One of the biggest issues many of us have is DECLUTTERING....for our own homes or for homes we may be prepping to sell. Check this chart out for sharing with clients.
Do I need it or want it?
You don’t have to throw out everything you can literally live without, but you should be pretty strict about your definition of need. If you have a bread maker that’s been sitting in the cabinet untouched for years, don’t feel like you “should” keep it just because it was a Hanukkah gift. Think realistically about the years ahead: will you use it more than a few times? Are you genuinely excited for the few times you’ll use it? Will it make an important difference in your life to hold onto the item? It’s OK to say yes, but skip the guilt if the answer is no. Downsizing is about simplifying, so make a decision and feel confident in sticking to it.
Answering whether or not you want something is complicated — it’s hard to say youdon’twant something you’ve had for decades, no matter what it is. Start by making a list of your absolute must-haves, the things you absolutely refuse to leave behind. It might include items like:
Your engagement ring or wedding band
Military badges, garments, etc.
Sit down and create a list with absolutely everything that comes to mind. Be realistic — maybe you’ll keep only a few of your favorite porcelain frogs rather than the entire 43-piece collection — but don’t worry if it seems long. Over time, reflect on each item. You don’t have to sit and agonize, just ponder the list while you’re doing the dishes, going for a walk, or running errands. Are there any items that, in retrospect, you’re ready to part with? Is there anything you’d like to give to a loved one instead? Do you know anyone who could get more use or value out of an object? Keep in mind that even if you plan to leave someone an item in the future, it can be a beautiful gift to actually watch them appreciate it in the present.
Does it have sentimental value?
The hardest items to part with will be the ones directly tied to beloved memories with your family and friends. Still, if you kept absolutely everything of sentimental value, downsizing would be impossible. Use the packing and sorting process as a way to reflect and let go. As you and a loved one go through your things, talk about them and the memories they conjure up. If you’re working solo, it can still be therapeutic to say these thoughts out loud — you can even tell your dog about the items. Just letting yourself really look back and appreciate the good times can sometimes be enough to help you let go of the mementos.
Do I use this item often?
There are going to be some items you’re simply used to having around, but ultimately don’t use very much. Think about your day-to-day routine: which items do you use the most? When you look around your house, which objects have been merely functional décor? Additionally, consider whether where you’re going will have a valuable replacement — just because you’ve always used a traditional toaster doesn’t mean you can’t adapt to your daughter’s toaster oven, for instance. Continue to be realistic about the future, keeping in mind that there might be someone else who would get much more use out of the item.
Do I have another item that performs the same function?
Whether it’s two blenders or a dozen winter coats, duplicate items are the easiest way to downsize. Choose the newest or best-functioning electronic (don’t forget to test them out to ensure everything’s in good working order), and a reasonable amount of more practical items like towels, blankets, outerwear, and other clothing. Use the opportunity to clean out yourcloset. Embrace the opportunity to minimize: if you really only ever wear the same three cardigans, keep those and donate the rest. Make sure you’ll have everything you’ll need, but be willing to see a smaller wardrobe. Remember: it means less laundry!