How do you make the decisions about what to keep and not keep? How can you tear yourself away from the clutter when your emotions get involved and you can't process weeding through all of the piles of stuff? How can you clear up your clutter, when everything seems so important or meaningful in the moment?
Sandra Felton, The Organizer Lady, says we should only keep things that are beautiful, or difficult to replace. If we all did that, we wouldn't have the clutter problems that we have.
So... What is the rule for letting things go?
Here it is:
You should keep what you want, and not keep what you don't want. It's that simple.
We don't want it all... but the problem is... in the moment we can't let it go.
I have a method that seems to work, and I'll share it with you. I call it, "Yes, No, Maybe."
- Yes - I want it and I know where it belongs.
- No - I don't want it, and it's going to charity, a designated person, or trash. (In other words, it's leaving.)
- Maybe - I don't know if I want it or not, or I want it but I don't know where it goes.
Here's how to clear off a surface using "Yes-No-Maybe:"
1. Select your surface
2. Pick up the first item. Ask yourself, "What is it? Do I want it?"
3. If it's a yes, put it where it belongs.
4. If it's a no, put it in the correct box (charity) (my sister) (etc.), or put it in the trash
5. If it's a maybe, put it in a box labeled "maybe" with the date and the room it came from.
6. Put all "maybe" boxes in a designated space.
7. After your surface is cleared off, you can go through the "maybe" boxes again using "yes-no-maybe. You'll be surprised at how much you can let go of the second time around.
Doing this exercise clears off your surfaces and helps you develop your "organizing muscles."
Have a terrific day!