We often think about the value of things in terms of their monetary value- is this dress on sale? Can they reduce the price for me? That’s a great 2-for1 offer. When we are decluttering our homes and getting rid of the stuff we have accumulated, we may have difficulty determining what should stay and what should go based on the monetary association we make.
Think back to the last time you decluttered your home and couldn’t part with something because it felt like a waste of money to get rid of it.
Although it is important to remind ourselves of the actual cost of a purchase we made, we must learn to think about the value the item has brought to our lives. This helps us sort out what is adding value to our lives, and what is simply “getting in the way”.
How Else Can We Measure Value?
I have always been an avid reader and previously had a large collection of books. During the beginnings of my unbusy journey when I was decluttering my home, I started to think about the value of everything in my home. Yes the books I read had brought me joy and increased knowledge, however there was no longer value in the books sitting on a shelf gathering dust. These books could continue to offer great value to other people if I decided to let go of them. I thought about someone else reading the book and experiencing enjoyment, and this was enough for me to decide that it was time to give away almost all of my books (except a select few that I re-read every few years).
A similar principle can also be applied when we are thinking of purchasing something or bringing an item into our homes. Living in a less cluttered home is not just about how much you can get rid of, but also how you can stop bringing more things into your homes.
If I am considering purchasing something, I spend a couple of minutes thinking beyond the cost of the item itself. I think about the potential value that the item would add to our lives. This is something I am currently doing as I begin to think about Christmas and what to purchase for our kids. They want new Barbie dolls- would this bring more value to their lives? Going by past experience, they would play with them for several weeks before forgetting about them and moving onto something else. I don’t see this purchase as adding significant value, but rather creating more clutter.
Quality not quantity
Living a less busy, and more minimalistic life can be defined differently according to what each individual values. It isn’t about the number of items in your home, but whether what you own adds value to your life. This is a very personal interpretation- what one person values might be considered junk by somebody else.
If you are beginning your unbusy journey and decluttering your home, focus on getting rid of the things that do not add value to your life rather than how many items you want to get rid of. Initially this will be an easy task as you will find many things in your home that no longer serve you.
The difficulty comes later on when you are left with more sentimental items or those you spent a lot of money on. This is where it helps to assess the value of the item to you- sometimes a piece of furniture is of high value because it brings you great comfort. Other times a piece of furniture is unnecessary and is a “space filler” in the room.
5 Tips For Assessing Value
The next time you are assessing the value of something during a decluttering session, ask yourself the following questions. You can also use some of these questions to assess whether a potential purchase would add value to your life.
- What do I currently do with this item? Is it being used? When was the last time it was used?
- Does this item currently make my life better and if so, in what way?
- Could this item offer more value to somebody else?
- Is this item worth the time I am spending looking after it and storing it?
- Is this item worth the space I am giving it in my home?
Is there anything in your home that no longer adds value to your life? Or is there something you cannot part with because of the value that it adds?