8 Questions to Help You Declutter and Organize

It's hard to let go of something when we still find value in it.  We hold on because we don't want to be wasteful, we have memories attached to the item, we have big plans for it...but how much is all that clutter really costing you?

If you're anything like me (hi, friend!) then there are reasons we hold on to things that reaaaally shouldn't be.  Our reasoning is usually sound.  Our intentions always justified.  But how many of these things do we really need (stacks of scrapbook paper from ten years ago, I'm looking at you)?


Check out the above list for some pretty awesome questions (I especially love question #2, 3, and 4) to ask yourself the next time you're holding on to something that might be more useful to someone else, or the recycle bin.

When first beginning a decluttering phase, or if dealing with particularly sentimental items, ask yourself a few of these questions to help make things clearer.  I've found, if I'm truly honest with myself, that I don't really need the item I'm trying to justify holding on to.  I am a triple threat when it comes to hoarding:

1. I'm frugal (I love saving, love a great deal, and hate to waste)
2. I'm sentimental (items carry memories and emotions, afraid to let go and forget)
3. I'm a creative optimist (I see potential in everything and see the value in almost everything)

So, basically, throwing something out, even donating it, sends me into a whirlwind of guilt, sadness, longing for what might have been.  It's not completely rational, but I know I'm not alone in this.  If you feel this way too, just know that every item that you can let go of will slowly, but surely, more you towards your goal of more meaningful, peaceful living.

And in case you're still deciding on whether or not to hold onto that storage unit of stuff from college, or if you really do have a major clutter problem, take a quick look at this eye-opening infographic.


Anyone else feel a bit wide-eyed right now?  Yikes!

Let's be honest, this infographic calls it like it is!  Simply put, excessive clutter leeches time and money from your life.  I can personally attest to this, as there have been many projects, blog posts, even hours away from my children, all sacrificed because of too much clutter preventing me, in one way or another, from accomplishing my goals.

The best part is, the less literal clutter and excess you have in your life, the less emotional clutter you endure, and the more time you have to enjoy the good stuff!

If you're just beginning your journey, or are a practiced minimalist, I'd love to hear your comments!  How do you deal with the piles and overstuffed drawers in your life?  Any favorite tips you can share would be most welcome!

Happy decluttering, friends!

*Graphics originally shared 2015 - new commentary added 2018