1. Would I buy it today?
Rather than focusing on how long ago you purchased something, or how much it cost, it’s most beneficial to evaluate your belongings through the lens of the present. By asking yourself if you would buy something today, you’re able to clarify whether it still truly appeals to you. After all, the act of paying money for something is incredibly illuminating of our intentions and desires.
2. Will I wear/use it tomorrow? This week?
Most people think that the best question to ask when decluttering is “when was the last time I wore/used this?” While that question is certainly a good starting place, the response to it is confined to the past. The answer is usually vague at best because truth be told, it’s difficult to recall when exactly the last time was that you wore that white button down. The past is a blur in our minds, and using it as a measure of whether or not to keep something doesn’t guarantee we’ll gain a definitive answer about any one item’s necessity.
As with the first question, asking yourself if you will wear or use a particular item now is ultimately more revealing of whether or not it should stick around.
3. Do I have space for it?
This is one of the most important questions, and one that often isn’t prioritized when decluttering. While your feelings about various belongings are vastly important, it’s ultimately your spatial means that decides what or how much stays and goes. You just can’t keep more than your space can accommodate. Or, you can, I suppose, but it won’t do you much good; overcrowding only decreases the accessibility to all things, limiting your ability to get to the items you truly love and need.
4. It is unique?
It’s important to consider your belongings in the context of a larger collection of things. Rather than evaluating an item on its own, it’s important to consider how it relates to the rest of your collection; do you own many versions of an item? If so, are there ones that are in better condition, or that you prefer for subtle reasons? By comparing like items against each other, you can better cultivate a well-rounded collection, full of unique pieces, each of which, then, serves a distinct purpose, and thus, earns it space in your home and in your life.
5. Does owning it/wearing it/using it make me feel good about myself?
This question is the bottom line when it comes to decluttering. Any material belongings you bring into your home, you do so on a voluntary basis. With that in mind, it’s just silly to surround yourself with anything other than that which makes you feel abundantly, overwhelming great about yourself, and, as an extension, your decisions and decision making process, your lifestyle choices, your core values. Surround yourself with things that make you feel beautiful, that conjure strictly happy memories, that make your life Simpler.