In this blog post, I share with you 50 helpful questions to ask yourself when you’re decluttering your home to make the process smoother and easier.
Oftentimes, when we are going through our belongings, we know exactly what to keep and what to get rid of.
We know what adds value to our lives and what does not anymore.
The process is quick and easy.
However, we sometimes come across items that we get stuck on.
We think about whether we want to declutter them but somehow cannot make a decision we feel comfortable with.
I often have this problem when decluttering my home.
But over the years, I’ve learned to ask myself some helpful questions that make the process SO MUCH easier.
They guide me and help me make more rational decisions, instead of focusing too much on irrational thoughts.
So far, I’ve not regretted decluttering anything, so I find they work really well!
Some of these questions will make you realize that maybe you should keep the item.
Others will help you decide that it is time to let it go.
Here are 50 helpful questions to ask yourself when decluttering your home!
Why do you need to ask yourself questions when decluttering your home?
There are many helpful methods that you can use when decluttering your home.
However, no matter which one you choose, it’s important to ask yourself the right questions and answer them as honestly as possible.
If we skip this step, we risk regretting some of our decisions.
We might get rid of something we actually wanted to keep or keep something that we’d have preferred to let go of.
Which is great if we can avoid it!
How to use these questions when decluttering your home?
All the questions I list in this blog post are here to guide you through your decluttering process.
They are here to help you make better decisions, decisions you will be happy with.
So whenever you are thinking about decluttering something, take this list of questions, go through it, and answer the questions.
Depending on your specific situation or the item, not all of them will be useful.
We of course cannot answer 50 questions for every item we are thinking about decluttering!
It would be such a process!
Pick the ones that are the most relevant at the time and think about them.
They will make you see the item from a new angle and help make the decision straightforward.
Some of these questions are basic questions you probably already ask yourself.
But I also include many that you’ve probably never heard of before!
50 helpful questions to ask yourself when decluttering your home and getting rid of things
1. How long has this item been stashed away?
If you can’t remember how long the item has been sitting in its box in your basement, you probably don’t need to keep it.
2. Is it improving my life?
Things are tools.
They are made to be used to make our lives easier or better.
If they are not improving our lives, why are we keeping them?
3. How would our home feel without this item?
Maybe your home will feel cold and empty without your favorite painting on the wall or your grandma’s quilt.
Or maybe it will feel so much more spacious and inviting without all the packaging and cardboard boxes piling up in your garage!
4. Would I be relieved if it disappeared or got damaged?
Imagine there is a fire or flood in your house (hopefully it never happens!).
Would you secretly wish the item was damaged so that you could get rid of it?
5. Why do I want to declutter this?
Is this item too big and you don’t have much storage in your home?
Are you tired of always dusting it?
6. Why do I want to keep this?
Does this remind you of a special time in your life?
Of a special person?
Is it making everyday life easier?
7. Am I keeping this to impress other people?
Sometimes, we don’t realize it but we are keeping things to create an external image of ourselves.
Maybe we are keeping bookshelves full of books so that people think we are smart and like reading?
Or maybe we are keeping travel souvenirs only to impress people with how much we’ve traveled in our lives?
Stop trying to impress others with your things and start living for yourself.
It doesn’t matter what other people think of you.
It is much more important that you and your family can enjoy a clutter-free home!
8. Does it fit my current lifestyle?
Have you recently moved to Florida and still own snow boots?
If you plan on visiting places that get snow in the winter, keep them.
But if you don’t, why don’t you declutter them?
9. Why am I afraid to let this go?
Sometimes, we keep something not because we love it or use it, but because we are afraid of letting it go.
It may be great to think about why we feel that way!
10. Do I plan on using it in the next 12 months?
If you don’t plan on using it in the near future, you probably don’t need to keep it.
Free up some space!
11. Have I used it in the last 12 months?
If you’ve not used it last year, chances are you will not need it again.
Of course, there are exceptions to it, but it might be true for most things in our lives.
12. Do I want to handle this item again during my next decluttering sessions?
Decluttering can be hard enough.
Do you want to have to think about this item again and again?
Or can you decide now, and be done with it?
13. Am I keeping this just in case?
This one is so tricky!
I am often guilty of keeping some items just in case!
However, I need to be realistic, because I will probably never need or use most of these!
14. Would I miss this item if it went missing or would I be okay without it?
If you could not find this item in your home when you needed it, what would you do?
Could you go without it?
Or would you have to buy it again because you absolutely need it?
15. Is it broken or damaged or stained?
If it is broken or stained, or damaged in any way, remove it from your home unless you are going to fix it in the next few days.
You don’t want your home to become a dumping ground for trash!
16. How many of the same item do I already own?
If you already have a pair of scissors, maybe you don’t need another one.
Or maybe you do.
17. Would I like to have this with me going forward?
Do you want to hold on to items from past seasons of life?
Do you want to carry them into a new phase of your life?
Some things are worth keeping even when we are entering a new phase in our lives.
But others have become irrelevant, so get rid of them to open space for the future and what it has to offer.
18. Do I love it?
Just because you loved it in the past does not mean you need to keep it indefinitely.
19. Does it have a designated home in my house?
Where does this item live in my house?
If it does not have a home and you want to keep it, choose a home for it.
20. Can I borrow or rent it easily instead of owning it?
Some things in our homes are only used a couple of times at the most.
For some of these, it might be better to declutter them and borrow them (if we can easily do so) if we ever need them again in the future.
21. Is this item a burden for me?
Have you ever read the quote: “Sometimes you don’t realize the weight of something you’ve been carrying until you feel the weight of its release.”
It is so true!
Physical items can be a burden physically, because of their weight and the space they take up.
But they can also be a burden mentally.
Imagine how much lighter you will feel when they are gone!
22. Why am I attached to it?
When we’re stuck on an item, it’s important to understand why we feel an attachment to it.
Because we might realize that we are not attached to the thing itself, but to the memories it brings back or the person who gave it to us – which is not the same.
23. How do I feel when I use/wear it?
Life is too short to use or wear something that makes you feel bad or uncomfortable.
If you have something like that, declutter it guilt-free and enjoy how good you feel afterward!
24. How much space would I gain if I decluttered it?
When decluttering, it’s often useful to think about how much space we will have if we let something go.
Space is a valuable asset.
Why not take it back?
25. Would someone else enjoy it more than I do?
This question has helped me a lot when decluttering my home!
Whenever I’m not sure about something, I ask myself if someone would be happier to have it, or if the item will get used more regularly if I let it go.
I usually realize that indeed, I should get rid of it and find a new loving home for it.
26. Is it beautiful?
What’s the point of keeping things we find ugly in our homes?
We should only keep things we like and find beautiful in our spaces!
27. How much is it costing me to keep this?
Keeping an item can cost us a lot.
Whether that is the space it takes up, the money we have to spend to maintain or store it, the stress and anxiety it is causing us, or all the time and energy needed to clean and organize it.
28. Would I pack it and move it to another home?
Imagine you are moving houses.
Is the item worth packing and carrying in heavy boxes?
Do you want to give it space in an expensive moving truck, lift it, unpack it, and eventually decide where to put it in your new place?
29. Do I feel obligated to keep this?
Sometimes, we keep things because we feel obligated to.
Maybe because they were a gift or because they remind us of an important time in our lives.
While there is nothing wrong with keeping such things, not all of them are worth saving.
30. Is it deteriorating in storage?
Keeping things in storage for an extended period of time means that they might get damaged by weather and pests.
Time also has an impact on items: some of them do not age well.
When I helped my parents clean out their attic, we found many things that had been stored there for over a decade.
Unfortunately, many of them did not work anymore or got discolored or broken, or became unusable.
This taught me to never store things for a long time.
If I cannot use them now or soon, I make sure to let someone else use them while the items are still good.
31. Does it fit my body?
If your clothes or shoes are too small or too big, let them go (unless you know for sure they will fit you in the coming months).
They are taking up valuable space in your closet.
Read more: How to build a minimalist wardrobe you love?
32. Who am I keeping this for?
We sometimes have things not because we use or like them.
We sometimes keep them because other people told us we should have them.
Also, we might be guilty of keeping things for our fantasy selves, for the person we’d like to become but will realistically never be.
33. Did I remember I had this?
If you forgot you had this item, you can definitely live without it.
34. Will I remember I have it when I need it?
Sometimes, we buy something because we forgot we already had one at home.
Ask yourself if you will remember you already own it the next time you need it, or if you will head to the store to buy it anyway.
35. Do I dread using it?
If you dread using something, there is no point in keeping it.
This is especially true when it comes to items that are difficult to use or very impractical.
36. Is keeping it healthy and safe for me and my family?
Some items might be a safety or health hazard for us or our families.
Some examples are old china full of lead, expired products, broken toys with tiny parts that could be ingested by small children, and moldy or pest-infested items.
37. Would I buy this again?
Would you be willing to exchange your hard-earned money to get this item today?
If not, you probably don’t love it that much.
38. How much would I be willing to pay for it now?
Try to think about how much you’d be willing to pay for the item now.
If the amount is very low, the item may not be that important to you.
39. Does it fit the ideal life I’m trying to create for myself and my family?
If it doesn’t help you create your ideal life and you still hold on to it, you are holding yourself back.
Let it go.
40. Does it increase my quality of life?
Things should contribute to increasing our quality of life.
If they do not, we should get rid of them!
41. Is it stressing me out?
If your stuff stresses you out, it is not worth keeping around!
Your health is the most important thing you have, so make sure to get rid of anything that increases your anxiety.
42. Am I honoring this item if it’s sitting in a box?
I like to ask myself this question with sentimental items.
If you keep your sentimental items stored away in a box, are you really honoring them?
You should try and use them in your everyday life, or at least display them in your home.
43. Is it hard to repurchase it if I need it again?
If you need the item in the future, how much of a hassle would it be to repurchase it?
Would you have to drive 50 miles to get it?
Or can you buy it at the local supermarket 5 minutes away?
44. How expensive would it be to replace it?
Would replacing it cost you a lot of money?
Or would you only need to spend a few dollars to have it back?
45. Am I keeping this out of guilt?
Guilt will not make you use it more, so let it go and forget about it.
46. Is it really sentimental?
Is this item truly important and dear to your heart?
Or are you only attached to it because you’ve had it for a long time?
Not everything you’ve kept for most of your life is actually that important.
Similarly, is it really sentimental or are you just feeling nostalgia for a time that’s gone?
47. Does this item deserve the space I am giving it in my home?
One of the most helpful questions to ask yourself when decluttering your home is: Would you rather keep this item or have the space it is taking up?
48. Has it served its purpose?
If the item has already served its purpose but it does not anymore, why keep it?
It has done its job and you’ve benefited from it.
You can get rid of it with gratitude and guilt-free.
49. How often do I use it?
This simple, basic question makes you see the situation from an objective point of view.
You cannot contradict the numbers.
So if you only used the item once in the past five years, you probably don’t need it.
50. If someone gave me money to get this item, would I still want to keep it?
Would you be willing to exchange this item for money?
If you’d rather have the money, the item is probably not that important to you!
So if it has value, try selling it.
If not, give it away or donate it to charity.
Final thoughts on these helpful questions to ask yourself when decluttering your home
Here you have it!
These were 50 helpful questions to ask yourself when decluttering your home.
I hope this list helps you make better decisions and make the decluttering process faster, easier, and hassle-free.
If you need more guidance when getting rid of things, make sure to check the following blog posts for my best decluttering tips and ideas:
- How to start decluttering when overwhelmed with clutter and mess
- 11 decluttering hacks for minimalist living
- 9 things to get rid of for a minimalist bedroom
- 11 things to let go of in your living room
What’s more, if you liked this article, you will also enjoy reading this one: 24 questions to ask yourself before buying something.
What are your favorite decluttering questions to ask yourself when decluttering your home?
Let us know in the comment section!
And don’t forget to share this article with your friends to help them declutter their homes.
Let’s guide them with helpful questions they can ask themselves when going through their belongings!