I suppose this is technically a guest post by my father.
Years ago I asked him what questions he thought one should ask when deciding to keep or toss an item. This is what he came up with:
1. Do I need it or just want it?
2. When's the last time I used it?
3. Can I live without it (hint: if it's not food or water, the answer is yes).
4. Does it have familial or personal value?
5. Does it have historical or collector value?
6. If it has historical or collector value, do I personally like it? Or should I sell it? Is it even worth anything?
7. Do I really need 20 pairs of shoes? Do I wear them all?
8. Can this be, or has it already been replaced by a newer version that works better?
9. Does this item control me? Who's the boss?
10. I've had this item for 10 years, but never used it. Will I ever use it?
11. Am I happier when my things enclose upon me or when I can move freely with no clutter?
12. When's the last time I looked through my 482 past issues of National Geographic?
13. They've always liked this, but I can't stand it. Would it make us all happy to give it to them?
14. It's old and broken, but I'll fix it someday and find a place to put it. Oh wait..I said that 15 years ago. Maybe it's time for this to go?
15. Do I need all of these 78 speed phonograph records that I've never listened to because I have nothing to play them on? Or should I sell them to the collector that said he'd buy them all?
16. Do I worry about things I have, but never use? I have enough worry without them.
17. If I had a dime for every time I went through these boxes looking for something, I'd be rich. Maybe it's time to pare down.
18. Someday I'll lose enough weight to wear these again. Right. Even it that happens, these probably won't be in style anyway.
19. Do an uncluttered mind and an uncluttered house have anything in common?
Next time you feel overwhelmed, ask yourself a few of these beauties. Keep it simple, let it go.