Why is it so so much easier for me to throw things away when you are here?
I hear that a lot! And so do the other organizers on our team.
There are a few reasons people may be more likely to let go of clutter when a professional organizer is around. Which do you think it is? Which would be true for you?
- Is it the embarrassment of keeping something that looks pretty trashy–an old shirt with holes in it?
- Is it permission to throw away projects you meant to do– magazines you never got around to reading?
- Is it the motivation of paying an organizer help you make room in your life for things you love?
Different people are inspired by different things. I’m motivated to declutter because I love having less to look at, fewer things around me.
People tend to hold on to things in these categories:
- sentimental items
- useful tools
- beautiful things
But what about when something is on the verge of being OUT of those 3 categories? What if something is useful, but you never use it? (Like my weed eater, or my iron!) When you come across borderline items like this, it’s time to be honest with yourself.
Here are 4 great questions I’m sure you’ve heard before.
Use them repeatedly to help you be truthful about why you are holding on to items that are of little value or that make you feel bad.
- Do you love it?
- Have you used it in the last year (or 2)?
- If lost, would you replace this thing?
- Is the space the item occupies worth it?
The amount of space something takes up in your home should be proportionate* to how often you use it. Example: your bed takes up most of your bedroom but that’s okay because you spend about a third of your life using the bed.
On the other hand, a dehydrating machine or bread machine in the kitchen takes up one eighth of your counter space and you use it once a year. That’s not okay.
So what do you do with the weed eater and the dehydrating machine?
Try to sell them on eBay or Craigslist if you want to. Let me warn you, eBay is a pain in the booty. The item must SELL for over $50 to be worth the effort.
I do like Craigslist. If I need a large tool or expensive machine just for a few days, I’ll look on Craigslist or send a message to my friends in case they have one I can borrow or rent from them.
If I buy something on Craigslist for a project, I sell it back once I’m done. I call this method:
As for smaller, less expensive things, I would rather risk having to buy something under $15 again than to store it in a corner of a closet where I will probably forget about it anyway. (example: tile sealer for the counter tops) (another example: a gift bag for a baby boy)
I’m an uber organized person which means there are very few things that go “missing” in our house. Yes, this is because everything has a home. It’s also because
a lot of things that come into our house never get a home.
If no one loves them or uses them right away, they get sent to the donation center or the trash.
I hope these 4 questions help you get a little more serious about your decluttering. Tell me how it goes in the comments, please.
*proportionate is a word! I thought I made it up, but I checked and it is “another term for proportional.” Feeling pretty fancy over here!