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How to Declutter More Effectively

There are countless books designed to help you declutter your life, but there’s a 70 percent chance the book itself will serve no other purpose than to add to the clutter – so what’s the trick?

First, go to a bookstore (or hop online) and read through a few pages of these books. Notice anything similar among them? Without a doubt, many will follow the “yes, no, maybe” routine of helping you sort through your clutter.

Forget that maybe, baby.

The trouble with this strategy is that we’re all too often stuck on “maybe” – for everything. Maybe we’ll get Starbucks today (yes, we will). Maybe we’ll wash the dog (no, we won’t).

How do we get around the maybe when it comes to clutter? Here are the questions you can ask yourself to find a way over the fence: 

Do I NEED it?

This is a straightforward question when answered with purpose. If you don’t know how or when you will need X, then you don’t need X.

Example: The stack of Cosmopolitan magazines from 2010 that you “just haven’t gotten around to reading yet.”

Does someone else need it MORE?

This is a question that can really help dislodge things that are still useful, but just not useful enough to justify the space required to store it.

Example: The baby stuff, now that your baby works in Tallahassee and doesn’t call as often as he should.

Does it really have VALUE?

Value can be actual or sentimental, which makes this question pretty tricky. But, if you can say X has neither actual nor sentimental value then it’s ripe for the chopping block.

Example: The two-foot-thick wedge of empty coat hangers on the floor of your closet.

Can it be better ORGANIZED?

The answer to this question is “yes” pretty much every time. For those things you just can’t live without, the best thing you can do is find a way to optimize your storage and organization.

Example: Check out our Storage & Organization Store for great ideas on how to address the mess in style. 

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