When Is It Time To De-Clutter? ~ Do you have the question “When Is It Time To De-Clutter?” Everyone owns stuff. Much of what we own, we have to meet our needs in order to live comfortably and we also have lots of things that fulfill our wants and give us enjoyment. But as things get accumulated how do you decide what to keep and what to get rid of?
The problem becomes that we end up owning too much stuff (me included). The accumulation of having too much goes beyond meeting our needs and providing us with a certain level of satisfaction and enjoyment.
Let’s face it. The more we own the more we have to manage what we own and this all takes time, money and space. Every single thing we have takes up our time because we have to keep it organized, accessible, clean and in good working order.
It takes money because it costs money to keep it organized, clean and in good working order. It also costs more to insure the more expensive items because we have to protect our investment. It takes up space in our living environment because well, all this stuff has to be put somewhere!
Any stuff that we don’t use regularly and doesn’t consistently meet our needs becomes clutter. Too much clutter is a problem because it not only takes up space in our living environment but it also takes up space in our brain and thinking because simply put… it’s there. Take away the excess clutter, you free up space in your living environment and you clear up space in your brain because it really is true that “out of sight is out of mind”!
If you’re like me, it is really hard to get rid of stuff but I know it has to be done. Our needs and wants change as we go through different life stages. Things that were important and useful at one stage are no longer useful, relevant or current. For example, I have saved one plastic bin of baby items and one plastic bin of school/sports items for each of my now adult daughters that are hidden away in the garage. It just wasn’t practical to keep everything they owned from their younger years and I have made an effort to keep only the most essentials things worth keeping and storing.
Another reality is technology is constantly changing at warp speed. Everything from small appliances to computer devices are becoming more and more current and updated and frankly, amazingly improved. I still have an old cell phone from several years ago that I have to donate and compared to my current iPhone there is no comparison. We just can’t hang on to this antiquated stuff because it is no longer practical and useful.
- How do you decide what to get rid of and what to keep?
- What stuff stays and what stuff becomes clutter?
I want to repeat that I am guilty of keeping stuff around the house but I am also really good at getting rid of stuff. I have always intuitively used some guidelines that have really helped me decide what to keep and what not to keep.
These are key guidelines to think about as you decide to get rid of something or not in your quest to de-clutter. If at the end you have checked off most things in the ‘yes’ column then that means you need to keep the item. By most, I mean about 75% or more. If it is less than that, then you definitely need to seriously consider getting rid of it.
How To Decide When Is It Time To De-Clutter?
I have prepared a Printable PDF of the Do Or Don’t I De-Clutter? chart for you to help you make those hard decisions…
Feel free to download and print it. There isn’t really a priority for each guideline so I ordered them in alphabetical order. Just put a checkmark beside each one that applies for each thing that you are considering de-cluttering. I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me with those sometimes hard ‘do I keep it or not’ decisions.
Good luck de-cluttering the non-essential clutter in your life!
Now you can hopefully answer the question When Is It Time To De-Clutter?
Here I share a Garage Sale that I had after going through my de-clutter session …
and here I share my strategy for how to de-clutter your closet …