If there's one thing that focuses the mind on decluttering, it's moving house! It's only when you consider that everything you own has to be packed up and moved that you realise just how much 'stuff' you've got.
We're up to our eyes in decluttering at the moment and even though it's a bit overwhelming, it feels great. My partner used the word 'liberating' the other day when he finally got rid of some clothes that he'd held on to for decades – remnants of a past era in his life but no longer representative of where he is now. So I thought this would be a good time to pass on some handy tips for the next time you decide to do some decluttering:
1. When you're teetering on the edge of indecision and wondering whether you should get rid of something or not, ask yourself these Three Key Questions (taken from "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui" by Karen Kingston):
1. Does it (this item) lift my spirits when I look at it or think about it?
2. Do I absolutely love it?
3. Is it genuinely useful?
If you can't answer 'yes' to all or any of these questions, what is it doing in your home?
2. Sorting through paperwork can be a nightmare – and I've found it absolutely invaluable to ask this question when trying to decide whether to keep something or not: "If I needed this again, could I get hold of it in some other way?" (i.e. download from the internet, ask the person who sent it for another copy, etc.) It really helps you to throw paper away when you can reassure yourself that you can get hold of it again if you needed to.
3. If you just can't bring yourself to jettison certain items, put them all in a bin bag, tie up the top, write the date on it and stow it away where you can't see it. In six months, if you haven't needed any of the items inside, throw the bag away or give it to a charity shop – whatever you do, DO NOT LOOK INSIDE!
4. It can be really helpful to get a friend to help you – preferably someone who is naturally decisive. It's always easier to be dispassionate about someone else's stuff and they might just be able to give you the nudge you need to get rid…
5. Finally, don't forget that decluttering can be financially rewarding. There may be items you can sell on Ebay or Amazon Marketplace or at a boot sale.
Whatever the circumstance, my experience is that throwing stuff out is ALWAYS energising. I've never known it to fail. So no need to wait until Spring to have a good spring clean.
© Annabel Sutton Coaching Tips 2009
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