The Smart About Money website will be retiring on July 31, 2021. Learn more about this decision.


Should I Get Rid of This?

Many of us have more stuff than we know what to do with. That doesn’t mean that getting rid of things is easy. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by clutter, use this decision tree to help you decide if it stays or if it goes. Purging your unused or unnecessary possessions can generate extra cash and possibly can help someone else who needs them more than you do.

Decision tree to help guide purging decisions

Here are some questions posed by the Should I Get Rid of This? decision tree:

  • Have you used it in the past year? If you have, then the item still could have some utility in your life. If you don’t use the item, it could be difficult to justify keeping it through the rest of the questions on the Should I Get Rid of This? decision tree.
  • Do you have a sentimental attachment to it? If the attachment is strong enough that you would be willing to take it with you on your next move, it may be worth keeping.
  • Is it sitting in storage? If so, the space may serve you in better ways — and if you currently pay for a storage space then perhaps you could downsize to a smaller storage unit or move out of the storage unit all together, saving money in your monthly budget.
  • Does it work the way you need it to? If it’s not functional anymore, you likely need to buckle down and replace it or live without it until you can afford something better.

How Should I Get Rid of This?

Once you have decided it’s time to part way with some of your clutter, how do you decide what to do with it? Throwing everything in the trash seems a bit rash. The Should I Get Rid of This? decision tree can help you determine when something can be donated or sold versus recycled or repurposed. That means your old stuff can help others, help the planet or even bring in a little extra cash.

[Any reference to a specific company, commercial product, process or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by National Endowment for Financial Education.]