Asking yourself the right questions can make clutter disappear while making someone else happy at the same time. A win-win situation. Ask yourself these five questions and follow through on the answers and clutter will disappear from your living space.
Does it Make Me Happy?
Each item cluttering up a room will have sentimental value. It will remind you of a person, place or special time, but the qualifying question to ask yourself is; does the item make me happy? Forget about how much grandma used it or how the color matches your prom dress from 1992- does the item make you happy in the here and now.
If you can’t honestly answer the question, try this exercise to distance yourself from the item; Place the item in a box, write the date on the box and stash it away for one year. The ‘out of sight out of mind’ time will allow you to make an intellectual decision rather than an emotional decision regarding getting rid of the item in one year.
Do I Have More Than One?
Many of us have been blessed with hand-me-down household items. The items are meaningful as well as useful, but do you really need more than one teapot, toaster or fake pearl necklace?
When you find yourself with more than one of anything, keep the best and donate the rest. And if the best one of the lot is not your favorite, keep the favored item and donate the rest.
Can I Picture It?
A picture is worth a thousand words and it takes up less space. If you can take pictures of a beloved collection of mini tea sets or stuffed animals, then donate the items, you will still retain the visual memory of the items while freeing up space in you home.
If the items you have photographed are of family heirlooms and relics, upload the photos to a social network site so other family members can enjoy a virtual trip down memory lane.
Can I Scan It?
Certainly we want to keep every scrap of paper our children bring home from school, but those kindergarten drawings take up space and become brittle as time goes on. Scan paper items that you can’t part with and store them securely on your computer and copy them to a disc so you will have a safe, permanent record of children’s artwork, documents, papers, warranties and so forth.
Who Can I Make Happy?
You started clearing the clutter by asking yourself if the item made you happy, now make those house-cluttering items disappear by asking who can I make happy by giving these items too. A niece may be thrilled to have pieces of grandma’s costume jewelry or embroidered dollies. A nephew may appreciate becoming the new trustee of grandpa’s toolbox. Make someone else happy by giving the clutter a new home. You’ll make yourself happy and make the clutter disappear too.