Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Clutter Questions

I think it is important from time to time to review the questions we should ask ourselves when analyzing our 'stuff' and our clutter.

  • How much money are you spending now to maintain what you have? Are you paying to store things you never or rarely use? Could you sell the items to make money or donate them to get a tax deduction? How much do you pay in late fees for missed bill payments or in duplicate products you buy because you didn’t know you already had one?

  • Physical clutter also clutters your mind. Imagine what it would be like to reduce your stress level or the amount of cleaning and upkeep. Imagine what you could do with the time, energy, and space your clutter is currently taking up. Instead of reactive or survival mode, organization would allow you to be proactive and creative.
  • No one says you have to keep everything. Does the item enhance your life or bring you joy? Is it useful to you now? Note that what is useful may change as your life circumstances change. For ex., if you've moved from a home to a condo, lawn & garden equipment may no longer be useful, and now takes up space unnecessarily.

  • Do you want to be remembered for your possessions or for who you are? Those who will someday deal with your possessions will thank you for decluttering your environment rather than passing on a huge sorting task. What lessons are you teaching/modeling for your children? How are they impacted by clutter or disorganization each day?

To help you figure out whether or not to keep something, ask yourself (and be honest!):

  • Do you like it?
  • Have you ever used it? Will you realistically use it in the future?
  • Does it have a storage place?
  • Are you keeping it just because someone gave it to you?
  • Does it make you feel bad, ugly, stupid, guilty or remind you of bad times?
  • Have you forgotten what it does or that you even still had it?
  • Is it old, ugly, not working, out of style, out of date, or inefficient? Do you own another better one?
  • If you do get rid of it and need another, can you easily get it again?
  • Has it been over a year since you have used it?