One Question to Ask When Decluttering Your Home

Change: It's A Good ThingDecluttering is in full-swing at the Baker’s house. Maybe it’s the excitement of the move, or the adrenaline of the unknown, or the simple fact that I can’t find squat that makes this particular decluttering effort seem more successful.

As I began sorting through clothes, paperwork, and yes, even books, I began asking myself one question:

“How will I FEEL the moment I see this item when unpacking it at the new house?”

Talk about changing one’s perspective! This one question Is freeing me both emotionally and physically. If I knew a particular item wouldn’t spark joy the moment I spotted it when unpacking in our new home, it was placed in one of three places: Goodwill, consignment, or trash. It was an immediate score. Woot Woot!

In the past, we’ve hauled the entire contents of one house to another, assuming we’d one day go through all the boxes. Not this time. We’re now going through everything before it’s packed away. Last week, I took two totes to consignment, five totes to Goodwill, and tossed 8 bags of trash. Oh, the freedom!

Yes, the process of ridding ourselves of clothes that have worn out their welcome and tossing papers with scribbles from long ago is freeing, but it still boggles the mind as to how we got here.

At one point during last week’s mission it occurred to me that much of the clutter was due to procrastination on our part. It always seemed easier to find a spot for something, say, next week. Until then, any flat surface would do. Especially if it’s a book. Or a notebook. Or fountain pens. Okay, I digress. But you get the point.

During this frenzied season of decluttering and preparing for a move, I find that the one question I ask myself while deciding what to pack, or what to toss or share, brings rest to this old soul and a renewed determination to do things differently this time around.

So how do you go about the process of decluttering? Do you have a particular question or mantra that helps you stay focused?


Three Unique Questions to Begin the Decluttering Process

by Cathy Baker

I hate clutter but you wouldn’t know if you knocked on my front door today. It would instead appear as a lifelong friend making itself right at home in any corner it pleases. 

Little does it know, a plan is being set in motion to pack its bag and cart it off to the closest Goodwill. (Brian, ignore the stand-up bass loaded in the truck below.)

So why have I allowed books to nestle in the corners and a multitude of notes to scatter on multiple surface tops? I get overwhelmed—quickly! But you know what they say…

If you keep doing the same thing, then you will keep getting the same results. 

I plan to share my decluttering strategy in more details down the road. Today, I share three unique questions that will lead the way:  

  • If I were shopping right now, would I buy this? Talk about a fresh perspective! 
  • Does it fit me or my current living space? I face the prospect of getting rid of my, shall I say, “spacier” clothes? That’s a lot of clothes but holding onto them signals my willpower that it’s okay if I gain my weight back. It’s not okay.
  • Is the only thing that’s keeping me from disposing of this item is that I don’t want to waste money? This is a biggie. I’m learning that the ironic part of this argument is that our “stuff” often ends up costing us much more in the end — mentally and physically. There’s upkeep, the worry of someone knocking on the door which could result in two hazards: (1) our stacks will topple and (2) someone will see our stacks topple, and a whole host of other effects of clutter. 

Okay, that’s all the transparency I can handle for one day. 

Which of the three questions above would motivate you most to jump on the decluttering junk wagon? 

(To read the source (Popsugar, Emily Co.) for the above questions in its entirety, click here.)

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life–whether you
have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more
than food, and your body more than clothing?” Matthew 6:25

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