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8/16/2013

If your house was on fire would you grab *whatever item* as you ran out the door?

I've been a regular reader of Rhonda's excellent blog, Down To Earth, for years. This month there's an August Decluttering Challenge going on at Rhonda's forum, and on her blog.

In this introduction to the Decluttering Challenge, Rhonda talks about different reasons for why you might want to declutter, and why it's so hard for some people to let things go--for people with little money, they don't get rid of stuff for fear of not being able to afford to buy it if they need it; for people with lots of money, they might not know where to start because their piles of stuff overwhelm them.

I really liked this quote from Rhonda, especially the part I put in red. What a good way to really help yourself decide whether or not you want to keep something.

When you go through your items there will be some that you can't get into the giveaway box fast enough and others that you're not sure about. Maybe it was a gift or an inheritance and you feel disloyal getting rid of it. Maybe you bought it and paid a lot of money for it. When you come across one of those items, ask yourself: "Do I really need this?", "Do I love this?", "Do I use this or is it in the cupboard most of the time?". If you're really stuck and don't know, honestly ask yourself: "If the house was on fire, would I grab this as I ran out the door?"
Try this "house on fire" question for yourself... If my house was on fire would I grab those six pudding cups that are in the back of the cupboard as I ran out the door? If my house was on fire would I grab the bag of extra plastic grocery bags that's hanging in the cellarway as I ran out the door? If my house was on fire would I grab that old knick knack from my deceased mother in law that's been sitting on the closet shelf for ten years as I ran out the door?

Or for you men...If the house was on fire would you grab that dozen baseball caps that are sitting on top of your dresser as you ran out the door? If the house was on fire would you grab those half-full cans of paint that are drying up in the basement as you ran out the door? If the house was on fire would you grab those high school football trophies as you ran out the door?

It might seem silly, but if you're really having a hard time deciding what to keep, and just can't get started with your decluttering, maybe it would be a good idea to write the question on a piece of paper and hang it somewhere where you'll see it often.

If your house was on fire, how much of the stuff you're hanging onto would you grab as you run out the door?

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