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Decluttering Decisions

July 23, 2014

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After reading many organizational blogs, I've come up with decluttering questions to ask yourself on your quest for a more organized life.

As you know, I’ve changed my posting schedule and done away with my Thing Thursday series, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop my mission of decluttering my life and my home.

I’ve been reading decluttering blogs and PF blogs both for almost a year now and just by reading, I’ve learned a lot and I was also inspired to start my own blog to track my journey to a debt and clutter free life.

While I still have a long way to go on both of my major goals, I’ve learned so much more about myself already and I’ve had some amazing comments from readers saying they were inspired to start following along and decluttering their own homes as well. 🙂


For those of you who are just starting to declutter, or even those of you who have been decluttering the “easy stuff” first, here are the questions I use when I contemplate whether or not to declutter something: (inspired by Colleen @ 365 Less Things)

  • Is this item something I currently use?
  • If not, have I used it in the past year and will I use it again within the next year?
  • Is this item beautiful or do I love having it in my space?
  • Do I want to move and dust this item each time I clean my home?
  • Why am I keeping this item?
  • If it’s sentimental, do I truly need it or will a photo suffice?
  • If this item was taken away from me today, would I miss it? Would I even notice if it were missing?
  • Do I want to pack, move, and unpack this item when I move?

Colleen has many other examples and questions in her guide, and I also recently found this awesome step-by-step guide to decluttering that I love too, but these are the few I’ve chosen to use when making my own decluttering decisions. The main key to using this or any decluttering decision guide is to be honest with yourself about why you are keeping the item and what purpose it serves. Try not to make excuses or far-fetched reasons for keeping it. I often find that the items I was keeping “just in case” haven’t been used even once since the last time I looked at decluttering them. At this point I usually decide they can go!

What questions do you ask as part of your decluttering decision?

After reading many organizational blogs, I've come up with decluttering questions to ask yourself on your quest for a more organized life.

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30 responses to “Decluttering Decisions

  1. When it comes to clothes I have to ask myself if I’m really going to wear it again and if it really works for me. Some items are easier to get rid of than others!

    1. Yes! I struggle with clothes too, but its an area I’m really trying to work on and get down to a more reasonable amount of clothes.

  2. Thankfully I don’t live with too much clutter. I try to get rid of things on a regular basis to avoid it….now Ana on the other hand is a pack rat when it comes to clothes and sentimental items. Maybe I’ll have her send you an email for some advice!

    1. If you/she really want some great advice, you can send me an email, but the best place to go is Colleen’s site has helped me so much!

  3. Congrats on your new gig!!

    I ask myself a lot of the same questions, but I get hung up on the sentimental items. As any parent of a preschool-age child can attest, the number of adorable crafts and art projects they produce is overwhelming! And I also have to worry about my little snooper finding things in the trash. I’ve had to make up some creative excuses to explain why I tossed her masterpieces. My favorite is, “The cat threw up on it.”

    1. That’s kind of funny, but also sad. Maybe you can try using a black trashbag that can’t be seen through, or go through and throw things away when your child isn’t at home or is otherwise preoccupied and can’t be there to “help” with your decisions.

  4. This is good advice! I’m definitely guilty of keeping things “just in case I need them!” I want to do a more honest and thorough run-through of the house to trim down on the random things lurking in clothes and the basement…

    1. I’m glad you are going to more honest on your trip back through your stuff. I get more and more ruthless each time I go through my stuff and I do end up getting rid of things that I held on to the last time I went through.

  5. Congrats again on your staff writing job, Kayla! Those are great questions to help with decluttering. I find when I do collect clutter, it’s often for sentimental reasons. My husband is very much a minimalist so honestly, thanks to him, I don’t have much clutter and have learned to mostly love it. Of course, sometimes I have beg to put a throw pillow on the sofa. 🙂

    1. Thanks Shannon! I’m glad your husband’s love of minimalism has rubbed off on you, though I must say I don’t think that throw pillows on the sofa are all clutter. I have just 2 smallish throw pillows and I do occasionally use them when I lean back to relax and watch a movie.

  6. Congratulations on the new writing job! With all the moving I’ve done in the past three years, it spurred me to downsize my possessions and really think about what items I needed and enjoyed versus the stuff I accumulated and wasn’t using. I sold and donated a large portion of those items over the years. I now try to keep my life as simple as I can and not be encumbered by a bunch of stuff I won’t use.

    1. That is great advice Kassandra! Sounds like you’ve done an amazing job of not worrying about “keeping up” with others or acquiring the “latest and greatest” stuff as it comes available.

  7. Congrats on the writing gig!
    I’ve been trying to declutter for a while now, but Mr. Tre is a minor hoarder so I usually have to do my decluttering while he is out of town 🙂

    1. I wouldn’t call that a fail, unless you give up completely. Yes, it not spring anymore, but if you are still cleaning then it’s all good 🙂

  8. Congratulations on the staff writing gig! Jenny Pincher is one of my favorites.

    As for decluttering, I try to ask myself if I really need it, still like it or is it just taking up space. I plan on moving in December so I am starting to declutter while I still have time before school. Today I declutter a drawer but I was able to consolidate a bin to the drawer so I was happy with that start!

    1. Thanks Athena! I’m looking forward to working for Jenny Pincher.

      I’m glad you are decluttering prior to moving. Lots of times I move in a hurry and end decluttering as I unpack rather than before/while packing prior to moving.

  9. I have a very hard time going through my clothes. I have a lot of “what if” clothing items. What if i need a t-shirt, or what if I lose some weight, etc. It can go on forever. There are things in my closet from high school.

    1. I have a few things left from HS too, but I’m finally deciding that if they don’t fit and I’m not wearing them now, why keep them?

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