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Questions to ask yourself when you’re decluttering

questions to ask yourself when you're decluttering

Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.

Spring cleaning can be daunting, to say the least. From the kitchen to the bedroom, there isn’t one room of your the house that’s safe from this annual recalibration. In order to get your home feeling a little lighter and more streamlined, it’s important to look at all of your household items critically and eliminate what you can. If you’re like me, it can be extremely difficult to part with sentimental items or things you’ve been holding onto for years.

To avoid this yearly decluttering struggle, ask yourself these five questions when you’re undecided about what to keep and what to purge.

Is it in good condition?

The first thing I ask myself if I’m unsure about whether to toss or keep an item is whether or not it’s in good condition. If it’s seen better days, toss it. Sometimes even the most tattered items hold sentimental value, and it can be hard to let go of old things that hold special memories. My advice is to be very selective when it comes to sentimental items, or else you’ll face the same predicament year after year. If you choose to hold onto something in bad condition, like your great-grandmother’s broken vase, either repurpose it or take it to a specialist to get it back in working order.

When was the last time I used it?

Once you’ve weeded out items in bad condition, ask yourself when you last used the item at hand. Whether it’s a sweater or a waffle maker, if you don’t use it regularly, put it aside! It’s better to make some extra room in closets, drawers and cabinets for items you actively use. For items that are in good condition but just don’t get any use, take the opportunity to sell them and make some money. Getting a little something in return will hopefully encourage you to let go!

Do I like it?

We all have those items that we hold onto but don’t actually like. Maybe it’s a garish tea set from an aunt you feel bad giving away, or a trendy jacket you paid a hefty price for but which is now out of style. Spring cleaning is the time to put the backstory aside and think critically about how these things function in your life today. If your goal is to clear clutter and streamline your living space, you should only allow the things you really like to make the cut.

Do I have more than one?

If you have several of the same item, you know what to do — simplify! There’s no use in having more than one of a certain appliance, book or clothing item. Pull the duplicates together, pick the one in the best condition and toss out or donate the other. Yet another way to cut down is to prioritize multi-purpose items. For instance, if you have a jewelry box sitting on your vanity that you don’t use, remove it and use an easily accessible dish for your daily jewelry instead.

Would I take it in a fire?

So you’ve asked yourself all of the above questions and still can’t make a decision on whether or not to eliminate something? Go with the most dramatic of home clean-out questions: would you take it with you in a fire? If your gut answer is no, get rid of it! As for precious mementos and family photos that aren’t being used or on display, I always give these items the benefit of the doubt and hold onto them. That being said, make sure they are as neat, organized and condensed as possible! The more excess you purge from your home, the better you’ll feel about hanging onto a few key items.

With these five questions in your arsenal, unnecessary clutter won’t stand a chance in your home!

Bree