Half measures

half measureI’m much better at de-cluttering than I used to be. By which I mean, I make better decisions regarding what I want to keep, rather than trying to decide what to discard.

But one thing that helps me, when I get a bit dithery about making a decision, is taking a half-measure.

Rather than de-cluttering and disposing in one fell swoop, I pack things away – in a cupboard, in a suitcase, under the bed, whatever – just somewhere not obvious and where I can’t see them.

Then I re-visit them a couple of months later.

Quite often, there is a shame-faced realisation that I’d forgotten what was in the cupboard or suitcase. I had mentally let it go, long before I had even packed it away.

On the odd occasion, I will decide to retain an item. This can sometimes happen with a piece of clothing I got a bit tired of and seeing it again can re-kindle an old love. This is one of the reasons doing a capsule wardrobe seasonally suits me so well. I discover forgotten items of clothing that I haven’t seen for up to nine months and it’s like getting a whole new wardrobe!

If you feel you want to de-clutter, but find it too ‘final’, try the half measure:

  • It can reduce the stress of having to make a definitive decision on an item
  • By the time you re-visit it, your mind is pretty much made up
  • It gives you time to reflect
  • It makes future decisions a little easier
  • You get familiar with what you are likely to let go of permanently
  • If you change your mind, it’s easier to figure out why
  • It stops the ‘all or nothing’ scenario – because quite often, it’s all too easy to choose nothing!

Hope this might help anyone who wants to start de-cluttering but has some concerns about the first step.

Have a great week 😊

  10 comments for “Half measures

  1. February 1, 2019 at 7:58 am

    And it’s so lovely to have you back, Lisa ❤ Yes, when I started doing this, I was afraid it was a bit of avoidance but I've grown to like the reflective time it gives. And, for some items, especially sentimental ones, there may absolutely be a 'grieving period'. The whole point is to be more intentional, in whatever form works for you. Welcome back, my pet Lxxx

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  2. February 1, 2019 at 1:30 am

    I think this has to be one of the best ever decluttering tips, Lorraine! I have done this before and I agree that it’s an excellent strategy. What I like about it is that it’s purposeful but not impulsive or rushed. Sometimes I have done this because I honestly wasn’t sure if I wanted to get rid of something or not, and I just needed some reflection time, and sometimes it has been because I really wanted to get rid of an item but I felt I needed to go through some sort of ‘grieving period’ for it. The latter process sounds really bizarre, but whatever works, I guess! 😊It’s so lovely to be reading your posts again, Lorraine! xx

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  3. January 28, 2019 at 7:15 am

    I have finally cleared my ‘not sure if to keep’ boxes after my house move in 2017. Most of it still went, but I was pleased to find a rucksack as all my others had broken 👍🏼 Next for sorting is my scarf drawer. Well three drawers all that are over flowing 😬x

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    • January 28, 2019 at 8:49 am

      Hiya Nik, you’re proof that this technique works! You’re making such progress, I’m so impressed! Lxx

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  4. January 27, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Wonderful method for anyone who is struggling with liberating their lives from too many things. We used to do this with our kids toys. 99% of the time the box went straight to a donation center in a few months time. The items that made the cut to go back into circulation turned out to be more precious and appreciated. Like found friends! Why can’t this work for all of us as we grow up too?

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    • January 27, 2019 at 2:15 pm

      Love it, Laurel – we need to bring back those strategies that worked so well in our childhood, Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. January 27, 2019 at 10:50 am

    I tend to do the same. I still have my summer clothes, and a few pieces that I was unsure on keeping. I’ll dig them out in the next month or so and decide what to keep or donate. I’ll do the same when packing away my winter clothing x

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 27, 2019 at 10:53 am

      Hi there, thanks for your comment 🙂 It’s a handy way of making that final decision, isn’t it? Especially when you’re dealing with large categories like winter and summer clothes, Lxx

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      • January 27, 2019 at 11:01 am

        Yes I really good idea. Tbh my boyfriend normally retrieves the black bags first, and questions what’s inside. Then it hits me that it’s more clothes haha.. that’s a little push in itself! Have a lovely Sunday x

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