Touch each item once.
Any project I tackle with someone, I insist we touch each item once. Chances are when you think everything in a box is a keeper, when it’s opened half of it goes!
For several reasons, making sure you touch everything once, is important. First, you really get to see each item for what it by itself. That book on a past job, is that really needed? But if you look at the books as a whole that fit nicely on a shelf, you may think they are just fine. But what if you had half the shelf for something else? Or just breathing room to simplify!
Second, you get to ask where it should be stored based on what it is and how you use it. This is really important if you trying to establish a clear function for the room being done. An overfull storage room may be turning into a guest room or office. You will need the space to hold the items for those functions. A piece of exercise equipment doesn’t “fit” that function. Doing this for even the smallest of items helps clear the space for the chosen function.
Third, we put off decisions, even if the decision is to throw it out. If you force yourself to touch each item and put it where it truly belongs – for a lot that decision may be the trash, recycling or donation box – you will finally make the decision! Clutter is by definition a delayed decision. By finally making the decision, you will instantly have a room that is more functional because you have eliminated the excess.
Lastly, you will really know what you have and where it is. We lose stuff in our homes. We forget what we have. In this treasure hunt of touching each item you will find clearly valuable and useful items. I usually unearth money and not small funds in sessions! You can’t use what you don’t know you have or can’t find. Doing this makes sense and cents! Using what you have and foregoing new purchases saves money too!
Touching each item once works to clear clutter and bring clarity to your pocessions.