Decluttering your home can be a stressful process. With each item you get rid of, it can feel like you’re getting rid of a part of yourself, and for a lot of people, this makes things difficult. But when it comes down to it, you can’t keep everything forever, and the best way to relieve yourself of that stress is to adopt a new mentality altogether regarding your possessions and personal things.

Naturally, it can be hard knowing where to begin when you want to undergo a paradigm shift. So, instead of making hard rules, sometimes it’s easier to have a list of questions to ask yourself when you get rid of something. By asking the right questions, it’s easier to come to a conclusion on whether or not you really want to keep the item in question.

Are you struggling with junk removal and decluttering? Here are five questions to ask yourself every time you want to get rid of something:

Does It Spark Joy?

If you’ve been up to date with pop culture lately, this phrase might already be familiar to you. It’s the iconic question that famous declutter expert Marie Kondo asks us to consider when we’re thinking of getting rid of something. Marie Kondo’s philosophies have been sweeping the country, due in no small part to her recently released Netflix show, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.

In a nutshell, Kondo has a famous piece of advice — ask yourself if your possessions “spark joy.” In other words, when you hold something in your hand, do you really, truly feel happy that you own it? Do you know for a fact that you would be measurably saddened if it wasn’t in your life anymore? Do you feel a sense of legitimate attachment that invokes emotion? If the answer is yes, the item may be sparking joy within you.

There are countless items and possessions that we feel indifferent about. While we don’t tend to hold onto things that we actively dislike, it’s very easy to build up a collection of possessions that we don’t have any strong feelings about at all, one way or the other. Kondo’s advice is to rid yourself of these items — unless they spark an obvious sense of joy and happiness in you, they have no place cluttering up your life.

Does it Have Utility?

Despite the fact that we should be holding onto things that make us happy, there are a lot of everyday items that we don’t think about much at all — but they’re worth keeping around anyway because they provide utility to your life.

Consider a pizza cutter. Is an everyday pizza cutter something that sparks joy to the average person? Probably not. But, if you find yourself eating pizza on the regular, it’s a tool that’s necessary and useful. Yes, you could use a knife and haphazardly cut the pizza instead, but why do that when you have this perfectly useful tool that gets regular use?

Kondo’s “sparking joy” philosophy isn’t the end-all, be-all of decluttering. If an item has a specific use that consistently provides utility to your life, it’s probably worth keeping around. Of course, “consistently” is the keyword. If you rarely use something, it might not be worth keeping around, which brings us to our next point:

How Often Is It Used?

There’s a certain point where utility becomes a non-issue, and that’s if the item almost never gets used. Granted, there’s a delicate ratio between price, availability, and utility that needs to be considered. If you have an expensive, industrial lawnmower that only gets used three times a year but it’s very handy those three times, it might be worth keeping because replacing it would be a hefty cost and a laborious chore.

On the other hand, suppose you have an apple cutter tool that you haven’t used in years. It’s a convenient tool that can cut up an apple into little pieces, so it provides utility. But if you find that you never, ever use it, what’s the point in keeping it around? This is a tool that costs $7 on average, and it’d be trivial just going to the store and buying a new one if you really did need one in the future.

In situations like this, it’s good to consider the 20/20 rule. The idea is that if it would take $20 or less to replace the item, in 20 minutes or less, it’s not worth keeping around if it doesn’t get frequent use. There are a lot of superfluous items in anyone’s home, and if they only get used once in a wild blue moon, they’re functionally useless. If an item is extremely easy and cheap to replace, you’re better off just repurchasing it later if you really do find yourself needing it.

One last thing — remember that the 20/20 rule is flexible. Depending on your time and income, you can adjust it according to your preference. Regardless of whether it’s 50/50, 30/30, or even 100/100, the important underlying concept is just finding a place to draw the line.

Junk Removal Services in Greater Baltimore

Deciding on which stuff to get rid of is one thing, but actually disposing of it is another. And if you’ve gone through the titanic effort of sifting through all your clutter, it’s helpful to have professionals around who can take care of the removal for you. That’s exactly what we do at Spartan Junk Removal — countless homeowners in the Greater Baltimore area have relied on us for quality junk removal and decluttering services, and we can even help you to go through your stuff and present new organization solutions.

Our junk removal and decluttering services are extensive — we can get rid of difficult items such as large furniture, mattresses, and hot tubs, and we also provide garage storage solutions. Decluttering is our specialty, and we’re all too happy to help you with it. Ready to get started? Contact us today!