Drowning in Clutter? Questions to Help You Reclaim Your Home!


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Drowning in Clutter? Questions to Help You Reclaim Your Home!


Drowning in Clutter?
Questions to Help You Reclaim Your Home!

Are you overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff you have accumulated over time and not sure how to reclaim your home?

Do you find it hard to decide what should go and what should stay?

For some people this decision making process is very difficult.  Thoughts of  "I, or someone, might need it one day",  "I could probably fix it",  "But old Auntie Myrtle gave that to us",  "Maybe I can lose enough weight to wear it again" cloud their judgement.  Things are sometimes bought for a life the person dreams of, wishes they had, and it can be hard to give up on that dream, however unlikely it may be to become reality.

There comes a time when you have to say "enough is enough!" and let things go.

The following questions are aimed at helping you sort out what you really want to have in your home, and what needs to leave and bless someone else.

Special thanks to a wonderful lady known as Messy Mimi for many of the ideas below. 
She is a true blessing to so many people who are on the journey of freeing their lives and homes from clutter. 


1. WHY would I need it?     
       Do I still have that same need for it?

    WHY did I buy/get it? 
       Did I ever really have that need for it, or was it a wishful idea at the time?
2. WHERE would I need it?
         Would I really use it there?

    WHERE should I store it? 
         Is there a logical place where it should go if I wish to keep it?
3. WHAT would I need it for?
        Will I really do the job it is used for, or do I just think I "might one day" do it?

    WHAT else could I use instead?
        Do I own something else that could also do this job?
4. WHO would ask me for it?
       Is there someone who has, or is likely, to ask to use the item, or are you keeping it "just in case"?
       If there is a specific person who might need to use it, would they like to actually have the item?

    WHO might have one I could borrow for infrequent jobs, rather than own one myself?
       Maybe you could organise a tool/ toy/ book etc swap with family, friends or neighbours, to save you each owning one of everything.
5. WHEN would I need it?
        Is my need soon or someday in the future?  Is it worth keeping that long?
        (please note that "someday" is often a long time from now)

    WHEN did I last use it?
        Thinking honestly, do I actually use this item often enough to warrant having it in my home... or at all?


Some of these questions apply only to certain kinds of items... others could be asked about almost anything. 

  • Do I love it?
    Does it enhance or beautify my life in some way?

  • Does it make me smile and remind me of happy times?  OR...
    Does it bring sad memories?
    Things don't always recall happy memories or give their owner joy.  Sometimes the memory or association is bad.  Or just indifferent.  In these cases, if there is no GENUINE overriding reason to keep it, it's better to let the item go.

  • Does it make me feel guilty for not using it, or not displaying it with pride, when I look at it?
    Can I make genuine use of it or find the perfect place where I can look at it and admire it?  Or should I really send it on its way?

  • Does it fit me and look good on me now?
    If not, if I lose weight, will it still be in style and look good on me?

  • Could I get another if I really needed it?
    What is the worst that could happen if I got rid of it?

  • Can it be used as is, or would I have to repair it in some way?
    If it needs repair, how likely am I to actually do it?  Be honest!

  • Is it worth the share of rent and household expenses it takes a share of in keeping it?
    Would I be willing to pay a mover to haul it across the country?

  • Are there tax and/or legal ramifications to it?
    Does it need to be kept for reference or filing papers?  Or is it well out of date for importance?
    Where should it properly be stored if I do need to keep it?

  • Is it keeping me stuck in the past?
    Does it reflect who I am now, or who I used to be?

  • Is this item for the life I have... or the life I wish I had?
    How likely am I to really live this imagined life, do this new hobby, return to that field of work?

  • Do I really need to keep this particular physical object?
    Would a photo of the item allow me to hold on to the memory, while letting go of the actual object?


Ultimately, having a tidy, clutter free home comes down to a simple formula-

Too much stuff for the space available = clutter!  Less stuff = less clutter!

You need to pare down until you have a place for everything... and everything in its place.

I hope that the questions we have presented above help you in deciding what items you give house space to, and what you send on its way.
De-cluttering Tips

If you have a serious problem with clutter or hoarding, you can find support and encouragement here.

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