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The key questions of decluttering

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If you’ve been reading this series and followed the steps, you’ve created your vision for your space, chosen a small but mighty place to start, and gathered up your supplies. Now it’s time to actually start decluttering.

If you have space, empty the area you want to declutter. (Remember, I suggest it be a small space like a drawer or a cupboard.) Sort the items so that like things are together. That way, you’ll discover your multiples. (When I decluttered my kitchen utensil drawer I was shocked to learn that I owned three pizza cutters!).

It should be relatively easy to part with all but one of the multiples. Pick the one you like best and put the rest in the donate box.

Then start going through each of the items and ask yourself the following three questions:

Do I use it?
Do I love it?
Does keeping this item contribute to my vision for the space?

If you can honestly answer yes to any of the above questions, keep it. If you can’t, please consider letting it go. If it’s tough to let it go, try these two follow-up questions:

If I let go of this item and I find I need it, will I be able to get another one?
How likely is that to happen?

The three key questions should help guide you to letting go of the stuff you won’t miss. Don’t let these common objections derail you:

I paid a lot for it. (The money is gone and keeping the item won’t bring it back.)
It was a gift. (That doesn’t mean you have to keep it.)
I might need it some day. (See the two follow-up questions, above.)

Place items in the appropriate boxes you’ve gathered (see Gathering Your Decluttering Supplies), or the trash, until you’ve gone through them all.

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