When I help clients decide what items to cull, I often sing a ditty to the tune of ‘Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
Oh, the house is getting cluttered
And it makes me want to shudder
And since it’s on overflow
I’ll let it go, let it go, let it go.
Doesn’t sound professional? Well, it helps clients to have fun when making tough decisions about letting go of items that trigger memories. As professional organizers, we help our clients reframe the way they look at their items so they can become clear on what they want to keep and what they want to let go.
Marie Kondo’s books and Tidying Up Netflix series have inspired people to declutter and organize their homes. One of KonMari’s catch phrases is ‘DOES IT SPARK JOY?’ I like that concept because it implies joy ignites energy. Of course, we need to keep items that don’t necessarily spark joy (can you say ‘income tax returns?) so let’s examine some other questions to ask yourself:
DO I USE IT? – DO I LOVE IT? – DO I NEED IT? (those darn taxes again)
Sometimes even these questions aren’t enough to make clear, confident decisions. We may need to delve deeper to examine the ”keep vs. don’t keep” tug of war going on inside us. Here are some other reframing questions to ask yourself:
- If I didn’t already own it would I buy it?
- If I moved into a studio apartment, is it a treasure I’d take?
- Is it the memories that spark joy rather than the item itself? If so, photograph it and then let it go.
- Does it enhance my figure or the image I’m going for?
- Do I feel good in it?
- If I lose weight, will I want to wear a 15 year-old item?
For books: Ask not if you like the book but ….
- Will I read it or refer to it again?
- If I want to reread will I download it and read it digitally?
- Do I have the space for this many books?
- If I wanted this information would I Google it or look in my file drawer/pile?
- Will I remember I saved the information?
- Will the info expire by the time I reference it again?
If when you’re culling items and feel stuck, feel free to sing my take on ‘Let It Go’ or make up your own words to Frozen’s version. Keep the process fun as you strengthen your decision-making and letting-go muscles!