3 time rule to declutter

“Let’s keep it just in case….”

This is THE most commonly used phrase among us.

“I have too much stuff”

That’s another phrase we tend to hear.

In short, given that there are so many things around us, it is very important to remove them. The principal reason for me to do so (and this applies to many people too) is to simplify the life to find what’s really important for everyone. So I would like to share “3 time rule” which I learned from books, others and my own experience.

Why is it problem to keep many things?

The more stuff you have, the harder to find what you need. On the other hand, if you have the least staff possible, it will be much easier to find it, which can save your time.

The very typical phrase mentioned above “Let’s keep it just in case….” is not necessarily true since that it is pretty rare to come across that case.

The space is limited in general (unless you have enormous house and never move out).

Of course, there are certain things related to your memory, but if that is not used in you life, you can take a photo instead of having real material.

What do we need to do?

Simply speaking, we need to leave stuff.

Who should do it?

There is only one person who can and should do so. That yourself, not others.

How to do it

What exactly is the “3 time rule”? It is very simple: if you didn’t have strong need at least 3 times per year, it is probably fine to throw away. There can be an exception, but the less exception you have, the better you can organize your space (thus your life!)

What? Every year? → “YESI!”

But what if I will need something I threw away?  → “You can buy it again, but it is quite rate that it happens, since you don’t use due to a lack of need.

Then voila, it’s my rule I apply in my daily life, and it works very well, and it even changed my life since more and more I know what I need.

Some exceptions

There are some exceptions such as requirement to keep things for your work. For example, 2 months ago I forgot my hard disc in a restaurant, and I didn’t have a need to use it up until recently. For my surprise, the store person kept it for 2 months.

In addition, my project donors also require us to keep relevant documents for 5 years (although there will be no need to use it in general!)

That’s why some exceptions can be allowed, but still, throwing things away we don’t need could make us happy in the long term.

My experiences

I used to be very unorganized. What changed me wee moving experience (9 times in the last 10 years, which also helped to prove 3 time rule), kitchen job, performer, teacher and project manager. I would probably write the detail on those experiences in the future.

The learning of this time 

It is better to throw away as many things as possible to simplify life to find out what’s really important for your life, and the 3 time rule can help us to do so.

4 thoughts on “3 time rule to declutter

  1. メグ

    この3回ルールに大賛成です。遊牧民にとって使わないものはゴミです。荷物が増えると移動しにくくなるのでできるだけ物を持たないようにするんです。だからものを欲しがる性格は遊牧民にありません。でも、1990年度に資本主義に入ってからモンゴル人、特にウランバートルに住んでいるモンゴル人はすごく変わって、いろんなものを欲しがる貪欲になっていて、人よりものを大事にするやつらも出て来ました。特にモンゴルの政治家たちは最悪ですよ。この変化を見るととても寂しくて、モンゴル人をどうやって元に戻すか分からなくて大変です。

    Reply
    1. MD Post author

      メグさん、
      遊牧民からUBの人たちが学べることはたくさんありそうですね。捨てることもそうですが、質より量を重んじる傾向にあるのかなと思っています。おそらくUBの人たちを元に戻すというよりは、都会においてどうモノに対して向き合っていくかだと思います。3回ルール、かなりすっきりするので、また感想きかせてください!

      Reply
      1. メグ

        そうですね。都会に住んでいる人たちがものに対してどう向き合っていくかを考えなきゃ行けないですね。まず自分で三回ルールを守って見て、それから同僚たちに教えて見ようかな??? そして、ものを捨てるのはもったいないので、自分が使わないものを貧乏な人たちや家庭内暴力を受けた女性や子供たちに渡しています。もし、岡本さんに要らないものがあれば、教えてね。寄付や要らないものを集めて、貧乏な人たち特に困っている女性や子供たちに渡そうと思っています。

        Reply
        1. MD Post author

          ぜひ実践して、良いと思ったら周りに広めてください。
          いらないもの、もともとあまりないですが、あれば連絡しますね!

          Reply

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