Keep vs. Toss: 4 Questions You Should Ask Yourself

2 Flares Filament.io 2 Flares ×

Organizing

Undoubtedly, one of the toughest things about organizing any area is determining what you should keep and what you should toss. You don’t want a room that’s stuffed to the gills with items you never even touch. But, by the same token, you’ll regret throwing out a bunch of things that you’ll eventually end up missing. Here are four questions you should ask yourself when faced with the “should it stay, or should it go?” dilemma.

1. “When is the last time I’ve used this?”

Nobody has unlimited storage space. And, keeping items that you never access can be a huge waste of precious storage real estate. When sifting through your belongings, think back to the last time you actually used each item. If you can’t remember using an item in the last year or so, it’s probably time to evaluate why you’re keeping it.

There are a few seasonal exceptions you should consider, such as holiday decorations or camping gear. Perhaps Christmas hasn’t rolled around yet, or you didn’t find time for your annual camping trip last summer. But, if you have no intention of using an item soon, it’s time to send it on its way.

2. “Do I have an emotional attachment to this?”

Of course, you don’t need to use every item you keep. Some things are worth hanging on to simply for their sentimental value. Just because you’ve packed away your favorite childhood stuffed animal or the blanket your grandma crocheted you before college, doesn’t mean these items don’t mean anything to you. Take the time to assess your emotional attachment to specific things, so you don’t end up tossing something you’ll regret! Treasured keepsakes and family heirlooms are worth keeping, even if you don’t use them on a frequent basis.

3. “Would somebody else appreciate and use this more than I do?”

If you feel torn about whether something should stay or go, weigh your options and brainstorm any people or organizations that may better appreciate that item. That old set of dishes you’ve been storing for years in your basement? Maybe your neighbor’s child would love those for their college apartment. All of those extra blankets you keep in a trunk at the foot of your bed? A local homeless shelter could make great use out of those.

Picturing where an item will go makes it easier to part with. Plus, you’ll get the added bonus of doing a great deed!

4. “Will I miss this?”

We’ve all discarded items on a whim and then lived to regret it. So, before getting rid of anything, make sure you really think about whether or not you’ll truly miss it. Remember, you don’t need to donate or toss castaway items immediately. Feel free to do a trial run, and move the collection all of your discarded items to a specific place for a week or so. If you wake up in a cold sweat obsessing over that unused toaster that you banished to the garage, you probably aren’t ready to part with it quite yet.

Making the difficult decision about whether to save an item or send it packing can be tough. But, it’s not impossible! Keep these questions in mind next time you’re sorting through belongings. They’ll help you reach a quick decision, and take some of the guesswork out of organizing!

Kat Boogaard

Kat Boogaard

Kat Boogaard is a Midwest-based freelance writer and blogger who loves lending her voice to a variety of publications and organizations. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she enjoys reading, babying her rescued terrier mutt and obsessively organizing her entire home.
Kat Boogaard
This entry was posted in self storage by Kat Boogaard. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kat Boogaard

Kat Boogaard is a Midwest-based freelance writer and blogger who loves lending her voice to a variety of publications and organizations. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she enjoys reading, babying her rescued terrier mutt and obsessively organizing her entire home.