We all love acquiring new treasures and trinkets and bringing them home like magpies to their nests, but after a while, that stuff begins to clutter and crowd our space.
How many things do you have that you don’t need? Do your possessions weigh you down? Does the idea of moving stress you out solely because of how much useless stuff you’ll need to pack up and take with you?
Do you think you’re too attached to material things?
This is a common problem. Consumerism is rampant in the 2020s. We’re constantly being advertised to and encouraged to buy more and more things. If you’re tired of the clutter and you’re ready to make a change, we want to help.
Keep reading to learn when it’s time to let something go and how you can start decluttering your life.
Do You Need This Object?
Some things that we keep around are necessities. We don’t expect you to throw away things that you use every day like your coffee maker, remote control, laptop, or any other items that help make your day easier.
When you’re considering what to keep around, think about whether or not you need a thing or if you just want it.
Now, it’s okay to keep an object that you want. We’ll discuss determining why you want something later on, which may be more important.
When you’re working out what to get rid of and want to keep, necessities are always the highest priorities.
Does This Object Serve a Purpose?
Not all objects have to be necessities in order to keep them, but they should all serve some kind of purpose in your life if you want to keep them around.
So what other purposes are there if they’re not necessities?
As Marie Kondo says, if an object “sparks joy” you’re allowed and encouraged to keep it. That is to say, if the object creates some added benefit to your life, even if it’s emotional, it’s worthwhile.
You need to figure out if the emotion is just a quick dopamine rush, though. Many people buy things on a whim that make them happy but don’t ultimately serve them in the long run.
For example, it’s common to win a stuffed toy from a carnival game and it may make you feel good at the moment, but do you think about it when it’s not in sight?
On the other hand, if that stuffed toy reminds you of a special date or night out with friends, it’s still worth keeping as a memento. That said, consider whether or not you need the object in order to recall this memory. Can you rely on your mind to do it instead?
Let go of some of these objects. It’s hard, but you’ll feel lighter afterward.
Do You Have Multiple Versions of This Object?
So let’s say you have a necessary object, but you also have several other objects that serve the same purpose. It’s time to pick your favorite and get rid of the rest.
Do you have several of the same-sized rubber spatulae? Do you have more plates than you’ll ever use? How many staplers does one person need before it’s excessive? Let’s face it: you’re hoarding things.
Choose your favorite or most effective version of the object in question and let go of the rest.
Does This Object Have a Place?
One of the most important steps of decluttering (more on that later) is making sure that every object has a specific place in your home. This stops things from piling up around the house and it helps you stay organized.
When you get a new thing, it takes the place of an old thing.
Take a good, hard look at your things and determine whether or not they have (or deserve) a designated place in your home. You’ll need to get rid of some things for them all to fit in your storage.
If something won’t have a place after you buy it, it’s time to ask “do I have enough stuff for now?”
Why Are You Keeping It?
If the item isn’t sentimental, you don’t need it, and it doesn’t have a place, why are you keeping it around?
This requires some thought. If you’re keeping something because the idea of getting rid of it gives you anxiety, introspect and assess that feeling. Is this a result of a hoarding mentality, or is this object actually meaningful to you?
Knowing why you’re doing something can help you figure out if you’re doing the right thing at all.
How Can You Get Rid of Things That Weigh You Down?
So you know that you need to get rid of some things. What’s the next step?
First, take several boxes and address an area of your home. Do this space by space so you don’t get overwhelmed. The boxes should be labeled “keep,” “donate,” “give away,” “throw away,” and “repair or reuse.”
If you’re starting with your closet, for example, you’ll take each clothing item and put it in an appropriate box. If you find something that you can’t remember wearing and wouldn’t wear in the future, decide whether it’s good enough to donate or give to a friend who would like it, or if it’s not in good enough condition.
If it’s in poor condition, decide if you’ll throw it away or reuse it as rags. Sometimes things that we would wear again are falling apart. In this case, decide whether or not you could repair it.
Most of us only wear a few items from our wardrobes, even if we’re fashionable. This is the first step to getting rid of things in an organized manner.
Do Your Possessions Weigh You Down?
You don’t have to commit to a life of minimalism, but if you’re worrying that your possessions weigh you down it’s time to declutter. It’s hard to let things go, but you’ll feel better and have a cleaner home afterward.
Start getting rid of unnecessary material items today.
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