Clutter can be controlling, and if you’ve reached this point, you’re probably feeling crowded in the chaos. When you next find yourself frustrated by your lack of space, it might be time to ask yourself the hard questions.

Have I or anyone in the house used this item in the last year?

If you’ve fallen prey to a kitchen cupboard of ‘time savers’ like the banana slicer or popcorn machine, ask yourself if or when you last used it. If it hasn’t seen the light of day in the last year, it’s time to go.  

Is this actually useful?

If you find yourself saying ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’ but can’t remember why it’s taking up shelf space, it might be time to let it go.  

Am I holding onto this just in case?

‘Insurance’ items are serious clutter culprits. Unless you’re an outdoor enthusiast, there’s no need to keep storing 3 bags of spare tent pegs.  

Is this too expensive to replace?

Sometimes holding onto things can serve a purpose. You might not have used your garden marquee for a while, but holding onto a big ticket item like this might just pay off. That said it might be cheaper to rent it rather then store it. Check the numbers  

Would I pay to move this to a new house?

If you wouldn’t take it with you, there’s probably not much point in keeping it.  

Could I use this space for something else?  

Sometimes space is more valuable than the things in it. Make sure you give yourself room to breathe and downsize.  

How many of these do I already have?

Realistically, you can’t actually use more than one peeler at a time, but with 7 in your kitchen drawer, you might think otherwise. If you’re manifesting multiples and there’s no good reason why, it’s time to cut the clutter.  

Am I storing this properly?

‘Things’ aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but storing them badly is, so if you’re committing to keeping something, always use good quality storage boxes and packing materials.

Does it still suit me?

One of the biggest clutter causes is the fear of letting go. Taking the plunge and committing to clutter-free living far outweighs the fear of moving on.

Is this something I’ll want my kids or grandchildren to see one day?

Some things come with an important family story or may have been handed down through the generations. If you’ve got something of sentimental value that you just can’t seem to part with, follow your gut – odds are, you’re not ready to part with it.