Answer These and You’ll be Light

If you’ve worked with me to organize your time, mind or space, this blog will not come as a surprise.  Or maybe it will, because the concept I suggest can be difficult to grasp all the time.  So reminders are always good.

When you are looking to lighten your load – whether to down size, because you’re being suffocated by stuff, or because it is  September and it seems like a good a time as any to purge – there are three questions you have to ask yourself.  And you might have to ask yourself the questions for more than one item. For all items!  It doesn’t matter.

Asking these questions and answering them will lead to lightness.

I promise!  They aren’t difficult questions to ask; but they might be difficult to answer.  And that is where, if you are being honest with yourself, you know you are on to something.  The harder it is to answer honestly, the more digging might be needed.  The more emotional the item might be.  The more you probably need to question why you are keeping it.

Ask these:

  1. Do you like it? I mean, like do you really like it?  Not, do you like the person who gave it to you.  Do you like the actual item –  first instinct, yes or no?  If you answer yes, move to question two.  If you answer no, kindly put said item in a bag to donate or to trash.
  2. Do you need it? This trips people up because most people who like something can justify why they need it.  I usually hear, “I need it just in case.” Really. Just in case what?  If you can honestly answer yes to needing it and can give concrete reasons why, then move on to question three.  If you, however, realize that you want to need it but in fact you have two others like it, or you just don’t have the same need for it as you did when you first bought it, swiftly put it into a bag to give to someone who really does need it.  Thank you.
  3. Does it beautify your space or inform your purpose? And do you use it?  Similar to “Do you need it”, people find ways to  justify that they have used an item – even though they can’t remember when was the last time.  If you answer yes to this question, congratulations! You can confidently put that item where it belongs.  If you can’t give a good reason when you’d use it – perhaps you need to revisit question 2.  Or, perhaps you just need to bag it up and move it out.

Remember, the items that don’t fit the purpose of your life or your space can work beautifully for someone else. You hang on to it, they never get that chance. {How’s that for guilt?}. The bottom line is that the things you own should beautify your space and should have a purpose – a real reason for being in your space.  Otherwise, they start to take on the shape of clutter.  They get shifted around from one area to another, never really making sense. Never really having the worth you deserve for the items around you to have. What’s the point of keeping things like that?

This questioning goes for thoughts and people, too.

It gets a little deeper when we think about our thoughts but if you are game, give it a try.  Do you like the thoughts you think?  Do you need them? Are they serving a purpose that you can use to be your best self?

We should probably ask these questions and then some with people more often.  How many people have run their course?  You probably like them but maybe they just hang on the periphery of your life with only one foot really in the relationship. Are they serving a purpose in your life that allows you to breath?

And isn’t that what it is all about?  Breathing.  Feeling a lightness because the choices you have made allow you to really see the things and the people and the thoughts in your life that matter, that make you happiest, that fulfill. It’s why minimalism works (and why as I write here it can often get a bad rap).

You want lightness in your space, in your life?  You not only have to do the work of asking the questions; you gotta answer them honestly.  They will lead you to the answers you seek.

And to all the lightness you deserve.


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