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How to get rid of stuff

Mon, 31 Aug 2020 04:27:12 +0000

How to get rid of stuff

Ah, the art of letting go.

For some it’s the most straightforward thing: I don’t want it, I’m getting rid of it. 

For others it’s more complicated: they know they want to get started, but they don’t know where, or how.

A while ago I wrote a post about how I approached decluttering at the early stages of my journey. Although that approach is still valid and still works, I have noticed that since I’ve been decluttering more systematically, I’ve been asking myself the same questions over and over every time I considered getting rid of something.

So I thought I’d share with you the thought process that has helped me be even more ruthless in letting go of my material possessions.

  • When was the last time I used this?
    I normally give myself a three-to-six-month window, excluding seasonal items such as ski gear that I obviously wouldn’t use in the summer. If I haven’t touched that thing for longer than six months, it has to go.

  • When will I use this next?
    Similarly, if I can’t envision a situation in the near future when I would absolutely need that item, it’s time to get rid of it.

  • Do I like this?
    This applies to unwanted gifts, freebies, family heirlooms, and things that we might not have purchased ourselves but that somehow found a way into our life. It can be hard to let go of things that we feel compelled to keep, but we all have received gifts we didn’t really like or need or want, and that’s ok to get rid of them if we don’t like them!

  • Does this make me happy?
    This question goes hand in hand with Marie Kondo’s “Does it spark joy” philosophy. I am not a big fan of Marie Kondo, but I do agree that if an item doesn’t make you happy there is no point in keeping it. I used to own things that only brought back sad memories. Why would I want to keep something that makes me feel bad?

If I don’t have a clear yes/no answer to any of those questions, I would put the item in question out of sight (like, in the garage or in a storage room) for a few weeks. . If I find myself thinking about it or actually needing it, I will keep it. If I forget about it, I will declutter it.

I hope this could be helpful to anyone who might feel overwhelmed by the idea of decluttering. 

Of course, the above list mainly applies to material possessions, but the art of letting go can be applied to mental clutter just as well. Stay tune to hear more about this!

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