As I go through my things I often think about how much I paid, or how badly I wanted it, or how long I waited for it. And I have a house full of things that I really wanted, paid a lot for, were gifts, were treasures. The question I need to ask myself in the here and now is this,
"What is it worth to me?
Sometimes the intermediate box step is warranted...at least in my mind. I have found that it takes real energy to make decisions. And if I spend too long on a decision I use up all of my decision energy. In order to get the most done, I will sometimes relegate an item to the purgatory box. It can sit here until I decide that, "oh wait, I do want that", or "huh! that has been in there a long time, guess I can let it go" happens with less effort.
Mostly purgatory is the bag that I accumulate "Get Rid of Its" in at the end of my garage, In the 10+ years that I have been doing this only 2 items have been removed. Once its in there it is generally too much work to pull it out even if i think i might want it, i find that something else will do the job, and the whole bag just gets donated. The 2 items were a tea pot and candle. The tea pot, because i realized it made sense to brew the whole pot, and then just pour as I like, and this saved tea and energy. And the candle was in the same bag, and the kids decided the night before they wanted to have candles every night for dinner the night before i grabbed the teapot. Clearly, had I not wanted the tea pot, the candle would have been donated--and guess what we have not followed through on candle use, but I have almost daily used a tea pot the previously i had never used.
There is another purgatory stage sometimes though. Things that might cost more to replace would be put in a box with other similar items and stored away for a while to be revisited after long periods of not be used, and hence possibly donated. For instance, I recently bought a fancy food processor, so it was easy to ditch the mini food processor. Harder was the antique ricer with the wood mallet i have been using regularly for years--what if we lost power! Same goes for the mandolin ordered from Germany, these are in a box tucked into the end of the attic. I know that I have no intention of using them as long as i have the fancy food processor but they are wonderful simple tools I am anxious to part with. I am going to give myself a break, taking them out of prime real estate, I can keep them as long as I have enough storage space. At the point that space is full, I will have to start letting go of that which is worth the least to me. Right now though, I am able to not let it keep me from making other decisions, just because I am stuck on that one. These items are often easier to part with if I find them a good home with someone I know needs it.
Another item that has been in purgatory for a while is the skein winder above. I know it needs to go, as I am not using it, and I have No place to keep it. I am ready to see it leave. If I had a huge farmas I am not using it, and I have No place to keep it. I am ready to see it leave. If I had a huge farm house, it would stay, but I don't.