Declutter: How to Decide What Stays and What Goes

On this blog, I love sharing tips on how to get and keep your house organized. Getting rid of the clutter is the first step toward organizing everything. One of my earliest posts was on how to decide what you should keep and what you should toss when you’re trying to declutter your home. It’s been almost two years since I shared that with you. I feel this information on decluttering is a key element to getting organized. Therefore, I’d like to share it with you again.

Declutter: How to Decide What to Keep and What to Toss | Decorating Files | #declutter #organizing

Better Homes and Gardens

I feel so free and unburdened when I toss stuff out. Sometimes, though, it can be a little difficult to decide what stays and what goes. To help out with that problem, here is list of 10 questions to ask yourself when trying to decide whether to keep an item or toss it. And by “toss it”, I mean you are either going to donate it, give it away to a friend or throw it out.

10 Questions to Help You Declutter

  1. Do I love it?
  2. Does it have sentimental value?
  3. Do I use it?
  4. How often do I use it?
  5. When was the last time I used it?
  6. Why don’t I use it?
  7. If I keep it, where will I put it?
  8. How many of these things do I really need?
  9. If I toss it, will I be able to get another one someday?
  10. What is the worst possible thing that could happen if I got rid of it?

These questions could apply to clothes, too. Substitute “wear” for “use”. If you don’t like thinking about what you’re throwing out, think of it in terms of what you’re keeping instead. Plus if you get rid of things you’re not using or that are unimportant, you can make room for new things that you need or bring you joy!


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  1. 1


    These are some really great tips Peggy!

    In fact, we went through our de-cluttering stage just a couple of weekends ago! We took advantage of our community-wide garage sale (we are only allowed to have those twice a year); and got rid of absolutely everything that was really “cluttering” up our lives. Preparing our teenagers for the garage sale was not as easy as we thought it would be. Teens can be hoarders. THAT I’ve experienced first hand. Secondly, we really had to put it in their heads that the reason we were participating in the garage sale was not just to “make a profit”, but to really get rid of a lot of stuff we no longer needed. A buck here, a buck there, we managed to literally get rid of everything we had placed on our driveway. This included our living room furniture. My husband just up and gave it away to a young couple, who were just starting out. They were so excited. They rushed and rented a u-haul and my husband helped them load it up! We didn’t make one dime out of our furniture, but it gave us a great feeling, in our hearts, that no money could buy. (We remembered what it was like to be broke, starting our lives together, and making the best of what little we had.)

    So I guess de-cluttering is not only beneficial to your living space, but it’s beneficial to your soul as well.
    Great article. Thanks!

    • 2

      Peggy Pardo says

      Thank you, Sandi. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. And thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story. Some things money can’t buy, like that feeling you get when you’ve helped someone. :)

  2. 3


    Love this post, Peggy! Lots of great questions for deciding what to keep or release. This month I’m also focusing on the topic of letting go. It’s that time of year, isn’t it? Wishing you all the best for a wonderful spring.

    • 4

      Peggy Pardo says

      Thank you, Linda! So happy you’ve joined the discussion. Spring is definitely a time of renewal. It’s the perfect time to let go of what is weighing you down – both figuratively and literally. What better way to start out fresh than to eliminate the clutter in our lives. Hope you enjoy a lovely spring, too. I look forward to talking with you again, soon! :)

      • 5


        Just love this time of year. Although we had a surprise snow last night in New York. The flowers must be so confused. It IS the perfect time of year to let go, declutter, and organize what’s important and treasured. Inspiration abounds, especially with the cues we get from nature.

  3. 6


    That ‘snow’ that we experienced in NY that Linda referred to was actually a mini blizzard in Massachusetts and we got caught right smack in the middle of it when we moved. Hubby had to abandon the uhaul because it couldn’t make it up the mountain. When I expressed concern about leaving the contents, he said ‘we don’t need that crap anyway’! Lol

    • 7

      Peggy Pardo says

      That certainly is a unique way to declutter, Doreen. 😉 So glad you are both safe and everything turned out okay. :)

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