How to Use Declutter Questions to Make Purging Decisions
I wrote this post almost two years ago in the midst of preparing for my move. It’s a simple example of how I use pertinent declutter questions to help me with the purging process. I hope you find these questions helpful in your own organizational journeys.
Let’s face it, one of the hardest things about the organizing process is making the decisions about what to do with all our stuff and I’m no exception to that. While I can often let go of things pretty easily there are still times it’s difficult even for me. This was the case a couple of weeks ago when I sat down to organize all my serving ware. I was doing a great job, already having set aside quite a few pieces to go to the thrift store, when I came across this lovely piece.
And then next to that one, this totally divine piece of art:
I am smitten with daisies and I just absolutely adore this unique daisy platter. Problem is I also love the first one as well. I mean it is in a basket after all :) However as you can see they are both divided dishes and I’ve never used both of them at the same time.
I started to feel my heart race because I felt like it didn’t make sense to keep both and I knew I needed to make a decision to purge one. Which was it going to be?
This was a critical moment for me.
I could panic, bury my head in the sand and just put off making the decision for another day OR I could tackle this decision head on. Putting off the decision wasn’t going to make it any easier for me later and procrastinated decisions = clutter which is why I was organizing the cabinet in the first place.
Now was the time.
I took a deep breath and got ready to ask myself the tough questions I knew were required in this situation.
1. Do I love them? Yes I love them both but one in particular I had a real soft spot for.
2. Do I use them? How long ago did I use them? I don’t use either of them regularly and never at the same time. I do use the daisy one more often and most recently at Christmas time.
3. Do I have the space to store both without it being a cluttered space? No
4. Am I willing to give up something else in this space in order to make room for both? No I was pretty set on all the other decisions I’d already made.
4. Can I imagine myself or anyone in my family ever loving it or needing it in the foreseeable future? Nope, they couldn’t care less.
As I started to ask myself these questions and the answer began to become obvious to me, my anxiety eased up. I hated to get rid of one of them because you know what if I needed it one day but the truth is I hadn’t used the basket one in over a year and it wasn’t my favorite of the two. That cemented my decision for me and I went ahead and placed it in my donation station box.
I felt great that I’d made a decision.
Do I have a special organizing gene unique to me that keeps clutter at bay? Not at all. I simply have learned the necessary skills to walk me through the decision making process. Do I still get anxious about it. Yes sometimes but the great thing about practicing and using these types of decision making skills on a regular basis means that each time the process gets easier and easier and doesn’t take nearly as long.
Where at one time it might have taken me longer to make a decision, now with practice and acquired skill it is not something I fear. I know the benefits will far outweigh the anxiety I feel in the moment.
Morale of this story:
1. Ease purging anxiety by asking yourself some very important declutter questions as outlined above. The decision required may become more obvious to you when you begin to talk it through.
1. Procrastinated decisions = clutter. Practice making those kinds of decisions regularly (it helps if you start small) and it will get easier for you. Your confidence with grow as a result.
2. Have a donation station but don’t let it hang around too long before donating the contents. Whenever I work with clients I always take the donations with me at the end of the day because it’s just so easy to second guess ourselves. Out of sight, out of mind. Move on.
Have you made any organizing decisions lately? What have you been able to let go of recently?