If you couldn’t tell, I’m a huge fan of decluttering my house. Now that I gave/threw away over 500 things, my goal is to not allow things in my house that I don’t necessarily want to have in it.
Over the holidays, this can get especially tricky because we get gifted so many things that we may not have ever chosen to purchase ourselves. Or, the Black Friday sales proved too irresistible and now we have things showing up on our doorstep that we don’t remember purchasing. (Yes, this just happened to me. Luckily, I loved the shirt I – evidently – purchased from J. Crew Factory!)
Here are seven questions I ask myself to determine if I should keep a gift/purchase/item in my home:
1.) Do I absolutely love it?
I used to keep things just because it was too much of a hassle to return it and i would convince myself I might love it or need it one day. This mentality led to me having too much stuff that I only like (and not love), so I’m being more honest with myself now!
2.) Could I find a better product (even if i may need to spend more?)
I’ve learned that it’s better to have the perfect thing than the well-this-will-work-because-it-was-on-sale thing.
3.) Am I going to use this right away?
If something is sitting in my closet taking up space, just waiting to be used, it’s probably not worth having around right now. I usually find it’s better to return it, stash away the money, and then buy it again at a more appropriate time. More often than not, I probably won’t end up repurchasing it.
4.) Is it what I expected?
I do a lot of my shopping online, and this means that sometimes things show up and I don’t even remember ordering them. Or maybe something looked really awesome online and then it gets to my doorstep and it’s not what I expected. If a product isn’t exactly what I expected (unless i’m pleasantly surprised) it goes back. The same applies if I try something on in a store, think it looks great, and then I get home and realize it only fits okay and not great. Back it goes.
5.) If it was a gift, would I buy it for myself?
Another mistake I’ve made in the past is keeping gifts because I feel guilty getting rid of something that was given to me by someone else. Plus, free is awesome, right?! If I don’t pay for something, there’s no harm in keeping it (was my thought process)! Well, now I’ve decided I’d rather have the cash in my pocket or the space in my closet/house. Even if I need to donate a gift, I am okay with it because the joy of the gift occurred during the giving, and not in me constantly seeing the unwanted item in my house and feeling possible resentment. Bottom line = have the same standards for gifts as you would if you were purchasing the item in a store with your own money.
6.) Does it fit well? Is it in style? Is it flattering? Do I want to wear it?
If i can say ‘no’ to any of these questions, the clothing or accessory goes back out the door (Although, if it’s just a slight fitting problem, I will try to tailor it first.)
7.) Am I keeping this because of the sunk cost fallacy?
I admit that sometimes I remember exactly how much I paid for something, and I can’t bear to get rid of it because of the ‘wasted’ money. Well, the money has already been spent, so whether or not I keep the item, I’m not getting the money back! It’s better to get rid of the product and not be constantly reminded of the money I (unwisely) spent on it. Of course, this doesn’t apply for items you can still return!