There are eight types of people who cling on to stuff, says Georgina Wong, owner of Asian Professional Organisers and organiser of the Extra Space Singapore National Organising Week.
If you belong to any of these personality types identified by Georgina, simple strategies could help you declutter your life.
1. “I spent so much on it” – The Thrifty Saver
If you haven’t used it for over six months, accept that you made a poor choice, or the item is no longer useful. Things have no value if they’re not used, so identify a charity which would appreciate them, and pass it on.
2. “It was on sale” – The Bargain Shopper
You can’t resist the lower prices when you buy in bulk, but you’re probably wasting storage space as well as tying up your money. Limit purchases to what will be used within six months, and buy a new item only after you get rid of an old one.
3. “I might need it in the future” – The Planner
Is this remote possibility worth the time, space and money used to store the item right now? You can always rent or borrow the item when you need it.
4. “It makes me look good” – The Face-saver or Kiasu Person
Do you keep things like books, high-tech gadgets or ticket stubs to appear more intellectual or updated? Relax – become an expert in what really interests you, and let people love you for yourself.
5. “I don’t have time” – The Procrastinator
Clutter drains your time as you have to revisit, reread or relocate the item. Decluttering actually saves you more time. Just set aside 15 minutes each time to tackle a small area (one box file, the notice board, one drawer).
6. “It was a gift” – The Sentimentalist
Whether it was a present or family heirloom, if you’re not going to love using it, give it to someone who will. You might feel you were entrusted with your favourite aunt’s tea set, but it’s her memory you should keep close to your heart, not her belongings.
7. “It’s really old” – The Collector
Yes, but does that make it an antique? Recognise the difference between being a collector of old ring pulls and having a collection of pristine Coca Cola memorabilia.
8. “I’ll wait until I can do it properly” – The Perfectionist
If you prefer to let things slide rather than do a less-than-perfect job, you tend to paralyse yourself. Find an organising buddy to schedule a regular time for decluttering, and keep each other motivated with a friendly competition.