Make Decluttering Easier By Asking Yourself These 5 Questions

Determine whether an item deserves a space in your home or in the trash with this five-point guide.


You’ve been shopping for years until you find your closet, cupboards, and basement almost suffocating. As the year draws to a close, it’s high time to declutter and let go of some items.

But how do you know if an item is an investment worthy to keep or clutter you should immediately get rid of? Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you decide.

1. Do I really need it?

A basic question to ask. But firstly, you should realize what “need” truly means. If your answer to the question is yes, consider how crucial the item is to you, especially if it is used frequently. If losing the item will disrupt your daily routine, or will cause malfunction to your household, then consider it a necessity.

2. Do I still like this?

It’s difficult to throw away the first sofa you bought with your first salary, or the clothes and toys when you were nine years old, or the vacuum cleaner your mom gave you. It’s okay to be sentimental and linger in the past, but if you want to make your New Year clutter-free, it’s about time to determine where the item stands in the hierarchy of your needs at home. Keep your home from becoming a huge bodega.

3. Is it still functional?

It’s a waste of storage space to keep something broken. Check the item thoroughly and examine its condition. If the item can still be fixed, have it repaired immediately to prevent further damage. Unless you aren’t committed to repairing it or interested in using it at all, then its place should be in the junk already. If you really want to keep a memoir, take a picture of the items you’re letting go, post them online and write something about them.

See related topic: (How Can You Make Your Home Eco-Friendly Without Shelling Out Too Much?)

4. Have I used this in the last 12 months?

If you haven’t used an item for a year now and you are just doing fine without using it, chances are you won’t use it anymore—if we are talking about clothes, accessories, and curtains. However, if we are talking about pieces of furniture, appliances, ceramics, art pieces, or jewelry, you might want to reconsider. If an item is something of value, check its quality first and consult experts to know about its condition. If the item has already depreciated in value or is malfunctioning, let go of it now.

See related topic: (Home Shopping Techniques for Newlyweds)

5. What am I saving this for?

If you are looking into keeping it for future use, recognize if the item is built to last. Some items are compromised by time, especially if not properly stored. Exposure to dust, water, heat, sunlight and other elements can cause dilapidation. If you are not able to provide proper care and storage, you might as well give it away or sell it online. Will all the baby stuff, for instance, still be in good condition in the year you are planning to have your next kid? It’s good to be sentimental about the past, but sometimes, you really just have to move on. —Diana Lyn Balbalosa