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what if I get rid of all my crap and miss it?

  This is one of the most common questions I get about downsizing, reducing clutter and cleaning out your closet...

what if I miss my stuff???

my response:

1. you probably won't

2. get a new one

3. find a hobby

4. find another hobby

As you're minimizing and clearing out your crap you've probably stared at a few items blankly, wondering which pile it should go in; donate, sell, trash or keep.

Maybe that trinket jumped from the donate pile to your keep file...ALL BY ITSELF, like MAGIC!

What if you throw out the gift from your aunt from 12 years ago? Will she come over next week demanding to see it?

What if I throw out those jeans I haven't been able to squeeze my ass into for 3 years and I magically lose 10 lbs and need them next week?

All good questions. This is tough, I get it. But honestly, after tossing a dumpster's worth of crap (I seriously did this) and donating dozens of bags, I can honestly tell you I haven't missed a single thing.

When you're spring cleaning and aren't sure if you really should part with that statue of a kid with his hands in prayer you got from communion in the 2nd grade, as yourself these questions?

  1. Does it serve a purpose in my life? If it makes your life easier/better/happier, keep it.
  2. Does it make me feel warm and fuzzy? Keep it, but if your warm fuzzy pile resembles an episode of hoarders, dial it down
  3. Why am I saving this? If there's no good reason, ship it out.
  4. How often do I use it? If the answer is less than once a year, it's taking up space in your home and your life.
  5. Would I replace it if it were stolen/burned in a fire/broken tomorrow? If the answer is no, you know what to do.

Sometimes you just can't part with something, but know you need to, here's some ideas to make it a little less painful:

  1. give it to someone you love who will look after it
  2. donate it to a charity near and dear to you
  3. sell it and donate the money, or buy yourself something you need
  4. take a picture of it and start a virtual photo album, this is perfect for things like the giant stuffed bear you just couldn't bear to part with. If you're doing this for kids, create an album for each kid. Your little ones will totally appreciate that you took a picture of their old blankie instead of saving the barf and snot-stained pile of shreds

PS - You might also like, less space = less stuff = more life and less is more: lessons in downsizing.