Clutter Excuses

ClutterAccording to a National Association of Professional Organizers survey, 54% of Americans are overwhelmed by their clutter, and 78% find it too complicated to deal with.  Are you felling overwhelmed by clutter?  I understand that making decisions about what to keep and not keep can be difficult.  I also understand that when we don’t want to make decisions it’s easy to come up with excuses as to why we can’t let go of something.  I call them clutter excuses, and the best way to deal with them is to ask thought provoking questions, and to answer them honestly.  This helps determine if it’s time to stop making clutter excuses and let it go.

One of the most common clutter excuse I here is, “I might need it someday.”  We all have those tools, gadgets, and products that we can’t seem to let go of, even thought we haven’t touched them in years.  Answer these five questions truthfully to determine if it’s time to let it go.

  •  Honestly when can you see yourself using it?
  •  When is someday?  If it’s not in the next 3 years, let it go.
  •  What would the cost be if you did need to replace it?
  •  How much time would it take to replace it?
  •  How much effort would it take to replace it?

Another common clutter excuse I here is, “I paid a lot for it.”  We all have those items that we spent a bunch of money on, but they just didn’t work out, and we can’t seem to let them go.  That stinks, doesn’t it?  Answer these five questions truthfully to determine if it’s time to let it go.

  •  How long do you have to keep it to depreciate the value of it?
  •  If you hang on to it for another year will it have cost any less?
  •  Are you paying for your purchasing mistake with extended regret?
  •  The money is gone, why not let the item go also?
  •  Is there someone you know who will appreciate it?

“It’s valuable,” is another clutter excuse.  An amazing statistic is the average dollar amount of unopened, new merchandise in a typical American household is $7000.00  (Real Simple magazine 11-2012).  Answer these five questions truthfully to determine if it’s time to let it go.

  •  Do you know it’s real value and current worth?
  •  Are you considering the real value or the sentimental value?
  •  How valuable is it to you, personally?
  •  Is it realistically valuable to someone else?
  •  Is there someone you know who will appreciate it’s value?

Clutter happens, but if we don’t allow ourselves to use clutter excuses we can keep it under control.  Use these questions and let me know the outcome.

©March 2015   Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®  All rights reserved

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1 reply
  1. Trish Riecke
    Trish Riecke says:

    Thanks Janine! You always give great information! Hopefully this year will be THE YEAR we get rid of clutter. An incentive is that we just remodeled our bedroom. I had to empty my closet so my husband could paint the inside – I did get rid of quite a few clothes but still need to get rid of more!
    Thanks for keeping me on your mailing list!

    Reply

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