Welcome to www.OnlineOrganizing.com -- A World Of Organizing Solutions Your Order Your Shopping Cart About Us Contact Us Site Map
Do You Need Help Getting Organized?Shop For Organizing And Business Development ProductsProfessional Organizing ServicesFind A Seminar, Workshop, Or Keynote SpeakerRead Our Two Free Monthly NewslettersFree Organizing Tips And AdviceResources For Professional OrganizersLearn How To Become A Professional OrganizerUseful Organizing Website LinksUseful Organizing Website Links


Search for:

Category:

You Are Here: Home - Newsletters - "Get Organized" - Article

     Asking The Hard Questions


Let's talk for a few minutes about "waffling." You know what "WAFFLING" is, don't you? It begins one day, when you decide to get rid of that old waffle iron you never use. As you put it in the donation bag, you think to yourself, "But what if someone wants waffles?" You take it back out. Then you think, "Thatís silly. No one has wanted waffles in 5 years." You stick it back in the bag.†
SETTING GUIDELINES

This goes on for another 15 minutes until you finally think the unthinkable Ė "But I might need it someday." You put the waffle iron back in the cabinet, where it continues to collect dust for another 5 years. Why do you do this? Itís not because you are an evil and indecisive person. You have simply never had a solid set of CRITERIA for determining an itemís worth. No longer!
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU USED IT?

If you havenít touched something in the past 12 MONTHS, chances are that youíre not going to use it in the next 12. Clothes and sporting goods seem to be some of the worst offenders! Itís natural for people to have a hard time letting go of the past. And if an old outfit or a bowling ball really means that much to you, then put it away with your keepsakes. If you feel like you need to hang onto ancient financial paperwork, send it to offsite document storage. Just donít take up valuable space in your ACTIVE storage areas with items you donít use.
WILL I EVER NEED THIS AGAIN?

Be honest and realistic about this one! At what point will a green shag toilet-seat cover be crucial to your survival? If you can picture a specific, concrete instance when you will need it in the FORESEEABLE FUTURE, then by all means keep it. "I might need it someday" isnít a good enough rationale.
CAN I ANSWER THE 5 W's?

If you canít conjure up at least one plausible scenario requiring the use of that green shag toilet-seat cover or dot-matrix printer from 1988, you may want to ask yourself if it is worth hanging on to. Try to provide solid answers to each of these questions:
  • WHY WOULD I NEED IT?
  • Try to come up with one specific concrete occasion when you would need that†††† exact particular item again -- not just "I might need it someday."
    ††
  • WHERE WOULD I NEED IT?
  • If the item in question is only useful up north and you now live in Miami -- or only useful in a corporate environment and you're now self-employed, why keep it?
    ††
  • WHAT WOULD I NEED IT FOR?
  • What purpose does this item serve? Are you still involved with that activity? No reason to keep letterhead from an old job or tap shoes if you gave up dancing.

  • WHO WOULD ASK ME FOR IT?
  • People seem to hang onto stuff because they are afraid someone will ask them for it someday. If it's the IRS or the police, keep it. If not, think twice.

  • WHEN WOULD I NEED IT?
  • Okay, you might need it "someday" -- but when is will that day arrive? Three months or 35 years from now? Is it worth hanging onto that long?
IS IT EASILY REPLACEABLE?

Okay Ė- so letís say you do get rid of something, and then decide that you need it 6 months later (my mother claims this always happens to her, as a justification for postponing cleaning out!) This isnít always a problem. Ask yourself what would be required for you to REPLACE this lost treasure. If we are talking about an expensive or hard-to-find item, you are certainly justified in thinking twice before tossing it. You have to consider cost versus benefit Ė- it may cost you more (in time, space, energy, or money) to keep the item than to replace it IF and WHEN you ever need it.
WHAT IS THE WORST THING THAT WOULD HAPPEN?

When my clients are anxious about discarding an item, they are really saying, "Iím afraid of what might happen if I got rid of it." This is simply fear of the UNKNOWN -Ė uncertainty about the consequences of their actions. So I ask my clients to let their apprehensions run wild, and to imagine the absolute WORST-CASE scenario. Quite often, the worst-case scenario is not that bad. Will the world end if you toss out that ring binder you havenít used since college? Probably not. This knowledge helps dissipate the fear and makes letting go a little easier.

 

Copyright Ramona Creel, all rights reserved-- you are welcome to reprint any article, but you MUST include this resource box.

Ramona Creel is a modern Renaissance woman and guru of simplicity -- traveling the country as a full-time RVer, sharing her story of radically downsizing, and inspiring others to regain control of their own lives. As a Professional Organizer and Accountability Coach, Ramona will help you create the time and space to focus on your true priorities -- clearing away the clutter other obstacles and standing in the way of that life you've always wanted to be living. As a Professional Photographer, Ramona captures powerful images of places and people as she travels. And as a travel writer, social commentator, and blogger, she shares her experiences and insights about the world as we know it. You can see all these sides of Ramona -- read her articles, browse through her photographs, and even hire her to help get your life in order -- at www.RamonaCreel.com. And be sure to follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

online cash advancesquick loannational paydayinstallment loans onlinepay day max


Would you like to reprint this article in your publication -- or distribute it to a wider audience? Click here for reprinting instructions.

Want to receive these kind of articles via e-mail each month? Sign up for a free newsletter subscription.

Click here to return to "Get Organized" -- October 2000...

Add this page to your Bookmarks!

E-mail this page to a friend!







www.OnlineOrganizing.com is a service mark of Bradford, LLC.
Content on this site is © Bradford, LLC, All rights reserved.

If you notice any problems with this site, please contact our webmaster.
And if you don't see what you need you are welcome to "ask the organizer" any question!

To see what people are saying about www.OnlineOrganizing.com, check out our visitor comments.

Click here to view our privacy policy.

Calendar Of Organizing Holidays And Events Blog Central Sign Up For Our Free Online Newsletters Join The Conversation At Our Organizing Discussion Board Advertise Your Company On Our Website Be An Affiliate Of www.OnlineOrganizing.com
Check Us Out On FaceBook