Deciding When To Keep Or Chuck Old Items

29 January 2020

There are those of us out there that have a little problem: hoarding. Sometimes we find ourselves holding onto every item we pick up. Occasionally, it’s specific items that we like to collect. Perhaps you have an old shoe collection with mint condition laces. Over in a corner might be your vintage belt buckles. Other times these collections are less specific, and more chaotic as people are unable to part with anything, no matter what it is.

storage unit full of boxes

This is all well and good, but it can turn into a major problem for some people. Houses piled up with an assortment of items, leaving no room to move. Expanding out to a storage unit can trim down on the clutter at home, but if you’re a really bad hoarder, it’s only a matter of time before things pile up again. You’d end up with a lot more stuff, now in two locations!

So what is one to do about this? The obvious thing would be to downsize your horde of treasure, though some find that truly difficult, hence certain problems. Hoarding is a real and serious mental condition, and it needs to be handled carefully. We’ll take a look at that topic another time, for now we will focus on less serious cases. To that end, let us introduce the six month rule.

The 6 Month Rule

This rule is more of a general guideline, as it may not apply to certain specific items, but we’ll get into that later. So what is the 6 month rule? Put simply, if you have an item that you haven’t used in the last six months, and you can’t see yourself using it in the next 6 months, then get rid of it. There we go, it’s that simple.

Now that rule may not help you with your prized boot lace collection or other sentimental items, and it’s not meant to. For those that generally have problems throwing anything away, this rule can really help. Some hold on to random assortments of items in the event they need them somewhere down the line. At times this can come true, other times years and years pass and the dust only gets thicker.

A very real and honest look needs to be taken at what you have. Specific equipment that is used seasonally, or speciality equipment that’s used in rare circumstances. Especially rare or expensive items may also not be valid under this rule. For everything else, remember, the 6 month rule!

Hopefully that offers a good guideline for those having trouble deciding when it’s appropriate to throw away some of their accumulated treasure. If you don’t use it, and don’t see yourself doing so, there’s no point holding onto it any longer. You might as well free up some space!

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