Stay or go – questions to ask when decluttering

questions to ask - question marks

Decluttering involves a lot of decision-making. There are important questions to ask when decluttering, to determine the fate of each item.

Marie Kondo asks “does it spark joy” but that doesn’t work so well for pragmatists like me.

I prefer concrete questions which won’t change with my mood, the time of day, or whether my toddler is crying.

Questions to ask when decluttering

  1. Have I used this item in the past year?
  2. Will I use this item in the next year?
  3. Do I have a current relationship with this item?
  4. Is this item earning the space it occupies?
  5. Would removing this item negatively affect my life? (or can I live without it?)
  6. Would I buy this today?
  7. Do I want to bring this item into my future?
  8. Do I need or love this item? Is it meaningful?
  9. If this item broke or disappeared, would I replace it? (or would I choose to live without it?)
  10. Would I want to pack and then unpack this item if moving house? (or is it not worth the effort?)
  11. Am I the best custodian of this item? (or could someone else get better use from it?)
  12. Is this item in good working order? (or does it need repair or effort put into it?)
  13. Is this item irreplaceable in my home? (or do I own substitutes?)
  14. Does this item suit my vision for my house?
  15. Does this item reflect who I am?
  16. Is this item towards the top of my ‘belongings hierarchy’?

There are other questions to ask when decluttering, but the 15 above should cover it. And if you answer No more than Yes, it’s time to bid farewell to the item..

For a more indepth look at what to do next, read What should I do with my stuff? Stay or Go.

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