Can’t Decide? Set it Aside…

Day 365 + ???? (who’s counting) of the pandemic and it seems like everyone is decluttering. We’re all trying to hold true to our reoccurring New Year’s Resolution to ”Get Organized.” Organized can mean different things to each of us but it usually involves sorting and culling categories of stuff.

In our experience, there are always three decision buckets your stuff will fall into: Yes, No, and Maybe.

  • Yes! You love it. Easy-peasy, you’re gonna keep this. It goes back to wherever it came.
  • No! You hate this thing. Always have and you know you will never use it.
    It lands in the “NO” pile (for donate, resale, or regift)
    This kind of conviction can only come after you allow yourself to truly let go (despite how much money you spent or which favorite aunt gifted it to you)
  • I don’t know or Maybe? These are the items that you really need to ponder.

    Our NAPO colleague, Barbara Hemphill, coined this brilliant definition:

Clutter is Postponed Decisions.™

Barbara Hemphill

We postpone deciding:

  • Do I really love it?
  • Will I use it?
  • Does it fill a void in my life?
  • If I’m keeping it, where should it live?

Deciding is important — but NOT while you’re in the initial stages of rapid-fire, gut reactions to your stuff. Follow our time-saving advice: DEFER your decision for the “maybes” and “I don’t knows.”

Schedule time with yourself — on a separate day — when your mind is fresh. Technically, it’s called time chunking. In practice, one organizing session is dedicated to quick, visceral decisions. Another for contemplative, thoughtful and reasoned thinking.

Permission granted to defer your decision on all of your “maybes” and “I don’t knows” – not because pushing off until tomorrow is a winning strategy. Permission granted because setting aside the necessary time to consider what deserves a place and space in your life is worthy of your full attention. In this case, deferring the decision is a smart move.

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