The act of getting rid of clutter isn’t difficult. You just carry it outside of your home. Determining what counts as clutter is harder. If you’re not sure if you can part with something, ask yourself, “Is this beautiful or useful?”
Photo by ashton.
As minimalist lifestyle site The Art of Simple explains, this handy phrase gives you two options for keeping something. Obviously, if something is useful then you have a pressing need to keep it. However, most of us have things that we keep around for personal reasons as well. They may not be practical, but we find them beautiful. If your junk can fit into one of these two categories, that’s enough reason to keep it. For the rest? Chuck it.
Get rid of absolutely everything that doesn’t give life to your life. I ask myself this question about everything with my four walls: “Is this thing beautiful or useful?” If it is, I keep it, guilt-free. If it’s not beautiful or useful (to me or to someone who lives with me), I ask: Why am I keeping this? Do I feel guilty at the thought of letting go? Am I holding on “just in case?”
Of course, even then you’ll have to use some judgment on what really matters. If you try hard enough, you can probably find the beauty in that fourth pair of toenail clippers in the bathroom, but you know deep down you’re fooling yourself. As long as you approach this mindset with a bit of moderation, you have a handy way to get rid of your junk while keeping the stuff that matters.
Three truths about decluttering: an invitation [The Art of Simple]