As seen in the Dayton Daily News on March 25 2017.
In this week’s column, I am giving you a test. It is designed to get you thinking about how you have been living in your home and what changes you want to make moving forward. The test will help you objectively decide what to keep and what to part with when going through your belongings. Choose only one answer to each question. It’s not feasible to choose both answers.
Which is more important to you?
_____Peace of mind in the present.
_____Saving everything from your past to someday create a shrine of your life.
Which would you prefer?
_____A restful, peaceful bedroom where you can go to escape after a hard day.
_____A bedroom filled with unread magazines, stacks of books piled on dressers and outdated paperwork stashed everywhere. All of these things collect dust where you sleep, and you breathe it in nightly.
What sounds better?
_____A master closet containing the clothes and shoes you love, which can be easily found.
_____A closet stuffed with clothes that don’t fit, shoes that hurt your feet, past Halloween costumes, ignored memorabilia and dust covered purses you haven’t used in years.
Which kitchen would you prefer to cook in?
_____One with pots, pans and kitchen accessories that are easily accessible.
_____A kitchen filled with gadgets you never used, more plastic lids than you have containers for, expired foods in the back of the pantry and spice containers that plummet to the counter whenever the cabinet is opened.
Which makes more sense for your family?
_____Spending time sharing experiences together, while making new memories.
_____Saving every art project and piece of paper your children have brought home from school.Spending hours organizing them into different boxes. Sorting and labeling 10,000 plus pictures on your computer.
How do you think your deceased loved ones would want you to spend your time?
_____Donating most of their belongings so you can spend time doing something that would make them proud, like volunteering at their favorite charity.
_____Boxing up all of their stuff, labeling it and continually moving it around your storage areas, as you try to look for your own things.
What scenario is the most economical and offers the best safety options?
_____Having your car parked year round in your garage, so you can safely access it.
_____Storing toys, bikes, unused tools, old paint cans and outdated furniture you might pass on to your kids someday, while your bigger investment sits outside in all kinds of weather.
How do you want your friends and loved ones to celebrate your birthday?
_____Giving you clutter-free gift options, like treating you to dinner, a movie or getting manicures together.
_____Standing in line at retail stores shopping for gifts you probably don’t need.
If you chose the first answer for any of the questions, start eliminating the things from the second answer that are holding you back from the life you want to live. When you struggle to let go of something, refer back to the first answer so you remember what is important to you.