Intentional Decluttering Starts With These 4 Questions, According to a Pro Organizer

published Jun 15, 2021
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For Pia Thompson, home organizer and owner of Sweet Digs, decluttering is more than simply getting rid of things. Yes, you could quickly go through your home and purge possessions willy-nilly. But instead, Thompson tells her clients to look inward, making the decluttering process intentional and more in the vein of a self-care practice.

Thompson’s home organizing tips are grounded in learning how to feel comfortable choosing to keep what brings you joy, and getting rid of the rest. When decluttering your home, she suggests asking yourself the following questions:  

How do you want to spend your time?

“Be intentional with your power of choice and reconsider how you’ve been prioritizing your life and choosing the items you bring into your home,” says Thompson. To do this, first, decide how you want to spend your time. Maybe you found a new hobby recently. Or maybe you realized you’d rather leave an old habit in the past. Either way, mindfully curate the things you own to support that lifestyle. “Now is really the time to focus on joy and a space that supports a life you love,” she says. 

Has your life been settling differently lately?

Time to get real with yourself. Consider if you have been settling with your life and what you own. Thompson suggests asking, “Is your closet full of suits and high heels perfect for in-person at the office and lockdown has finally made you realize that you can’t stand working a 9 to 5? Have you realized that you don’t need all that expensive china taking up valuable real estate in your kitchen because you use it only once a year? Focusing on your truth and joy will shine a light on where you are showing up with resentment, giving, or accepting the bare minimum and feeling drained.”

Credit: Minette Hand
Credit: Minette Hand

What does a sanctuary look like for you?

After spending so much time at home, it may have become clear that your home is not the sanctuary you thought it was. “It’s time to ask what such a space would look like for you and begin to make choices that align with that intention,” says Thompson. “Has having a delivery show up twice a week or more made you realize that you need to be more mindful about what comes in? Has cooking more due to lockdown made you realize that you need to declutter your kitchen? Allow the time you have spent in your home to help you design the peaceful space you have always desired.”

What are your core values?

Finally, take the time to reflect on your core values. This will be different for everyone. Core values (such as positivity, education, support for the arts, etc.) are your fundamental beliefs. These dictate behavior and will help you understand whether you’re on the right life path. Is connection and family time a priority now? When it is safe to travel again, would you like to spend more time exploring and going on adventures? “Allow those values to drive what you own,” Thompson says. “Maybe you decide to let go of that old suitcase you’ve had since college that’s so difficult to handle at the airport and embrace a newer model because you know for sure that you’ll be going on more trips.”