Friday, October 24, 2014

7 Questions to Ask While Decluttering

block with a question mark
Question Mark Block: Photo by Jared Charup, licensed under Creative Commons

Ask we look through our possessions as we declutter, we ask ourselves questions — and sometimes you may find a particular question helpful. You’ve probably heard some of the standards, such as: When did I last use this?

Here are some of the many other questions you might ask; pick any that work for you!

1. Would I buy it again today? (from one of my clients)

2. Similarly: Would I replace it if it were broken or lost? (from Gretchen Rubin, via Kathleen Crombie)

3. Regarding clothes: Can I imagine this ever being the best possible thing in my closet to wear? (From Dinah Sanders)

4. I suggest that each item earn its way in. In other words, don’t ask, “Should I let this go?“ Instead ask, “Does this deserve to be kept?” (from Janine Adams)

5. Does this memento prompt any memories? I tend to keep things that seem to be “mementos,” assuming that they have some emotional resonance, but many don’t. (from Gretchen Rubin)

6. Which choice would the person I want to be make? (from Dinah Sanders)

7. Does it spark joy? (from a book by Marie Kondo, reported by Penelope Green, via Eve Glicksman, Liz Jenkins and Farhad Manjoo)

Related Posts:
Questions to Help Eliminate Clutter
Saving Things "Just In Case ..."


SueBK said...

I find the first and most useful question is "Why am I keeping this?" Knowing why I've kept it then enables me to ask all those other questions. Often I don't have to ask any other questions because the answer to 'why' is 'because I haven't got around to throwing it out'. The hardest answer for me to deal with is 'because it might be useful one day'. Everything and anything 'might' be useful; not everything is going to be.

Dinah Sanders said...

Great questions!

I learned "When would this be the best possible choice?" from Evan Williams, if I recall correctly. Super handy for culling the wonderful from the 'fine for someone who isn't me'.

Jeri Dansky said...

SueBK, that's a great question to add to the list!

Dinah, I've asked some clients, "Would this ever be your first choice of something to wear?" and have found it to be a really useful question. It helps ME with my own stuff, too!