Is it useful? Does it bring me profound joy?

We’re currently counting down the days until our house needs to be all packed up and ready to move into storage next month. When you’re paying by the foot to store your stuff it does make you think about how much it’s worth keeping! A friend of mine yesterday passed on some advice someone had once given her. As you sort and pack, ask yourself two questions about each item… “Is it useful? Does it bring me profound joy?”

Looking around the living room now I can already see things that aren’t going to make it into the storage unit based on the answers to those questions. I can also see things that I wanted to keep but couldn’t quite explain why. Those postcards and notes from old friends, the tree ornaments that were a wedding favour and the laminated picture of Obama that was stuck above my desk in my first job in London! I just have to look at these things to be reminded of wonderful friends and joy-filled memories.

Even when I’m not in the process of moving house I think I will be asking those two questions, perhaps when I shop or when I’m doing a bit of a clean up. I love to live simply and have as few possessions as possible but how wonderful to have things that also bring great joy. I’m curious as I pack to figure out how many of my belongings will answer yes to both the questions and to discover which things bring me the most joy. What brings you profound joy and why?

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