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3 Ways to Determine if You Should Keep Something

February 5, 2019

If Netflix has taught us one thing, it’s that there’s no time like the present for a fresh start, and achieving a clean slate is letting go of our excessive stuff! We tend to hold on to things we don’t use, don’t need, or don’t even enjoy owning. Instead of serving us, this clutter actually weighs us down. It’s true, deciding what to keep and what to get rid of can be a difficult task. Because of our emotional attachments to things, it can be very hard to let go of something. Don’t let this intimidate you. Stick to these three simple rules to help you determine whether you should keep something or let it go, and consider your slate lighter, brighter, and cleaner in 2019:

The last wear/use rule

Have you worn that t-shirt in the last six months? Or lit that candle? Unless the item you’re considering tossing can only be used at certain times of the year (e.g. holiday decorations or beach chairs), a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself whether or not you’ve used it or worn it in the last six months. If the answer is no, throw it out. If the answer is yes, it’s yours to keep.

Does this spark joy?

In her Netflix series and the book that inspired it, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, professional organizer Marie Kondo spells out her number one rule for deciding whether or not it’s time to get rid of something: hold that item in your hand and ask yourself: “Does this spark joy?” If the answer is ‘no,’ and it’s  something you don’t use often, get rid of it. If the answer is ‘yes,’ this item does spark joy, keep it. 

If you find yourself answering ‘yes’ to everything you hold in your hand, Kondo suggests just keeping a “hall of fame.” Book lovers may answer ‘yes’ to every book they own, but the reality is they won’t actually read each one again. The solution is just to keep those that have been exceptionally meaningful while letting go of the rest.

How much is it worth to ME?

Often we make the mistake of holding on to things that were meaningful to us ten years ago, like that favorite shirt we had in college, or those love letters from a high school flame. But if an object is no longer meaningful to the person you are today, or no longer has a place in the life you are leading now, then it’s probably time to let it go. This rule asks you to cast aside all emotional attachment you had to an object at another point in your life, as well as any memory of what you once paid for it. In return, you’ll get an emptier closet, a weight lifted off of your shoulders, and greater peace of mind.

Applying these three simple rules should help you cut down on excess stuff, but you might determine that you stil need bigger closets or more space! If that’s the case, we can help. Check out our listings to find an apartment that suits all of your needs and has space for all your items that spark joy. 

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