“A few years ago, a friend shared with me his strategy for decluttering his home. He and his wife lived in a duplex and decided to gather every single thing they had and put it in the bottom level of the duplex. They moved upstairs, lived in just the top level, and as they needed something, they would go downstairs, find it, and bring it up. Little by little, they repopulated their life with only what was necessary.

I was thinking about this strategy today, and I realized it works because if you have something at hand to begin with, you can come up with a bunch of reasons to keep it, whereas if you start without it and have to go out of your way to get it, you have to ask a different question. Instead of asking, “Why should I keep this thing?” You ask, “What thing do I need here?”

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