How to sort things correctly
We will learn how to determine which things are really needed and which are better to be sent away forever
Copyright: Sarah Brown, Unsplash
I'm sure we all know how difficult it can be to get rid of something, even if we haven't used it for a long time. We get sentimental memories, doubts and “what ifs” as a result, trash stays in its place.

I suggest you stop this once and for all. You will learn how to properly get rid of unnecessary things without regret and guilt.
It will definitely not work out
I know we’ve all heard sayings like; “If you don’t wear this thing for one year, get rid of it” or “When you buy something new, be sure to throw out something old.” Personally, I think that they are too categorical and not suitable for everyone.

Do you agree with the idea that throwing away a vintage purse just because it has never been worn is cruel? Throwing away something old is not necessary to make space for something new, this must be done only if the item is outdated, has lost its functions or simply does not bring joy to its user.
Five main questions.
The best way to make decisions is to ask yourself questions. Here’s information on how to do that:

  • The best way to ask yourself questions is to hold an item in your hands or look directly at it, you will definitely avoid subjectivity using this method.
  • Turn your awareness to the maximum. Decide right “here and now” with a cool mind.
  • It’s not necessary to ask yourself questions every single time. Sometimes one is enough, if you feel that the decision was made, move on to the next subject.
Question 1: «Do I need it?»
The first filter you need to pass your decision through is “the real need”. Imagine you have a steamer in your kitchen. It was bought a few years ago under the influence of some fashionable trend for a healthy lifestyle, but it wasn’t as efficient as you expected. As a result, the steamer was used just a couple of times. Why?

Because the steamed food seemed bland because washing parts of the steamer is much more difficult than washing parts of an oven, and dozens of other “because.” Whatever the reasons are, if the steamer is in the kitchen just for decoration, it means that it is not really needed.

Take a beautiful picture and sell it at a flea market. You will free up space in the kitchen and stop “listening” to silent reproaches from the steamer.
Copyright: Sarah Shull, Unsplash
Question 2: «Do I want to use it?»
We often buy things under the influence of others. Instagram's bloggers, friends, parents, colleagues etc. It may seem that if an item has brought a lot of benefit and joy to another person, then it will do the same for you, but then expectation meets reality. That's why the art kit, waffle oven or massage mat keeps lying around.

It happens that a person is simply ashamed to admit that he really doesn’t like drawing that waffles are easier to buy in a store, and a massage mat causes more pain than joy. Trust me on this one, it happens to almost everyone and is nothing to be ashamed of.

You cannot enjoy everything that others enjoy. If you can admit that you don't really want to use something, it will be much easier for you to get rid of it without regrets.
Question 3: «Do I like this thing?»
Let's agree on the fact that organizing the space around you will make you think not only about the benefits and functionality, but also about aesthetics. The objects that surround you should evoke pleasant emotions, otherwise what's the point of keeping them at home?

Strive to surround yourself with only things that you like, you will be surprised at how much more comfortable and calmer your home will become.

Question 4: «Will I miss it?»
Sometimes rational arguments don't help. No matter how we compare all the pros and cons, we still can’t decide on what to do with some things. In that case, your feelings will come to the rescue.

As you look at the item, ask yourself: “Will I miss it?” and try to catch the very first emotion. Don't talk, don't think, just FEEL. The very first reaction will be the answer to this question.
Question 5: «Does this thing bring me good memories?»
You don't think I'm so cynical that I'm going to make you get rid of all the things that aren't useful, do you? There is nothing wrong with being attached to some things just because they hold a precious memory, but among the things that have sentimental value, you also need to make a revision, there shouldn't be too many of them, you don't want to live among memories like in a museum, do you?

If an item has no monetary value but gives you pleasant memories, there is only one option. Take a picture of it and throw it away with a light heart, or give it to good hands. Photos can be stored on a flash drive or on the cloud. It is not necessary to possess an item physically to feel nostalgic.
Copyright: Unsplash
What about items of other family members?
In a perfect life situation, each family member should have a separate place to store personal stuff, their own space. Even if it is not a separate closet, at least separate shelves in a common closet. The main point is that your things should not be stored in one place.

Adult items
If we are talking about an adult, then their separate space should be their area of ​​responsibility. You can put things in order in the closet or room of your husband, wife or grown up child only after you get their permission. It will be wonderful if you and your close family agree to follow the program together.

Children items
Instilling respect for order in children is as important as instilling all other values. Only a personal example and a “do as I do” approach will work, there is nothing worse than notations and phrases like “clean up your room, or you won’t go for a walk!”.

Firstly, adults must become adherents of order, then children will become interested in it too. It is important that this happens naturally and without coercion. You can help this process if you immediately start involving them in the upkeep of order and showing them exactly how to do it.
Copyright: Unsplash
What if…I don’t say goodbye?
Don't worry whether you can't decide about whether to keep or discard some items. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand whether this thing is needed or not, whether you like it or not, this happens, especially if you are a beginner at decluttering. In this case, there is an alternative option.

Do not say goodbye but postpone for a while.

The pattern of action:
  • Find or buy a capacious box
  • Sign it. For example, “DOUBTS”.
  • Come back to this box in a month and take out all the items from it, as you take out each item, ask yourself the five questions. As soon as you understand that the decision has been made, remove the item from the box to give away, sell, throw away or use.
  • Repeat these actions once a month until the box is empty.

Important! When deciding, do not let the thought, “BUT I paid money for this!” stop you!
  • First, money will not be returned if the thing continues to look at you from the closet with a mute reproach.
  • Second of all, valuable things can always be sold.
  • Third of all, some things weren't needed to be used for their direct purpose. Sometimes things come into our life to teach us how to make the right choice, now you know that such a color, style, or size does not suit you, or it is just not for you. Thank them for it and let them go!

That's all for today. Good luck with decluttering!

Your Clea.

Your personal clean-up coach
Clea N.