First of all, if you don’t have Kenny Roger’s ‘The Gambler’ in your head, then first of all, sort out your music taste. But secondly, we speak to professional organiser and Three’s hit show Sort Your Life Out’s resident expert Natalie Jane about how to actually declutter your place – no ‘sparking joy’ required!
“Every single item in your home has a story as to how it got there,” says organisation expert Natalie Jane.
“Some of those stories are more meaningful than others, and can quickly become sentimental, especially if there is an emotional attachment of some kind to it. Our items can remind us of a time in the past, a person, a trip or something else. This can often make it difficult to decide what to keep or not to keep, when going through the process of decluttering.
“If you have decided to declutter and are struggling with making decisions, you are not alone! It all comes down to asking the right questions. So, here are 10 questions to ask yourself when decluttering:”
1: Do I love it?
If it brings a smile to your face, real joy into your heart and you absolutely LOVE it, then keep it. Otherwise it is time for it to go.
2: Do I use it?
Sometimes or never? A sometimes item might be a trifle bowl at Christmas time, so it does have a use. If you NEVER use it, it’s time to move it on, because you never will.
3: Does this item add value to my life?
What added value to your life in the past might not add value now. As we change as people and our lives change, our items constantly need reviewing in order to reflect who we really are. Be honest with yourself as you declutter.
4: If I was shopping right now would I buy this?
I love this question, because the answer is often “No….”
5: Do I have a multiple of this item?
This often occurs with pantry items, cleaning items and the like. When you know what you have in your home you will know what you need. Check your cupboards before going shopping!
7: Am I keeping this out of obligation?
Once someone gives you a gift it is yours to do whatever you like with it. You do NOT have to keep the ugly scarf your aunty gave to you! Pass it on to charity, you never liked it and never will.
8: Am I keeping this item just in case I might need it one day?
This is a big one for many people. There is no point holding onto items that you can buy again if you need to. In my experience, might need it one day = never!
9: Am I keeping this item because I spent money on it?
If that is the only reason, remember that the money has already gone. If you have time to sell an item, go ahead. If not, either give it to someone (with their permission) or take it to a place where they sell it on your behalf. At least then, you can recuperate some of the money back.
10: Am I holding onto this for sentimental reasons?
Start a memorabilia box for those really SPECIAL items – only keep the treasures and don’t keep multiples.
If you find you are struggling on your own to make these decisions, ask a friend for help. Having another person there to ask these questions can make it so much easier. Good luck!