A Nine-Point Checklist For Identifying Clutter

Just because something's put away nicely in an out-of-the-way spot, doesn't mean it's not taking up space and causing you future harm when it comes time to clean out. That's one of nine lessons derived from a helpful clutter identification checklist.

The list comes from Gretchen Rubin, author of the Happiness Project and this guest post at the Zen Habits blog, which reads like it comes from the place inside most of us where bad excuses for keeping unnecessary things comes from. Among her nine criteria for identifying clutter:

  • Would I replace it if it were broken or lost? If not, I must not really need it.
  • Does it seem potentially useful-but never actually gets used? Something like an oversized water-bottle, a corkscrew with an exotic mechanism, or a tiny vase. Or duplicates. How many spare glass jars did I need to keep on hand?
  • Was I "saving" it? Leaving bath gel in the tube, or hoarding my favourite stationery in a desk drawer, was as wasteful as never using these things. Spend out!

To defeat my own "But maybe we'll need an extra three or four USB cables!" tendencies, I've previously used the six-month "maybe" box. If it sat in the box for six months and I didn't touch it, it wasn't meant for this house. How do you overcome your worst impulses to save for saving's sake?

Nine Quick Tips to Identify Clutter [Zen Habits via BoingBoing]


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