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The clutter is standing in your way of getting organized, so you are working through it. You are making a ton of progress and finally getting rid of junk, when suddenly you catch sight of it.
There it is. That box of pens that you haven’t really touched in years except to add more pens that you really don’t like to use.
Last week you were at the store and you bought yourself a new pack of pens, because you do have your favorite kinds that you like to use regularly, but … what if … what if you get rid of this box of pens and then you need a box of pens? That would be awful, wasteful, and just annoying.
So you get stuck. You were making great progress, but now you’re torn about this blasted box of pens.
For you, it may not be pens, it could be anything else – shoes, blankets, serving dishes, mugs, toys, books, papers, appliances, and more. The possibilities of what could get you stuck are endless. No matter the thing, your mental trick for breaking through these blocks is the same, even easy if you let it be.
Remind yourself of your goal: get rid of the clutter so I can get organized. I want to be organized so that ________ (fill in the blank). Then ask: Would I give up this box of pens to get organized? That simple question is the most powerful question to ask yourself.
I know that some of you reading this are fighting the simplicity right now. You might be thinking that a followup question might be – “Yeah, but would keeping this box of pens really get in my way of organizing?” In my work as a professional organizer, I’ve helped more people through decluttering than I can count. I’ve learned that a box of pens might be right for someone to keep and not for someone else, which is why I hesitate to say exactly what you should save and keep.
I mean, wouldn’t it be nice if I could just publish a list of approved household items and quantities, then you could just compare your belongings to the list? It is just not that simple, which is why I want to help train you how to ask yourself the right questions and trust YOUR answers. I want you to learn to be confident about what you keep and confident about what you pass on. When you are just learning how to truly let go and declutter, you have to take a few leaps of faith so that you can learn how it feels to land.
Ask yourself: Is this item worth my time debating it when I’ve got so much more work to do? Is this item worth living disorganized one more day? Is this item worth the time and effort to sort it, store it correctly, and maintain it? Be honest with yourself and your answers, so that you will start trusting yourself and declutter with confidence.
What is standing in your way of being organized?
(FYI – The picture is ironically of my favorite pens. I didn’t have a box of old ones for the picture.)