New Rules for Decluttering

To me, approaching minimalism mostly involves asking important questions about your stuff. Examples might be…

I have some new ones I’ve been trying lately:

  1. Would you miss this thing if it disappeared? Two situations in recent months led me to this question.
    1. Last fall, several people on my church leadership/serving teams fasted something of their choosing for 21 days. At the time, alcohol seemed like an appropriate thing to fast for me; I was coming home from work and immediately grabbing a beer most days to decompress. What ultimately came from that fast was the realization that I didn’t miss alcohol. I don’t think I’ve bought a drink since then.
    2. Just before Christmas, I was cleaning off my laptop and trying to get rid of a dual boot setup that I didn’t need anymore. Technical folks will understand how tricky that is, but suffice it to say that I broke the startup process and left the computer almost useless. After plenty of initial frustration, I realized that I had almost nothing important on it, and I eventually recovered the few important files I did have. In both instances, something habit or possession that I thought I enjoyed was actually not important at all.
  2. Did you remember that this thing even existed? If you’ve forgotten that you own something, it clearly isn’t adding any value to your life. As an indecisive person, this is a great one to ask when you aren’t sure if something is valuable or not.