Top 5 Questions To Ask When Decluttering For Making Clear Decisions

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the piles of stuff in your home, you’re not alone. Clearing clutter can feel like an overwhelming task, but with the right questions to ask when decluttering and some simple declutter tips, it can become an empowering journey to a more organized and peaceful space. 

Let’s explore 5 decluttering questions to ask that will help you make decisions (without overthinking!) and take faster action to turn your home into a calmer and more comfortable retreat. Ready to clear the clutter and reclaim your space? Let’s get started!

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How 5 Simple Questions Changed My Cluttered Home

The act of decluttering goes beyond mere tidying up, especially for overthinkers — and I am DEFINITELY one of those, just like most of the people who read my blog posts. The process of decluttering can quickly turn into mental quicksand that sucks us in and makes us quickly lose hope of ever finding a way out of the cluttered mess. 

I mean… all of that thinking and deciding and not knowing the exact correct answers for what to do with all.the.things…

I’ve been there! I lived with clutter for decades, wishing it would just go away, but never able to actually let go of anything. But then something inside me changed, like a switch flipped, and I saw everything differently.

While I was working through those mindset shifts that helped clear my cluttered house, I developed a list of 5 questions to ask whenever I came across any item that made me pause in the decluttering process.

This list of decluttering questions came in handy more often than I expected! Questions are the tools that help us navigate the clutter-clearing process, providing clarity and direction as we sift through our belongings. 

When you’re truly ready to start clearing clutter, you’ll find the answers come pretty easily. These questions for decluttering, along with pre-making some decluttering decisions, helped me FINALLY clear the clutter from my home after living with a frustrating mess for far too many years.

I hope they inspire you to declutter without overthinking or guilt!

Related: Exactly Where to Start Decluttering Your Home

5 Decluttering Questions To Ask Yourself

While these clutter questions may not all work for your exact situation, I’m sure you can use them to create your own list if you want to.

1. Do I love this item enough to dust it regularly?

That’s my big question. I HATE dusting, and my house gets dusty VERY quickly.

Dusting may not bother you, or you may be fortunate enough to live in a home with very little dust. So, honestly, your question might be slightly different. But the question’s intent is about CARING FOR that item. 

No matter what, you’ll spend at least a little bit of physical and mental energy on every item you own. How much of that energy are you willing to spend on the object in question?

If you’re not excited about putting in the effort to maintain it, perhaps it’s time to let it go. This can be particularly eye-opening when it comes to decorative objects. It’s a reminder that the ‘pretty’ things we choose to keep shouldn’t become chores.

2. Is this item related to a hobby I no longer wish to do? 

If so, then get rid of it! If you take up the hobby again someday, you can get new stuff.

Hobbies come and go, and so should the items associated with them. If you’re holding onto supplies for a hobby you’ve long abandoned, it’s time to reassess. Freeing up space by getting rid of these items can make room for new interests that better reflect your current passions.

Yes, those supplies probably cost a fair amount of money. But you know what? You’re not using them! Imagine donating that stuff and how someone will feel when they find the exact hobby supplies they’ve been dreaming of… all because you let go of some clutter.

This question helps you focus on the present and future, rather than clinging to past activities that no longer satisfy you.

Midlife woman relaxing after successfully clearing clutter by using 5 simple decluttering questions.

3. Does this item need repair? 

Chances are if you didn’t fix it right away when it broke, you never will. Toss it.

We often hold onto broken items with the best intentions of fixing them, but let’s be honest — how often does that actually happen? Or — even worse — we pretend we’re going to try upcycling… which is basically the practice of spending a lot of money and time on an old broken ‘whatever’ and trying to turn it into something usable. (But in reality, it usually just becomes more clutter.)

If an unusable item has been sitting in disrepair for a considerable time, it’s probably not as important as you once told yourself. It’s time to let go and move on.

This question encourages you to evaluate the practicality of repairs and the likelihood of you actually taking the steps to fix the item.

4. If I had to move next week, would I want to pack this? 

No? LET IT GO! You won’t miss it.

This is somewhat like the dusting question, but even deeper. This question helps you evaluate the importance of each item and the space it’s renting in your home. If the thought of packing and transporting it seems like too much hassle, it’s likely not worth keeping. 

This perspective can be a powerful motivator in letting go of items that you wouldn’t want to carry with you into a new chapter of your life.

Related: How to Declutter When Moving

5. Could I borrow/rent/buy a new ‘whatever’ if I ever absolutely needed this thing I’ve had forever and never used? 

Usually, you can. Detach the monetary value in your mind and let the item go.

We often hold onto items ‘just in case’ we might need them someday. But in reality, if you haven’t used something in years — or decades — the chances are slim that you’ll suddenly need it. 

I hear people say, ‘It never fails. As soon as I declutter something, I always need it the next week.’

I used to be one of those people saying that. But now, when I see or hear people say that, I know that reality is more like this… 

A. They’ve maybe had this happen once in their entire life — and chances are, they wouldn’t have remembered or been able to find that thing when they ‘needed’ it. 

B. It’s probably never happened to them, but they’ve heard it said often enough that they think it’s true.

and/or C. They likely had something else on hand that could be used, or the cost to acquire what they needed was minimal.

I’ve decluttered thousands of items from my home… and I can’t think of anything I’ve regretted letting go because I ‘needed’ it later. COULD I have used some of those things? Possibly; but the benefits of letting go far outweighed keeping them.

Consider the availability and cost of alternatives should the need arise, and let go of the items that are taking up valuable space without providing value. This question helps you detach from the hypothetical value of items and focus on their actual utility in your life.

Click here to have these printable decluttering questions sent right to your inbox.

5 questions to ask yourself when decluttering

Now… I will say that sometimes decluttering your closet can feel like an entirely different process. If you’re stuck there, you’ll want to read my post on wardrobe management tips and grab the printable closet declutter checklist.

More Decluttering Help And Inspiration

Do These 3 Things When You’re Overwhelmed By Clutter

10 Signs You Own Too Much Stuff

How to Give Yourself Grace and Space When Decluttering Sentimental Items

Embracing a Clutter-Free Life

Now that you’ve got a list of questions to ask when getting rid of stuff, what’s stopping you?!

Remember, the goal is not to create a perfectly minimalistic space, but to curate a home that reflects YOUR priorities and brings you peace and happiness. You really CAN do this. With that in mind… go declutter something!

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1 thought on “Top 5 Questions To Ask When Decluttering For Making Clear Decisions”

  1. These are great questions! You emptied my whole house at question number one. I don’t want to dust anything regularly. LOL. Thank you for linking up with Happy Hearts & Homes, I hope to see you again this week.

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