This is a bit of a trick question, because nearly all of us can purge a few things at any time. And most of us could declutter a lot more. But, how can you tell whether or not it’s time to declutter?
For health reasons, is it expired?
Lots of things have expiration dates other than food. Don’t risk your well being by keeping things that are past their date. People hang on to cosmetics for years, but that is not recommended, especially if it’s something you put near your eyes. If you look on the label of the cosmetics there should be an image of a little jar with a number inside or next to it. The number is how many months you can safely keep the item.
Spices also expire. Whole spices expire 1-2 years from the manufacture date and ground spices and herbs are only good for 6 months. If you notice the colors are duller, that’s a good sign that they are not as flavorful. Vibrant, bright colored spices even look fresher. The smell also fades over time.
Is it something you have to have?
Do you really need this item? There are times when we receive gifts or make impulse purchases and we realize that the item really isn’t necessary or it doesn’t work in the way we expected. Don’t feel badly about it and let it go, or give it away to someone who does need it.
Did you ever get a gift you didn’t like?
Don’t let the guilt trip get inside your head. If you received a gift that is not a good fit for you, don’t let the item either collect dust or take up closet space. Find it a new home.
Do you have too many of something?
Multiple items can be real closet fillers. You might have something you like and use, but you have more of the items than you need. It could be four tennis rackets, dishes for 30 when you are a family of three people or a drawer full of old cell phones. These items can be donated so someone else can appreciate them.
Are you using it regularly? Or as much as you should?
Sports equipment and small appliances are often purchased hastily or on sale and then seldom used. Do you need it enough to allow it to take up precious storage space?
As you look at things around your home, you can determine whether they are objects you could live without or things you want to keep. If they are not expired, are useful or you love them, by all means keep them. But if they are taking up valuable storage space and doing nothing else, it is time to declutter and say goodbye.
If you feel like this job is just too much to handle right now, contact me. I’m happy to help you declutter your home.