They say, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” but how can you tell the difference between this “trash” and “treasure?” Each item is not going to have a label on it, identifying it as junk or something of value, so for some items it can be a little more difficult to distinguish whether it should stay or go.
When going through belongings in an attempt to purge yourself of junk, make the process more effective by asking these questions:
- When was the last time I used this item? Is this an item I use regularly?
Has it been a week, a month, or a few years? Is it a seasonal item or one for regular use? If the item has been sitting collecting dust for a period of time, you most likely will not need it. If you have forgotten about the item for a while until you miraculously stumbled across it again, it may be time to part with it. Generally, it is a good time to part with belongings if it has been over a year since you’ve last used them (or even remembered their existence).
- Do I have this item due to obligation or expectation?
Was the belonging a gift from someone or a trend you felt obligated to follow? If you do not truly enjoy the item or have use for it, it is okay to trash or donate it (depending on its condition). Do not try to hold onto something you do not want just because it was a gift. It is your home and space, so keep what you want and need, not what others expect for you.
- Am I saving this item “just in case?”
Holding onto a metal detector in case you ever feel the desire to start treasure hunting? Have a zombie fighting kit in case the zombie apocalypse is unleashed? Sit down and think for a minute: Is this really necessary? Living life constantly thinking “if” and “just in case” will only limit you, and in the case of physical belongings, limit household space.
- Are there duplicates?
There is no need to keep multiples of the same items. If you have one blender do not keep the second because the chances of making two smoothies at the same time is pretty slim. Re-gift, donate, trash – it’s time to part with that duplicate item.
- Is there another item with a similar function?
Though not a duplicate of the same item, having an item with the same function is also unnecessary.
- Am I keeping a broken item with the intention of someday fixing it?
“Eventually,” “someday,” and “one of these days” sound very familiar? If the excuses keep piling up and that broken item still remains broken, it may be time to part with the item. Consider if it is worth fixing, if someone else can easily fix it, or if it is cheaper and easier to just buy a replacement.
- Is this item worth the storage space?
Each item takes up space within a property. No matter how small, materials will add up, decreasing available storage space. Consider if the item is worth taking up space within the home, and if the space could be used for something better.
Going through items can be a long, tedious process, especially if the residence contains a large collection of belongings. If time is not available or the project is too overwhelming to work on alone, professional help is available to make the process easier. Junk haulers will merely take the trash out instead of sorting and separating belongings. Address Our Mess is a specialty cleaning company that is able to help sort and organize the items with you, separating the trash from the treasure.