Reader Diana recently e-mailed her process for deciding what stays and what goes when she is uncluttering. Simply stated, she asks:
If the answer is yes, she keeps the object or routine or whatever it is that she is examining. If her answer is no, she gets rid of it.
“Does this make my life better?” is a simple question. However, it’s important to think about what the question isn’t asking.
The word does is in the present tense. Diana isn’t asking if the thing did make her life better at some point in the past. She isn’t asking if it could maker her life better in the future. Nor is she asking if it should make things better based on other people’s perceptions. All she is asking is if it does make her life better, right now.
So often we hold onto things because they were once meaningful or because we think we might need them at some undetermined point in the future or because we worry about what other people will think if we get rid them. Asking the straightforward, “Does this make my life better?” allows you to avoid these cluttering scenarios and instead focus on the present.
Great advice, Diana. Thank you for the tip!