Have you noticed how questions make you stop and think? You take the time to consider your situation and your perspective, and then you answer. Even if you only say the answer in your mind, you are taking a stand.
Questions can help you analyze situations and get past roadblocks. It is easy to rationalize inactivity with excuses, but honestly answering questions can be just the nudge you need to get back on track. No deep philosophical discussions—just surprisingly simple questions that bring amazing results!
As you look around your home, ask these organizing questions:1. IS THIS ITEM BEAUTIFUL?
Life is really too short for ugly things! Or things that are stained, ripped, or broken beyond repair. Tattered towels and blankets can be donated to the animal shelter. Ugly clothes can donated and recycled as rags. William Morris said it best in 1880—“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
2. DOES THIS SERVE A PURPOSE IN MY CURRENT SEASON OF LIFE? We all have seasons of our life where we accumulate specific items for a particular need—kitchen items, baby items, sports equipment, to name a few. But our circumstances change as time passes and the reality is we keep stuff we don’t use or need. It is difficult to embrace new opportunities and adventures if we are using all of our time and energy constantly taking care of things from the past. Accept your current season with a measure of grace. Look at what you have with a fresh perspective.3. WHO NEEDS THIS ITEM MORE THAN I DO?
Once you realize you don’t need an item, you give yourself permission to pass it along to someone who does. And it doesn’t need to be someone in your family! Many local charities desperately need your extra household goods to help families in need right now, not 10 years down the road. Some charities, like Vietnam Vets and Habitat for Humanity will even come right to your door.
4. ARE THESE ITEMS KEEPING ME TRAPPED IN THE PAST? Most homes have many sentimental items—things that belonged to our children, things we received as gifts, or things we inherited from loved ones. Memories can be good and comforting, until they overwhelm our living spaces and drain our emotional energy. The reality is that you just can’t keep it all! You will do yourself a big favor by keeping only the best, the items that truly capture the essence of a treasured experience with a loved one. You will have room to use, display, and enjoy these special keepsakes rather than stuffing them in a box in the garage or attic. And by keeping less, you will automatically elevate the value of each item.5. AM I SAVING TOO MANY THINGS FOR SOMEDAY?
Are you burdened with smaller size clothes or unfinished craft projects? I suppose we might use these things some magical day in the future, but it is more likely that we won’t! Our preferences and desires change and that is OK. I can recall craft supplies that I found just the right containers for and even moved them 4 or 5 times, but never actually used—how crazy it that? Let’s remember that we don’t live in Antarctica; if I decide one day that I do want to use craft supplies, I can easily find them at my local stores. In the meantime, I want to spend less time saving things for that elusive someday and more time living and enjoying today.
6. DOES MY HOME REFLECT THE LIFE I REALLY WANT TO LIVE? Have you always wanted to host a book club or a family celebration? Have you wished for a dedicated craft room or home office? Do you want to enjoy calm and peaceful evenings at home? Most times it is an accumulation of clutter that keeps those wishes from coming true. Maybe it is finally time to honor those desires.
One of my favorite sayings is, “All the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of today.” What you do today matters. All those tiny steps and small actions make a difference. Take time to decide what you really want. Then list the steps you will take to get there. You will be pleasantly surprised as you gradually transform your ordinary house into a delightful home!
What amazing results have surprised you lately?
This blog post first appeared on
www.organizedbyolive.com on Wednesday, April 25, 2018.