Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Keep or Release?
Organizing can be so easy, yet at the same time the most dreaded task ever! It isn’t just putting stuff into a correct “place” so that you can find it again, it means getting rid of items that are weighing you down…..sometimes literally!
I don’t call it “throwing things out or hanging on to them”…I call it “keep or release.” Here is why…Webster Dictionary defines releasing as: to set free from restraint, confinement, or servitude; to relieve from something that confines, burdens, or oppresses. This is what the material, tangible stuff does…it weighs us down….and it is a weight that needs to be lifted! Still need convincing? Well...think of it this way: The pain of releasing something is mild compared to the pain of attempting to live with clutter. Don’t be a caretaker! The more items you have, the more items you will need to take care of!
Remember, Releasing Items is Easier if…
- you imagine you are moving! Is it worth the effort and expense to pack up the item?
- you enlist the help of a trusted friend to handle the items and you simply stand by and decide!
- there is an abundance of these items, think….do you really need more than one or two?
In my Professional Organizing classes, I learned to play the FAST game with clients. In this game, you determine if the item is a Friend, Acquaintance, Stranger or Threat. Here is how:
- Friend – this is an item you use often = KEEP
- Acquaintance – This is an item that you bought but haven’t or rarely used = KEEP for a given period and if it hasn’t been used, RELEASE or RELEASE right away
- Stranger – Haven’t used in a year or more = RELEASE
- Threat – An item that is harmful to you or your relationships = RELEASE
If an item is causing you significant stress to release, answer these questions to help:
- Have I used this item in the past year (for seasonal items) or 6-months for the rest? Yes/No
- Has anyone else in my home used it in the past year? Yes/No
- Do I have a definite use for this in the foreseeable future (no more than 6 months)? Yes/No
- If it is broken, is it worth fixing? Yes/ No
- Does this item serve a worthwhile purposed in my life? Yes/ No
- Do I need to keep it for legal or tax purposes? Yes/ No
- Is it more important to me to keep this item than to have the space it occupies? Yes/ No
- Do I love it? Yes/ No
- Does someone in my household love it? Yes/ No
- Would it be difficult or expensive for me to get another one? Yes/ No
- Is the item causing stress/tension in any relationship in my home? Yes/ No
If you have answered the questions and still have reservations about releasing the item, come back to it!
In my previous T & T post, I said to only begin with 10 minutes a day organizing. If you are ready to move past this, then I can only offer this advice to you: TAKE IT SLOW!
Do you have any areas that you are currently organizing? I want to know! I may even be able to help you! Please comment below.