Questions to Ask About Your Clutter

How do you decide what to keep when you are having a sort-out?

Sometimes, it is difficult to decide what to keep and what to throw away. Personally, I tend to be something of a hoarder, but I’m learning to let go of stuff I really need.

Ask Three Big Questions

Perhaps the best way to decide what to keep is first to decide three big things:

  1. What are your requirements for dignified day-to-day living?
  2. What are your goals and what do you need to achieve them?
  3. Who do you want to become and what do you need to get there?

Having decided these things, you can assume that everything else is unnecessary, so should be gotten rid of.

Start With Some Easier Questions

Whilst I am convinced that these are three great questions, they are also big questions and so are not always easy to answer. When I’m dealing with my stuff, I often find it easier to work through my things and ask myself  some simpler questions:

  1. If you had to, could you live without it?
  2. Do you use it?
  3. How many do you need?
  4. Are you keeping if for sometime in the future? When will that day come?
  5. Will you actually mend it? When?
  6. Must you own it to benefit from it?
  7. Are any of these your reasons for keeping it?
    • It was so expensive
    • You have a sentimental attachment to it
    • It was a present
    • Someone will be upset if you get rid of it
    • Your children might want it
    • It is an heirloom
    • It’ll be worth so much money some day
    • It might come in handy one day

Of coarse, on this last point, some of these may be good reasons and not mere excuses. If something really is likely to increase in value over the next few years then you might be daft to let it go. Similarly, if you are really attached to something, you might consider keeping it. What is important, however, is that you make positive decisions about your stuff, rather than letting clutter clog up your life unchecked.

Happy de-cluttering!


Some of the ideas for this post were inspired by an article on Andrew Mellen’s web site. Apparently he’s written a book called, “Unstuff Your Life!”. What an inspired title!

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