Clutter can become an issue because of an attachment we have to our things that we find it hard to let go. It is really important to address the attachment issue if we want to be successful in continuing to stay organised and have our clutter under control.
Many people have de-cluttered an area, only to find more stuff creeping in and the area becoming cluttered again. Others are unable to let go in the first place and the area remains cluttered.
A Decision Tree can help us visually work through why we are keeping hold of things and explore different options.
Looking at the four categories that our clutter usually falls into, I have given a simple example of a decision tree for each category (click on each image to make larger)…
Sentimental clutter – these are things with sentimental meaning but little financial value. It can be things like children’s toys or drawings, unused or unwanted gifts, school notes, and personal possessions of absent loved ones.
Just-in-case clutter – these things usually have little or no sentimental value but we think they might come in handy one day so we keep them just in case. Some examples would include kitchen utensils and equipment, old bills or bank statements, magazines, tools and stationery…some of us have a natural instinct to accumulate things in case we need them one day.
Bargain clutter – these are things that were either free or very cheap acquired at sales, from friends or family or ‘by the side of the road’ (bulk rubbish) which we have difficulty getting rid of because they were so cheap.
Impulse purchases – these are things we buy that end up never being used. Some examples would include clothes, fashion accessories and books. We can feel guilty for buying things that we don’t use but are unwilling to admit the purchase was a mistake.
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