Below is an excerpt from The Clutter Book: When You Can’t Let Go, which is going to be published next month. I would appreciate any feedback you have to offer, in addition to completing the exercise at the bottom.
Clutter usually builds up gradually without your realizing. One day you find that you can’t open a door or move easily through a hallway or find what you’re looking for because there’s too much stuff. It got that way because you weren’t paying attention. Now that you’ve noticed, you can do something about it. You have to believe that you can live differently and that your time and effort are worth spending on creating the change.
Everyone has things come into their homes: paper, clothing, furniture, household goods, books, etc. Once things are in your house, either they become valued or they create clutter.
If you value something, you take good care of it by using it and storing it properly. Not everyone values the same things. Some people put a monetary value on items; others may highly value things that have sentimental meaning to them. You may also find that the things you value change over time.
Just because something cost a lot of money doesn’t make it valuable. Neither does age. People hold onto things thinking that they will sell them at some undetermined time in the future and make a lot of money. If you have a collection of items you are hoping to sell for a profit, keep in mind that most “limited-edition collectibles” do not increase in value. They are mass-produced and have limited appeal.
List four things in your home that you value highly, along with the reason each is valuable to you. Be specific about the reason; is something valuable because of the person who gave it to you or because of where you acquired it or because you paid a lot of money for it?