Can You Answer Clutter's Big Questions?

by Nita Jackson

To make the decision process for getting rid of clutter a lot easier, ask yourself these four key questions:

  1. When was the last time you used this item? If you can say 13 months or longer, this item is suspect for not being truly useful. Could you borrow or lease if you ever need a like item in the future? Would a friend or relative get more use out of it than you? Can you barter it for something you really need?
  2. How much space and money would you gain by giving it up? Consider the price of storage -a simple 4 shelf bookcase ranges anywhere from $35 to $100. Think about the square feet in the space it takes up. You may be paying a lot more in rent or house payments because you need more area for storage and are not weeding out clutter at least once a year. Don't forget renters and home insurance will also cost more for each square foot you live in.
  3. If you throw it away ,sell it or give it way what is the worst possible thing that could happen? In all my time of attempting to get organized I can truly say I have not regretted giving way or selling anything that met the first two questions. My husband has a simple phrase he uses for questionable stuff when he's considering getting rid of it "When in doubt, throw it out!" We'll see if he really means when I start attacking his college textbooks.
  4. What are you doing to stop the influx of more clutter? If you have more cat collectibles than you can manage or are sick of the care & maintenance of such things be vocal that you are discontinuing the collection. Suggest that cat memorabilia be replaced with a donation to charity for spaying or to an animal shelter. Try a moratorium on purchases for at least one month. Start thinking about real value verses just owning stuff. For instance what would be the resale value of this item? Wouldn't I be better off if this money was allotted to my retirement fund or debt reduction?

Visit Nita Jackson at for more help in keeping organization in your daily life. You'll find free planners, organizers, free software for home, office, wedding, pregnancy, holiday and budget

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