Go to your desk, or certain bookshelf, or junk drawer.
Consider each item, and check in with yourself quickly: “does this make me feel good or bad?”
Do it quickly, and note the first thing you feel.
If the item in question makes you feel bad in any way, consider getting rid of it.
Example: every time you see that book on learning German, you feel bad. Now, why do you feel bad? Because you spent $20 on it two years ago and you read like 3 pages. PLUS: you told people you were going to learn German. But you haven’t done it yet. And you feel guilty every time you see the book.
So go give the book to somebody else, or throw it away or recycle it or sell it on eBay. You don’t need even that momentary flash of guilt and self-reproach over your failure to learn German—it will sneakily suck the life out of your days, in little micro-bursts of self-loathing. Move on.
Example: that skull-thingie you bought was really awesome back in the day. It’s like a skull-goblet with the words “#$%@#!” engraved on it in fake blood. But you’ve kind of grown out of it now. Every time you see it, you feel your energy slightly deplete; because it just doesn’t give you the kick it once did. You grew out of it. Your tastes changed. But you never felt the motivation to get rid of it. You spent like $50 at Hot Topic for it after all.
Get rid of it.
Example: old pics of you and your ex.
Well, it was a nasty break-up and all that, but dammit you are the sentimental type as well! These photos are irreplaceable! Certainly you can honor the “good old days” and separate that out from everything else, right?
If every time you look at the pics you feel like crap, throw them away. Or delete them from your computer/phone. Because every time you look at those images and feel bad, you are getting a toxic micro-hit of bad energy. And those micro-hits add up.
Now: once you’ve gone through a shelf or drawer or desk using this method, consider applying this approach to other areas of your life and see what happens.