One reason we accumulate so much clutter in our lives is because of the mentality that we just might need something again. The intention behind this rationale makes sense. It seems thrifty to keep the things you’ve spent money on and that could come in handy down the road. However, sometimes the cost to your emotional state is not worth the toll it takes to maintain these items. A good rule of thumb to consider is to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year. Read on for some tips on how to implement this philosophy.
Why the One-Year Rule
Objectively, if you haven’t used something in a year’s time, there’s a very good chance you don’t have a need for it. You could probably rent or borrow that item if you find you do need it in the future, rather than taking up valuable space in your home and mind. In addition, it’s quite likely you’ll never even miss many such items. Once you move through this process, you’ll probably find it much more of a relief than a loss.
Things to Consider
When implementing the one-year rule, there are some questions you can ask yourself to make the decision-making easier. If you’re unsure about whether to purge something, ask yourself if you can think of three times you might use that thing. You can also try to come up with ways you might use it within the next two weeks. Consider whether it’s something that duplicates the use of another item you own. There’s no use in having two possessions that serve the same purpose, yet one sits around unused. Finally, get honest with yourself as to why it is you haven’t used that particular item for a whole year. Chances are, the answer to this question will ease your worries about discarding it.
Exceptions to the Rule
Sure, there are some things you haven’t used in a year that are actually worth keeping and will likely be used again. However, these are exceptions to the rule. One item that comes to mind is special occasion clothing. Fancy dresses can be expensive. Hold onto it if it’s classic, you love it, and you’ll honestly wear it again. Seasonal items fall into this category, as well. You know you’ll need winter clothing and accessories again. Just be diligent in removing those that no longer fit or bring you happiness. Store them in an out-of-the-way place so they don’t clutter your everyday space. Some sentimental items and mementos can be included in this group. Some things are more meaningful than others. Get rid of the ones that aren’t emotionally significant. Digitise kids’ drawings, certificates, and photos when possible.
Give these suggestions a try to help you get rid of the stuff you rarely or never use. If you haven’t used it in a year, it might feel good to pitch it.