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Beyond Joy: Questions to Ask When You’re Decluttering

Organizing expert Marie Kondo suggests that you ask yourself just one question when decluttering your home: “Does it bring me joy?”

The idea that everything you own should bring you joy is lovely, but hard to put into practice. Chances are, you’re not going to feel “joyful” about a variety of things in your home that you will want to keep.

To help you decide whether something is really worth holding on to, we suggest you go beyond joy and ask yourself the five sorting questions below. Each one requires just a simple YES/NO answer. If you take one thing at a time and you’re honest with yourself, you’ll find it’s easy to decide whether something stays or goes.

The 5 Does-It-Stay-or-Does-It Go? Questions

1. Do I love it?
YES:  Keep it!
NO:  Go on to Question 2.

2. Do I use it?
YES:  Keep it! If you don’t love it, but you use it, it’s worth keeping.
NO:   You don’t love it and you don’t use it?  Why hold onto it? If
you’re still holding on, continue to Question 3.

3. Do I need it?
YES:  You don’t love or use it, but you need it?!?  Evidently, you don’t
need it very often. If you can rent or borrow one, let it go. If you still
want to keep it, ask yourself Question 4 before you decide.
NO:   You don’t love, use or need it. Let it go.

4. Do I have a place for it?
YES:  You feel you need it, even though you don’t use it often, and you
have somewhere to store it? Go to Question 5.
NO:   You use it infrequently, and you don’t have space for it? TIme to
pass it on.

5. Do I have another one like it?
YES:  You have more of one of something you hardly use? Chances are,
it’s in your kitchen drawers. Keep one, and let the others go.
NO:   If it’s something you hard use, but you know you’ll need it
sometime, and you have space for it, and it’s the only one you have
then keep it. Otherwise, pass it on.

Print out these questions and keep them with you while you’re decluttering. Be sure you have a clear reason to keep something before deciding to hold onto it.

Like any new skill, making decisions gets easier the more you do it. So
keep practicing! And if you’re wondering what to you do with everything you’re giving up — we’ll talk about that in our next newsletter!

Making “keep or toss” decisions about your stuff can be challenging. If you feel you could use some hands-on help, call On The Move. If the question is “Can you help?” the answer is always “Yes!”


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