of the rest for you!
No matter how many times you have attempted to do it on your own, that “keep” pile is just too tall and you have barely put a dent in your organizing project!
KNOWING WHAT TO KEEP, TOSS, DONATE OR SELL
DECIDE WHAT IS IMPORTANT
It is hard to let go of things – for so many reasons. Decluttering and letting go of things is like any other change in your life – you must really want it and you must know why you want it.
So, what is it that you want?
- A less cluttered life?
- Less chaos surrounding you?
- A more productive work environment?
- To have the room to entertain friends and family?
Decide what is important to you and ask yourself, “What am I willing to change in order to live the way I want to?”
MAKE A CHANGE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR STUFF
Realize that the problem really isn’t about the “stuff.” Rather, it’s about thinking differently about the stuff you own and why you own it.
All of our things we have either purchased or been gifted. We keep our things because there is nothing wrong with them and we really have no legitimate reason to let go of them. It becomes a “status quo possession” – something that is kept because there isn’t a compelling reason for it not to be there anymore.
Until we realize that there IS a reason for it not to be there anymore, we cannot get to a point of “purposeful possession” – a reason or purpose for keeping it.
When we declare that we will only keep the things that we absolutely love and use, we begin to make changes that serve our current life and our future. This is almost single-handedly what it takes in knowing what to kep, toss, donate or sell.
FOCUS ON PROBLEM-SOLVING
Making such changes does not mean tackling every single possession. Instead, focus only on items that are causing a problem. Evaluate your things and your spaces in the areas in which you stand the most to gain.
Some example problems:
- You’ve run out of storage space and you won’t get anymore without an investment of money or moving.
- You can’t find the things you want because they are hidden behind the things that you don’t want.
- You have so much more than you need (i.e. bulk items — thanks Sam’s Club!)
- Your safety at home is at risk, as you must navigate through things to get in, out, or through your home.
- You’re embarrassed to have friends and family over to your home.
- You’re distracted and overwhelmed by the clutter around you — it keeps you from being motivated and able to get things done.
ONLY KEEP WHAT MOVES YOU FORWARD AND HELPS YOU ACHIEVE GOALS
Once you’ve identified your problems, it is time to declare the change that will help you achieve your goals. You know that you don’t want your home and your life to feel like this anymore.
You may believe that your challenge is just not knowing where to start, or you may think that you don’t have any organizing skills. However, in reality, the main challenge is looking closely at your “why” behind keeping or letting go of things and then making changes to live the way you want to.
See my posts on “The Barriers to Letting Go of Stuff” and “How to Get Organized When You Don’t Know Where to Start” to learn more on this topic and help you move forward on reaching your goals.
Need a little help getting organized and productive? Find a Professional Organizer like the ones at Organized Haven at the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals: www.NAPO.net.
“Be kinder to yourself than you are to your stuff. Forgive your past and focus on your future.”
~Kathy Vines, Certified Professional Organizer®, Author of the Clever Girl’s Guide to LIVING WITH LESS
What is holding you back from living the life that you want to live? Are there any specific possessions that are difficult for you to let go of?
PIN IT to remember it!
Happy letting go!
By: Nicole Ramer, CPO®, SMM~C®
(Certified Professional Organizer® & Certified Senior Move Manager®)