Decluttering Mantra

As I was packing up our apartment for the move to our new house, I wrote on a piece of paper the following quote I read in one of those forwarded e-mails:

"Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful"

I then hung it on my large picture mirror so that I saw it everyday as I was packing. I was able to let go and get rid of quite a few boxes of stuff before we actually moved (like 5 paper ream sized boxes) - and for the individual de-cluttering, it's one of the best mantras I've ever read!

I think the reason I was able to get rid of so much is because it helped me form the right questions to ask myself when I was going through my 'stuff'

1) Is it REALLY going to be useful in the next year? If not, get rid of it. The law of abundance will bring a similar item back to you if you need it in the future. Until then, if you don't have an immediate need for it, get rid of it!

2) Do you really think this item is beautiful or aesthetically pleasing? Or have you just had it for so long you are 'used' to it? Does this item fit into the overall scheme you want for your house? If not, get rid of it.

3) Does this item bring back joyful or painful memories? If it brings back painful memories, you should get rid of it! I have held onto papers, pictures and evaluations of my work for the last 25 years of my life just because it was part of my personal history. But then I realized that if re-reading or looking at older pictures brought back painful or hurtful or left-out feelings (like so many high school activity pictures do), then I shouldn't hold onto it because it is only helping to harbor feelings of angst, betrayal and sadness. I helped a friend destroy her wedding pictures after she was divorced. I think it was very therapeutic for her since the marriage didn't hold too many happy memories. She also didn't have children so she didn't need to hold onto the pictures to show her children their parents' wedding day. But even if you have children you can choose to keep a picture for each child and destroy the rest.

If you've ever gotten the "Lessons Life Taught Me" e-mail/powerpoint attributed to Regina Brett, this mantra should be familiar to you.


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