August 11, 2014

Reader Question: When Everything is Important

Photo by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee
There are so many decisions to make when you want to reduce clutter in your life, it can feel overwhelming. A reader recently asked how someone can let go of anything, when everything feels like it’s important.

Most people know that everything doesn't have the same degree of importance and that each thing has a degree of significance – useful, financial, sentimental or a combination.

If you find that you assign everything the same value, ask yourself some questions – these were adapted from Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring by Gail Steketee and Randy Frost – and consider the responses below them.

Does the item support your health or safety?
Keep the eyeglasses you use every day. Let go of the crutches you used for a sprained ankle 10 years ago.

Is it critical for your success at work?
Keep the smartphone you use every day. Let go of the adding machine you haven’t used since 1998.

Is it essential for financial security and wellbeing?
Keep seven years’ worth of tax information. Let go of the cancelled checks and pay stubs from 20 years ago.

Do you have multiples of the same thing?
Keep collections that are important to you. Let go of the broken electronics, outdated spices, expired coupons and other items that you have since replaced.

Can you use it now?
Keep clothes that fit and look good on you. Let go of those that are damaged, stained, too big or too small.

Do you have room for it?
Keep what you use regularly and can access easily. Let go of things that keep you from using your space for its intended purpose or that you have to stow in remote places.

One more tip: If it still is in its original package or has price tags on it, it probably isn’t essential to you.

Of course, there may be exceptions; however, think seriously about what you really value so you can enjoy those things without the chaos of extraneous stuff.

Organized by Marcie TM: Save time and money by letting go of what you don't need and finding room for what you value
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