5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Decluttering

With Christmas coming up, it can be easy to accumulate a lot of stuff. Here are five easy questions you can ask yourself when you’re decluttering.
With Christmas coming up, it can be easy to accumulate a lot of stuff. Here are five easy questions you can ask yourself when you're decluttering.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Decluttering

1. Why do I have this?

Sometimes, asking yourself how you got the item might put things into perspective. Was it a gift from your beloved grandma? An impulse buy? Did I need it for a project? From there, you can think of your reasons for keeping it, and whether or not it’s time to let it go.
To prevent future impulse buys, I try to give myself three days before buying something. This has saved me hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on buyer’s remorse.

2. Have I used it in a year?

If you haven’t used it in a year – toss it out, especially with clothing. You probably won’t need or wear it!
Sometimes, you haven’t used or worn it in a year because it was lost. When this happens, I try to stick the item in some place memorable (front of the closet, on my desk, etc.) to see if I’ll use it. If not after a month or so, I toss it.

One handy trick I’ve heard: turn all of your hangers the opposite way. As you wear each item, flip the hanger. Get rid of everything unworn after X period.

3. If this was in the store, would I buy it right now?

I do this especially with clothing! If the answer is no, I typically toss it or find some new way to use it.

4. Is something wrong with it? (Do you say “I’ll fix it later”?)

Sometimes, I’ll have a dress sitting in the back of my closet, waiting to be altered. Of course, months go by and the poor dress is still sitting in the back of my closet. If something doesn’t fit, doesn’t work, or if your repurposing plans have exceeded a month, probably consider tossing it.

5. Do I have something just like it or something I could use instead?

I’m not a crazy minimalist, but I don’t see why you should have two of something when one will work.

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