Does this contribute to your lifestyle now?

Do you struggle with whether or not you should keep something or let something go? When I’m working with clients during the decluttering process, I want them to go with their gut and make quick decisions. And, since they’re paying me by the hour, they do make quick decisions. Okay, it’s not just that, they are also ready to make decisions! When I first start working with a new client, we talk about strategies for letting things go. One of those strategies is asking yourself, “Does this item to contribute to my lifestyle now?” Of course it’s fine to keep photo albums, scrapbooks and yearbooks, etc. But there may be things you’re holding onto that really don’t contribute to your current lifestyle. Our lives change, our relationships change and our interests change. What you liked to do in high school is probably different now if you’re a parent in your forties.

If you’re looking at boxes of stuff or a garage full of stuff and you need to make decisions on whether the contents should stay or go, I want you to think about these points:

  • Consider what you’re currently interested in doing. If you have camping gear that hasn’t been used in twenty years and now you’re a runner instead of a camper, you can consider letting the camping gear go.
  • Are you keeping items because you feel guilty that you abandoned them? Maybe you used to love knitting but no longer knit and you have projects that you’ve never finished. That’s okay, you can donate the knitting supplies to a retirement home and someone else will get to use them.
  • Evaluate whether or not you have the space to accommodate storing the items. If they’re causing a problem and you don’t have room to store the things you do want to use now, that can be a good indicator that it’s time to let them go.

The next time you have an itch to start decluttering but you’re stuck on your decisions, ask yourself, “Does this item to contribute to my lifestyle now?”

Courtesy of my Efficient Organization column in the Lake Stevens Ledger.

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