One Question That Helps With Decluttering

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We are all guilty of it – having more than we want or need in our home! There are times when we say, “Enough is enough” and decide to declutter. Clutter distracts the mind and prevents it from thinking clearly. There is a simple question that really helps when deciding if an item stays or goes,

“Is it uplifting or useful?”

Ask yourself this question every time you pick up an item in your home. It is also a good question to ask when you go to buy or get an item that will go into your home, for example, decorations, clothing, personal care items, kitchen items, or even tools. 

Don’t just buy something because it is on sale or keep something that is neither uplifting or useful just because a nice person gave it to you for Christmas. I realise that some people get uplifted from a “shopping high”, but how often does that turn into “buyer’s remorse” and yet another unused or unappreciated item to get rid of?  

Let me share with you a real-time example of when I recently had to ask the question, “Is it uplifting or useful?”

This last weekend I was helping to unpack my mother-in-law’s house to get it ready for sale. She had to suddenly go into a high care facility and leave us all to pack up 60 years of belongings and memories. 

She has an extensive glass ornament collection that she had collected with her husband on weekend trips to second-hand stores. Because they remind her of those joyful excursions with her late husband, she was saddened at the thought of giving them away or selling them. These items create joy so are UPLIFTING to her! 

I wanted to help, so I took home some of the items that matched the colour scheme in my house and would therefore uplift me. However, by taking them home, I then had the dilemma of trying to fit them into my already full display cabinet. I wasn’t going to stash them in a cupboard. Hidden away they would not be visible to be UPLIFTING and certainly not be USEFUL by simply taking up space. So, I had to cull some items by asking the question, are they uplifting or useful? 

Here is the result of my new-look display cabinet! Decorating in coordinating colours brings me great joy and satisfies my creative side. Though I want to stress that this is a hobby of mine and not something that everyone enjoys or has to do to have a harmonious home.

Each item in my display cabinet is now UPLIFTING to me and the vases are also USEFUL. These items uplift me because I find them beautiful, and each reminds me of the person who gave them to me or the joyous story of when or where I bought them. For your interest, the six things in this display cabinet that I did buy were bought for under $10 or for under $20 from a second-hand store. Someone else’s trash became my treasure.

As a bonus, every time my mother-in-law visits, she will find the orange glass pieces UPLIFTING as they remind her once again of the excursions with her adored late husband.

How about tonight you look at one item in your home and decide whether it is UPLIFTING or USEFUL? If the answer is “no” to both then perhaps pass it on to someone who might be able to say “yes” to either or both.