Making decisions is one of the first steps and an important part of organizing any space. It can also be challenging to do without getting fatigued, losing perspective and feeling overwhelmed. Here are six questions to ask yourself to ease the decision-making process.
Question #1 - What’s the vision and purpose of the space? Use your overall vision of the space to help make decisions along the way. Decide on the purpose of the space and then list the activities that are important to do in the space. Use this framework to keep only the items that align with the vision, purpose and activities. Move items that belong in another space and consider letting go of the rest.
Question #2 - How would you feel if it was being used by someone who needs it? Sometimes we hold on to things because we “might need them someday” or we don’t want to give our items away without knowing they will be appreciated and valued. Finding the right place to send your donations and knowing the items are needed and will be loved can make it easier to let go. Here’s our list of top donation resources.
Question #3 - How much does it cost to replace? If you decide to let go of an item and then down the road decide you need it again, can you live with paying to replace it? Is that trade-off worth it to get back the space the item was taking up?
Question #4 - Can you access it somewhere else like the internet or library? Especially with paperwork, finding your bank statements, utility bills and other household information like manuals is easy online. If you can access it somewhere else, chances are you don’t need to keep a paper copy too.
Question #5 – This was a gift from (fill in the blank)…I feel guilty…how can I let this go? Have you ever given someone a gift and said “I love you, I want to represent that love with this gift and I hope it burdens you for the rest of your life?” I didn’t think so. If you aren’t using it or loving it, consider giving it to someone who can.
Question #6 - I have too many books...but how can I possibly decide which ones to keep? Try using the technique from Judith Kolberg called “Friends, Acquaintances and Strangers”. It can be helpful to personalize our inanimate objects when making decisions about what to keep and what to let go. Try identifying your items such as books, clothing and shoes as your “friends, acquaintances and strangers”. You get to decide who (or which objects) are your friends, which are your acquaintances and which ones are strangers. You keep your friends, some of your acquaintances and let go of your strangers.
Want to learn the next step to organizing after you make decisions? Download our Plan of Action including our signature process to organize any room in your home or office. Organizing can be easy when you have a plan and a partner. Our process will keep you on track as you complete your project.