Be a Clutter Ninja! Ask The Right Questions

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Series: 10 Tips | A Little Organization Can Save You Time, Money and Sanity!

Number 1: Be a Clutter Ninja and Ask The Right Questions!

In my Introductory Post I told you how much I love to ask questions. Well, let's start this out right, by asking the right questions!

"Let's face it, we all have clutter, some of us just have more than others. What are you going to do about it?"

As a Trained Professional Organizer, I'm always asking my clients questions in order to help them make decisions. There are lots of great sites online to help you ask some great questions when trying to pare down the clutter.

Here is a great resource on the Home Your Way, intentional and creative living website.

10 Questions to help you declutter - Home Your Way

In this article the authour asks: "Am I saving this just in case?" I love this question because it brings up a great discussion about having to replace items you've given or thrown away. However, as the author also says...

"The benefit of a clutter-free home is almost always worth the tiny bit of regret in these situations."
Mandi Ehman

I love the question... "Could I use this space for something else?" Now, we're starting to touch on the big picture of Organizing! You can ask a thousand questions, but you need to start with the right questions, so you can get your organizing project off to a great start.

So here are my...

Top 6 Clutter Ninja Questions

When you finally have time to tackle the clutter in that room (you know the one), ask yourslef these 6 questions.

1. What are your goals for de-cluttering your space?

Do you want to de-clutter the basement so that you can use it as a play area or home office or an entertainment area?

2. Does this item help or hinder my de-cluttering goals?

Having a set goal in mind, will help guide your decision making.

3. How often do I really use it? Daily, weekly, monthly or never?

The answer to this question will help you decide if you should really keep this item in this area. The real challenge is being honest with yourself!

4. Does this item have a use that doesn't involve the statement, "Someday when I have time..."?

This question helps you think about reality. We only have so much time in the day. Are we really going to make time for that item or is it just taking up precious space?

5. Is reaching my de-cluttering goal worth more than this item?

Here's a philosophical question. Every item has a value which we place on it in our minds. So which has more value? Your de-cluttering goal or your item? If you are really struggling, go back to question 3.

6. Am I keeping this out of obligation or expectation?

Did you receive a gift that you just hate. But you feel guilty about giving it away, because what if they come over and see it's gone? Allow yourself to be released from the guilt. Chances are they will never notice you don't have it and your peace of mind is worth more than the one awkward conversation that may never occur.

Ninjas - There are 4 of them in this room

As I work with clients to manage clutter and get organized, I find there are some very helpful questions each of us need to ask ourselves. But this isn't just a one time thing... you need to be asking yourself the Golden Organizing questions every time you walk through your house.

Am I ready to part with anything?

There are always things that can be removed from a home: clothes that don't fit, broken items we'll never fix, things that just annoy you.

Here are 2 simple steps to maintain all the hard work of de-cluttering your home.

Orange Give Away BagCreate a "Give Away Bag"

Whenever you see something that you can part with, put it in the designated Give Away Bag. We keep ours in the storage room, so it's out of the way. We also use large orange leaf bags, because they cannot be mistaken for garbage bags.

Call Someone to Come and Get It

What works great for us, is being on the Cerebral Palsy call list. Every 1-2 months they call me to ask if I have donation items. If we do, they give us a pick-up date and all we do is put the bag of items out that morning... and presto! They take it away... and we declutter while helping a great organization!

I have created a list of other organizations that collect donations as well. Feel free to take a look at where to donate items!


Good teaching is more about...

Stay tuned next time for...

How a Clean Desk Can Make You More Money!

Learn which questions need to be at the forefront of your mind in order to manage the clutter and save you the grief of digging through it.

Here is a complete list of my series, have a look at previous articles or click through for a sneak peak of what is to come!


Annalisa Sawatzky is a Pastor's wife and Mother of 2, who holds a Bachelor of Applied Design in Interior Design. Annalisa became a Trained Professional Organizer, and in 2012 started…

Learn more about Annalisa Sawatzky