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5 Proven Questions To Ask Yourself When You Declutter

Ask yourself these 5 questions as you declutter to ensure you are getting rid of unwanted items and only keeping what you use, like, and cherish!

I am the type of person who talks to myself while I am doing tasks. Maybe it is because it helps keep me focused. Or maybe because I am weird. I don’t know! But whatever the reason, I also ask myself questions…out loud. These questions may be about things I don’t want to forget. Or something I needed to get from another room. Or questions about a particular item and if I need to keep it.

These questions are what I call “declutter questions”. And they are the best tool to use as you declutter your things. Because when you ask yourself questions, you are able to process the actual purpose of an item. If you use that item. And your thoughts around that item.

I am sharing my 5 “go-to” declutter questions. You can get the full list (11 questions) along with my free decluttering checklist below!

Declutter Question 1

My first question I always ask myself is “have I used this item in the last 6 months?”

Some things are super easy to answer, like kitchen gadgets we use daily, or throw pillows. But other things take some thinking. And those are the items you want to focus on.

I will pick up an item and ask myself if I have used it in the last 6 months. If I am like, “obviously, that’s why it is out”, then I put it away and move on. But if there is an item that I haven’t used, I need to dig deeper and ask myself question 2.

where to start when decluttering your stuff

Declutter Question 2

If I am not sure if I used an item in the past 6 months, I try to decide what the item’s purpose is. What do I use it for? Why am I keeping it? How does this item make my life easier?

Sometimes deciding on a the purpose of an item can help you decide where it should be stored in your home. Making it easier to locate when you need it. Because we all have items we need occasionally. But are a necessity to keeping our homes running.

For me, I don’t use my label maker ever day, but I need it when I am organizing a drawer or area of my home. So I store it with other labeling supplies. This makes it easy to find when I need it.

decluttering kitchen cabinets to make it an organizing habit

Declutter Question 3

Sometimes I just have to ask myself if I would replace this item if it broke or got lost. Because when I ask this question, my focus goes to the future. And I can think if this item still needs to be in my home or not.

If you have a junk drawer, there are probably items in there that you wouldn’t replace if they were broken. So why are you keeping them now? What is the purpose of allowing that item to take up space in your home when you won’t replace it if it broke?

It gets you thinking about that item, which I love. It helps keep you focused on only keeping items that have a purpose in your home.

organizing a junk drawer with items divided into holders

Declutter Question 4

Another question to ask is could you replace an item for $20 or less. The reason you would focus on this is to remove the financial component around an item. We tend to feel like we have to keep things simply because we paid for them. But what that does is makes us feel bad if we no longer want to keep an item. It is a weird cycle that we go through around how much we spent on an item.

I see this a lot with kids’ crafts or adult scrapbooking items. You paid for something you needed and were left with extras. So you hold onto those extra pieces thinking you will use them “one day”. But they are taking a told on you because they are taking up space. So I am telling you know, you can part with those items.

But sometimes we hold onto items we can replace because we are keeping them out of guilt. Which brings me to question 5.

Setting Expectations for Your Kids is Key to a Tidy House

Declutter Question 5

The last question I regularly ask myself is if I am holding onto an item out of guilt. Maybe it was a gift and I felt bad getting rid of it. Maybe I already spent money but no longer need that item. Whatever it is, you can part with it if you don’t like it anymore.

I have more tips on how to part with sentimental items below. I think you can find those tips useful if you are ready to part with a sentimental or special item but it doesn’t make you happy anymore.

Best Solutions For Parting With Sentimental Items– tips for parting with those items you may be holding onto out of guilt.

Best Solutions For Removing The Sentimental Value On Other People’s Items– sometimes we hold onto other people’s sentiment on an item. This post gives tips for removing other people’s sentiment so you can part with them.

Workbook For Decluttering Sentimental Items– this workbook guides you through the process of decluttering and organizing your sentimental items so you can showcase and store the items you truly want to save.

Declutter Questions To Ask

These aren’t all the questions I ask myself as I put things away, declutter, and organize my home. But they are some of the most frequently used questions because they make me stop and think.

You can get all these questions and more in my practical guide to organize and declutter your home.

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