10 Things You Should Ask Before Tossing Part 1

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How to Decide to Save It or Wave Bye to It
Originally written October 2010

All day long moms have many decisions to make, what to cook for dinner, whether to do two spelling lessons or not, if we should go to the library today or tomorrow, etc. We have all kinds of decisions to make and one of the biggest and longest lasting as far as long-term impact, is whether or not we should buy this or that . . . or not. Here are 10 questions to ask yourself when faced with talking yourself into taking it or leaving it.

1. Do I have a place to put it?
Do you tend to make impulse purchases and then have to deal with where to put it and how to use it? I’m especially challenged in this area when garage sale or thrift store¬† shopping. Come on! A deal is a deal and where to put it and how to use it don’t often enter into the decision. It’s a grab it now or someone else will!

So, let’s make a conscious decision to stop and think before we buy. Make purchasing decisions based on knowing exactly where it will go in your home. If you do, chances are you won’t make that impulse purchase after all!

2. Do I absolutely love it?
This question won’t work in every case. I mean, I don’t love my vacuum, I just love what it does to my carpet! But this is a great question to ask yourself when you are trying to decide whether to keep an item, or get rid of it. If you cannot honestly say you absolutely love it, chuck it!

3. Is it a time or money saver?
If you can’t use it for one of these, and, if it doesn’t bring you joy when you see it, let it go!

4. Will it still be current when I need it again?
Saving clothes, shoes, and textbooks between kids is rather risky. I like to use the saying, “When in doubt, throw it out.” Clothing styles change rapidly as does technology. It’s easy to replace clothing from thrift stores and it’s just too easy to find the most up-to-date information on the web to keep many books.

5. Am I hard up for hard copy space?
Saving papers means we need storage space AND we need to be able to relocate where we stored it. Rather than printing from your computer, save a copy to your computer. Create different folders on your computer or better yet, store it on a removable or external drive the size of a pair of fingernail clippers!

Next week I’ll be back with the final 5 questions to ask yourself before tossing.

What question do you have the hardest time with?

Love, Love, Love,

Lorrie, Randy’s Rib

Dedicated to Helping You Live God’s Priorities, Love Your Abundant Life, and Laugh Along the Way!

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6 Responses to 10 Things You Should Ask Before Tossing Part 1

  • Wendy says:

    Oh my, this is a VERY difficult area for me. I am a pack rat, daughter of a pack rat (Dad, not Mom). I LOVE it when I can supply a project with stuff I already have on hand, and I HATE waste. Even though I live in town, I grew up in the country and am used to stocking up on food (Mom, not Dad). I still have almost every book I bought for our school (2 students, all 13 years) I still have clothes that don’t fit, and I live in a very small house with no attic.

    I find it hard to get rid of clothes because that feels like giving up. I love books (fortunately so does my husband) and I’m also convinced that not too long from now these will be very hard to come by. In just about everything I do, cooking, crafts, gifting, I like to work from a “full palate”. Planning too far ahead just never works. I pick and choose from what’s around me – and that means a lot of stuff.

    As you can imagine, our home is pretty cluttered.

  • Christine says:

    Two things I try to say when decluttering (and should when I am buying anything!):

    * Is it beautiful or useful? (It should be one or the other in order to keep it)

    * Clutter is anything you don’t like, need, use, want or have room for! (heard this one at a workshop at a homeschool conference)

  • Allison says:

    Would you recommend scanning paperwork for storage rather than storing hard copies? Is it worth the investment for a scanner that you also have to have a place for?

    • Lorrie Flem says:

      I’d say that’s entirely up to you. It would depend on space, storage, finances, oh, just a number of things. That’s a decision you and your hubby should make together.
      I’d love to hear any pros and cons from others.

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