To Keep or Not to Keep: That is The Question

The Organizing Professionals

“You’re going to make me throw out everything aren’t you?”  A question we hear regularly on our initial consultations with clients. Some expect us to charge in with iron fists (or fingers) pointing at items and demanding our clients undergo a mass purge.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Each member of our team possesses compassion, empathy and a non-judgmental attitude. I suspect, however, that if you’re reading this you either have a clutter challenge, a difficult time letting things go or both.  Here are the top three challenges many of our clients face when decluttering.

  1. “It was a gift.” I like to refute this statement with the following: When you give a gift, do you give it with strings attached? I doubt it. You give a gift to make someone happy not, so they feel compelled to keep it forever.  If you’re struggling to part with a gift, accept the fact it was (I hope) freely given to you to do with as you wish.  If that means donating it or giving it to someone else who would enjoy it more than you, so be it.


  1. “It was expensive.” I too am no stranger to ‘expensive purchase remorse.’ It’s not a pleasant feeling. However, the damage has been done. The item can no longer be returned and it’s now taking up space and making you feel bad every time you look at it. When personally facing this dilemma, I like to imagine the recipient of the item. Whether you sell or donate it, you brought a little (or maybe even a lot) of happiness to someone. How wonderful is that?


  1. “I may need this someday.” While that may be true. If you’re looking at an item that you haven’t worn or used in over a year there’s a reason why. Now if we were working one-on-one together, we would explore these reasons. Perhaps, you’re holding onto those pants until you fit into them again. Maybe you’re saving the 75-quart pot because you intend to resume cooking in large quantities.


Whatever your reasons for holding onto items, choices need to be made. The stronger you desire to live in a clutter-free environment, the more ruthless your decisions need to be. Bottom line, the more honest you are with yourself, the easier the process becomes.  Realistically, what are the chances you’ll fit into those pants again?  And even if it’s high, is it worth the space they (and the other wrong-size pants you own) are taking up?

If this article inspires you but you feel you would benefit from professional help, give us a call. We’d love to help you through the decluttering process so you can live a more peaceful, productive, organized life.