How to make tough decisions easier – so you can stop tossing and turning and finally get to sleep.

Clutter is often just unmade decisions. See if you can relate to this… you’re not sure what to do with an item, so you put it on the first available flat surface … just for now. And in no time, there’s a pile of things spread all over the table, counter top or desk.

Unmade Decisions=Clutter

Decision-making is a big part of the organizing process:

It’s no secret: when you are organizing your space, there are a lot of decisions to be made. You need to decide whether to keep, toss or give it away. Then you have to decide where to store the items you are keeping, and where to donate the things you are giving away.

It’s no wonder people’s eyes start to glaze over after a few hours of intense decluttering. If decisions become overwhelming, the tendency is to procrastinate – just put them off.  Meanwhile, the clutter grows.

There are 5 questions you can ask to help you make decluttering decisions:

  1. How often do you use it?
  2. Why are you keeping it?
  3. Does it fit your current lifestyle?
  4. Do you have space for it?
  5. Do you love it?

Life decisions require even more attention:

Then there are those big decisions – the ones that require a little more time and effort to make. Like: “Should I leave my stressful, dead-end job to pursue my passion?” Or: “Should I move to the suburbs to save costs or stay in the city and avoid the long commute?”

These are the decisions that we labor over, ask our friends about, and stay up half the night ruminating on. You probably don’t want to just flip a coin over these ones.

Do you have a sure-fire technique for making smart decisions – comfortably and within a reasonable amount of time?

Asking powerful questions can help.

Best-selling author Gretchen Rubin provides some great questions to ask ourselves when it comes to making those tough decisions:

  1. What am I waiting for?
  2. What would I do if I weren’t scared?
  3. What steps would make things easier?
  4. What would I do if I had all the time and money in the world?
  5. What is the worst, and the best, that could happen?

These are very powerful questions which can propel us from a state of ‘stuckness’ to full-on action. What I especially love about the last question is it looks at both the worst and best possible outcomes. Very often, we ask ourselves “What’s the worst thing that could happen, and can I handle that?” This can take us to a place of fear, which can immobilize us. And for those of us who believe the Law of Attraction (what you focus on, you attract), imagining the worse-case scenario would be the opposite of what we would want to do. But the beauty of question 5 is that it leads us to imagine the best case scenario as well. Sometimes, this might be all the inspiration you’ll need to take that leap. At the very least, it will reduce the fear after you’ve imagined the worse.

Are you grappling with a decision? Please take a moment to share what technique works best for you.


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This post has 3 comments

  • Saif says:

    Item 3. Does it fit your current lifestyle.

    I often think about returning to my present lifestyle in the future. What if I need the item again. For example, if I cannot pursue a sport (or hobby) now but want to return to it later. Should I keep the item? is the dilemma I face.

    • Saif, that is a common dilemma that I’m sure many people reading this can relate to. I often hear it expressed as “what if I need it again someday?”. If you haven’t used it in years, chances are you won’t use it in the future (even though you may hope to). On the off-chance you do need it again, could you replace it with minimal cost and effort? If so, then let it go. Don’t forget, it costs you money to store things too.

  • sylvie says:

    thanks Hellen, great post and talk about timing. I had the best job the best boss and out of the blue another great opportunity was presented. I wasn’t looking to change but could not ignore that it sounded too good to pass up without really giving it some thought. I decided 1 sleepless night was all I could handle so I told the new company that I would give my decision by the next day. I sat down on the computer and listed the positives negatives of this new venture compared to the great job I had up till now. Then spoke to my closest family members (people who love me enough to be honest but not biased based on their own issues) who got me to explore more. Then met with the new boss to negotiate the negatives into positives… and made the tough decision to let my previous boss (whom I really loved and who had always been great ) know I was leaving. Today when I read your post… I realized though difficult I felt great with my decision because it just confirmed that I had made the correct choice… looking forward to a better night’s sleep tonight:)