Need help decluttering? These decluttering questions will help you get rid of stuff quickly.
Declutter,  Home,  Intentional Living,  Minimalism,  Productivity

18 Decluttering Questions to Help You Get Rid of Stuff Fast

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When you begin decluttering, sometimes you just need someone to join you and tell you what to keep and what to get rid of.

That’s where I come in.

I’ll be your BFF and slap those useless items out of your hand.

Just kidding! Kind of.

Instead, I’ll do the best I can by providing with you a checklist of questions to ask yourself.

By working through these questions, you’ll be able to start decluttering, get rid of the excess, and start crafting the home and life that you’re really striving toward.

How to use this list:

Read through it and find the questions that really resonate with you.

Use those questions to help you start decluttering make the first sweep through a room.

As you get to the tougher items to decide on, consider using more of the questions to help you narrow down whether you should keep it or not.

Where do I start?

Start with any surface that you could declutter in less than 5 minutes.

You need to build up your momentum and confidence!

After that surface is clear, pick another surface.

Then another.

You don’t need to tackle an entire room at one time. Take baby steps!

Check out this post for help on How to Start Decluttering When You Feel Overwhelmed

What do I do with the stuff I want to get rid of?

You have several options for getting rid of your stuff.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Donate
  • Sell
  • Recycle
  • Give to someone else
  • Throw it away

What do I do with the stuff I keep?

Find a “home” for every item you decide to keep.

If you don’t know where to put it yet, consider giving it a temporary home until you figure out a better place to put it.

Try not to let things pile up simply because you don’t know where to put them yet, as that can cause more clutter and stress.

Awesome decluttering questions to help you get rid of stuff fast.

Questions to Ask Yourself While Decluttering

1) Do I use this item regularly?

If the answer is yes – keep it!

There’s no reason to get rid of something that you obviously love, need, and use.

2) Do I need this item for a specific reason or occasion?

Sometimes we own items that we don’t use on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, but we use consistently on special occasions.

Examples of this would be:

  • A formal dress you wear when a Sunday dress isn’t fancy enough
  • Holiday decorations
  • Picnic blanket and basket
  • Camping/Hunting/Fishing gear

These are perfectly reasonable items to hold on to, so what should you do with them?

Try to find a home for these items. Store them out of sight if possible, but keep them accessible for when you need them.

3) Have I used this in the last year?

Chances are if you haven’t used an item in over a year, you probably don’t need it.

If you have used it, take a look at some of the other questions on this list.

4) Will I use it within the next 6 months?

This goes back to some of those special occasion items, except this time I want you to consider if it’s a seasonal item, such as sweaters, coats, swimsuits, etc., that could possibly be stored until the right season rolls around.

There’s absolutely no need for you to display your fur-lined parka front and center in your closet when it’s the middle of the summer.

If you know you’re not going to use it, maybe it’s time to get rid of it.

5) Do I have a similar item that serves the same purpose?

If you went through your home using only this question to declutter, you could probably fill several trash bags worth of stuff!

Seriously!

Do you really need 8 spatulas?

What about that quesadilla maker you never touch, since you always cook your quesadillas on the stovetop?

And nobody needs 5,000 pens just in case one runs out of ink. 

Get rid of duplicate items and similar items. You’ll feel much lighter for it.

6) Is it easily replaceable if needed?

All of us keep items just in case we might need them in the future.

If the item is easily replaceable, let go of it. If you end up needing it someday, you’ll be able to replace it.

You’ll most likely forget you had one anyway.

7) Am I holding onto an item to fix or refinish in the future?

Either take action with it or get rid of it!

If you’ve held onto a broken item for ages and still haven’t fixed it, you probably don’t really need it.

If you’re wanting to refinish a piece of furniture, schedule some time to get it done, or let it go so another family can enjoy it.

8) Do I know what it is/what it goes to?

Most electronic cords and plugs can easily be replaced, and you’re most likely using the ones you really need already.

Don’t keep that box of cords and plugs.

Let someone else figure out what to do with them.

9) Is the only reason I’m keeping this so that I don’t waste money?

The money has already been spent.

If you’ve used the item, fantastic! You didn’t waste the money.

If you haven’t used it, you’ll really bless someone else when you pass a brand new item along to them.

Your new BFF to help you get rid of stuff fast.

10) Does it fit me or my home?

So many women live perpetually in a state of physical transition.

If I could just lose the baby weight.

I’m going to lose 50 lbs.

I’ll get tan enough to wear this next summer.

It’s time to let go of the clothes that don’t fit and don’t make you feel beautiful.

Then when you do lose that weight or whatever your goal is, you can reward yourself with some new clothes that you feel amazing in!

11) If I were shopping right now, would I buy this?

If the answer is no, get rid of it.

If the answer is yes, then absolutely keep it because it’s either useful or it brings you joy.

12) Is it worth my time to have it in my home?

Each item we allow to dwell in our homes takes up time.

It may be a few seconds a month, or several minutes a day, but every single item takes some amount of time.

It is worth your time to allow your kids to have so many toys that all they can do with them is dump them all over the floor?

Is it worth your time to do loads and loads of laundry filled with clothes you don’t even like?

Really consider if an item is worth the cost of your time, and let that be a factor in whether it stays or goes.

Here are 10 Ways to Reconnect With Your Toddler

13) When choosing an item to use, would I pick something else over this item?

This is one of my favorite ways to decide if I’m going to keep something.

Am I ever going to pick this mug over the others? Eh, probably not. Time to let it go!

If I have to choose a shirt to wear from a closet full of clean clothes, will I ever choose this shirt first? If not, chunk it!

If you know that you’d rather use another item over the item you’re considering, then you already know the answer to the question of if it gets to stay or not.

14) Why do I feel like I need to keep it?

Storytime: I was helping my husband clean out his closet and he had two A&M jerseys. He told me to keep one and toss the other.

I asked him why he felt that he needed to keep one.

After thinking for a moment, he replied with, “You know… I don’t know why. I don’t need it for anything. Put that in the donate pile!”

Sometimes we have absolutely no idea why something is kept in our home.

Take a few minutes on those items and try to get down to the root of why you allow it to stay.

15) Am I holding on to this for sentimental value? If it’s a sentimental item, can I display it? Repurpose it? Digitally archive it?

When it comes down to it, items are not special. It is the people we associate with items that give them value.

When you let go of an item, you do not let go of that person or memory.

But if something is really special to you, can you find a way to display it, repurpose it, or reuse it?

If you can find a way to use or display those nostalgic items, you’ll get to have the joy of seeing it often.

Otherwise, it’s just put in a box in the back of a closet.

Consider digitally archiving items that hold special memories, but you know you don’t need to hold on to. Take a picture and keep them in a special file on your computer or hard drive.

16) Is the original necessary to keep?

Strive to reduce the amount of paper kept in your home.

You can scan most documents to keep in a file on your computer or hard drive. This allows you to shred the physical copy and get the paper clutter reduced.

Just be sure to hold on to important original documents such as titles and birth certificates.

17) Does it contribute to the life I want?

Really sit down and consider what you want in life.

What are your values and priorities? What kind of home do you want to live in?

Does this item contribute to that vision? If not, chunk it.

You need to cut off the excess in order to find the beauty underneath.

18) Does it feel like mine?

I’ve saved my favorite question for last.

If you’re anything like me, you may have several “hand-me-down” items or furniture pieces in your home.

I used to hold onto these simply because they were generously given to me until one day I looked around and realized that my home didn’t feel like it was mine.

I wasn’t surrounded by things I loved.

I was surrounded by things that didn’t feel like they actually belonged to me.

It’s okay to be grateful for the generosity of others, but it’s also okay to let it go if it doesn’t feel like it truly belongs to you.

Great decluttering questions to help you get rid of stuff fast.

Do it all again…

For most people, decluttering isn’t something we do once and we’re done forever.

It’s a lifestyle change.

You need to make a shift in your mentality and start considering some of these questions before you allow new items into your home.

Make it a goal to get rid of something every day.

You’ve got this.

What helps you decide if something stays or go? What questions do you ask yourself while decluttering?

Let me know in the comments below!

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