By Herbert Lui

Keeping your objects as long as possible is easier on your budget, but also leads to a lot of clutter. Instead of trying to keep your stuff for as long as possible, make your default decision one to throw it out.


Most of us don’t throw stuff out unless we can think of a good reason to. Organizing consultant Marie Kondo has a different opinion. Author Tim Harford explains the lesson he learned from Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying:

Kondo turns things around. For her, the status quo is that every item you own will be thrown away unless you can think of a compelling reason why it should stay. This mental reversal turns status quo bias, paradoxically, into a force for change.

Even though it sounds like a small mental change, you can eliminate your status quo bias by reversing the situation. If you have a clutter problem and can’t find a compelling reason to keep an object, considering throwing it out. When you’re making a decision to declutter and are sitting on the fence, change the question from “Why throw it out?” to “Why keep it?