Decluttering can be tricky. Even non-materialistic people can find themselves getting attached to their stuff! Some things are associated with good memories, or cost a lot of money, or could be put to good use one day. But the truth is, a lot of what we all have in our homes could actually be donated, sold, or just thrown away. To help you decide whether to keep or toss the things in your home, you need these 8 Questions to Ask When Decluttering!
8 Questions to Ask When Decluttering
1. Has this been used in the last 12 months?
The very first question you should ask yourself when considering getting rid of something is if you’ve used an item in the last year. If the answer is no, 90% of the time it needs to go. A year is a long time, and if you didn’t find a reason to use something at any point last year, you likely won’t use it this year either. If the answer is yes, you’ll still want to ask yourself the rest of these questions.
2. If I didn’t own this and saw it in a store, would I buy it today?
This is one of the best questions to ask when decluttering! If the answer is yes, that’s a point toward keeping an item. But if the answer is no, you should get rid of it. After all, if you wouldn’t buy a new copy of the thing today, what’s the good of keeping one you bought a while back? If the answer is that you don’t want to waste money, it’s still wasting money to own something and leave it in your garage forever.
3. Do I have more than one of these or do I have something similar?
While it can be fun to collect things, there’s a thin line between collecting and hoarding! There are only just so many copies that you need of each thing, even in home decor. If you already have several copies of a thing, or something else that serves a very similar purpose, feel free to get rid of any extras!
4. If I got rid of this today, what’s the worse thing that would happen?
Another of the many critical questions to ask when decluttering is a worse case scenario question. What do you think would happen if you got rid of a thing you’ve been holding onto? Would someone get mad? Would something bad happen financially? Would you put yourself at some sort of risk? In most cases, nothing would happen other than your home would have one less piece of clutter in it.
5. Is this still in decent condition?
If you’re keeping a thing because you kind of like it, but it’s damaged, you probably should get rid of it. Think about it, do you really want to use/display a broken item? And if you’re keeping something that’s broken with plans to repair it, either fix it in the next week, or get rid of it.
6. Am I just keeping this for sentimental reasons?
Sentimental things can be hard to get rid of. But you can’t keep everything that reminds you of a person, a time in your life, or a nice event. Prioritize. Keep the baby shoes, but get rid of 90% of your kid’s art from when they were 4. You need the space for more good memories!
7. Do I have concrete plans to use this in the next year?
Yet another of the many important questions to ask when decluttering is if you actually have plans to use the thing you’re considering getting rid of. Too often, we keep things to use “one day” or “as soon as I get X” or “as soon as I do Y.” When those days never come, but we keep holding onto things, those things become clutter. Unless you really, truly plan to use an item in the next year, give it away or throw it out.
8. Does this fit with my life and personality?
A lot of times people buy things and then grow out of them. Maybe you went through a phase where you loved floral prints, and now you can’t stand them! And other times we buy things to fit the life we wish we had, or the person we wish we were. A lot of people buy tons of exercise stuff in January, and by July find half of it still untouched. In all these cases, it’d be worthwhile considering getting rid of those things. Think of it this way- by getting rid of the items that don’t fit you, you can potentially put them in the hands of someone that would fit them perfectly!
How do decide whether to keep or get rid of something?