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  • Writer's pictureChristine Douglas

Only Keep What You Love, Use, and Need

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

It’s the month of LOVE so what better time to start my monthly blogs about what I LOVE to help people with. In the upcoming monthly posts I’ll be sharing my methods, tips, and suggestions on decluttering, downsizing, and organizing.

Let’s get started with some basics. A common comment I get is “I’m feeling overwhelmed with my clutter and I don’t know where to start.” You may have just moved, or are getting ready to move, or you may have been living in your home for years and stuff has accumulated because more came in than went out. Wherever you are in your life, just starting out, busy with a career and family or thinking about downsizing to a smaller home today is the best time to start decluttering and simplifying your life.

The more things you own the more time you have to spend managing them. My goal is to help you have less stuff to manage so you can spend more time doing the things you love. We all have gifts and you should be out in the world sharing them not home dealing with your stuff or wasting time looking for things you can’t find.

So how do you know what to keep and what is ok to let go off? My easy tip on this is ask yourself if you love, use, or need it? You should be able to say yes to two of these questions.. This works for 99% of things.

For example, let’s say you have a lot of mugs. Many of my clients have an excess of mugs. My house used to have this issue also because people love to give mugs and candles as gifts.

Step 1-Pull out all of your mugs from your cabinets and place them on the counter. Look at each one and ask yourself, “do I love it?” Set aside all of the mugs you love and see how many are left. Some clients will say “but I love them all.” You know who you are. Love test: ask yourself, “did someone special give it to me, it is my favorite color, is there a fun story behind it?”

Step 2- Ask yourself, “when was the last time I used it?” If you’re sorting clothes you’d ask “when was the last time I wore it? Do I feel fabulous in this?” If you haven’t used it or worn it in the past 3 to 6 months(excluding seasonal changes) you probably don’t need to keep it. Set aside all the mugs(or other items) you haven’t used for donation.

Step 3-Ask yourself if you need it? Yes, you do need to keep some mugs for tea or coffee but how many do you really need? That depends on how many people live in your house and how many like to drink hot beverages. Your cabinet space will also help you determine how many to keep. You have to decide how much square footage you want to give to every category of things in your home. If you don’t drink coffee or tea then mugs shouldn’t get two shelves in your kitchen. I have a family of four and we have ten, one fun mug per person and six others for when we have guests. This gives us enough if we all want to have a drink together. I have two teenagers so that rarely happens now and there are plenty of mugs if we have guests.

This method even works for toothbrushes. We probably don’t love our toothbrush but we use and need it so it gets to stay. One or two in backstock is all you really need if you have an unexpected guest or you’re ready to replace yours. Once you replace it or give it to a guest you add toothbrush to your shopping list.

When you’re out doing what you love it makes the world a better place so don’t wait get started now. Your stuff didn’t show up overnight so it may take awhile to go through it.. Take it one category at a time. If you have questions let me know. Look out for my simple S.E.O. (Sort, Edit, Organize) method of organizing to jump start your Spring cleaning next month.

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