Decluttering is simple in theory. Then we start going through our stuff and find it’s not so easy after all. We give all sorts of reasons to keep things even if they no longer fit our life. So how do you decide what to keep and what to get rid of?

As you go through you your home, office, or life in general, there’s a simple series of questions you can ask yourself.

To Keep or Not to Keep?
  1. Do I like it? (You’d be amazed how many things we keep that we don’t actually like—because someone gave it to us, it’s perfectly good, we bought it and never ended up using it, etc).
  2. Do I use it? How often? When was the last time?
  3. Do I have anything else like it? If so, do I need all that I have? (Really, you need four can openers? I don’t think so.)
  4. Does it make me feel good (lighter) or bad (heavier)? If it reminds you of a friend you no longer have, a time in your life you’re happy is over, a picture that reminds you of the most awkward phase of your life, or in any other way triggers bad feelings, let it go.

These questions don’t just apply to clearing out your closets. People, activities, and other commitments can be clutter too. The questions might vary, but what you’re really asking is Do I want this in my life? Does it take up room (in space, time, or energy) that could be better used?

Ultimately, what you’re doing when you let go of what no longer serves you is creating space so what you love can enter. You create space for how you want to live.

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