Are you trying to declutter but hitting obstacles along the way?
Maybe you’ve started to declutter a number of times but ran out of motivation or time (or both).
Maybe you’ve successfully decluttered a space only to quickly reclutter it again.
It’s not uncommon to come up against these issues and barriers when you’re trying to declutter.
But you’ll be pleased to know that with a few easy tweaks to your habits and mindset you’ll be more likely to achieve your goals next time.
6 things you’re probably doing wrong when you’re decluttering
Throwing away what you don’t need rather than keeping what you do
This is a simple change in mindset that might give you the breakthrough you’re looking for — instead of thinking ‘what can I get rid of?’, think ‘what do I want to keep?’.
Imagine how you want the space to look and then work towards that outcome. It’s starting at the end. And why not? You wouldn’t go on any other journey without knowing the destination.
Buying storage before you declutter
Make sure you declutter before you buy any new storage. Hopefully after you declutter you won’t need to buy anything! Buying loads of storage to hide away your clutter is not solving the problem — it’s just hiding the problem, or at least making it look a little neater.
Once you’ve done your declutter, you can work out exactly what storage you need before you buy.
Trying to do everything at once
If you are overwhelmed by the thought of decluttering your home, it might be because you’re thinking of too much at once. It might help to remember the Chinese proverb: ‘a journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step’.
If you’re overwhelmed you need to start small. And there’s no such thing as TOO small — the most important thing is that you just start.
Organising rather than decluttering
I am sometimes guilty of this. I can spend an hour or so ‘decluttering’ only to realise I haven’t actually gotten rid of anything, I’ve just put the clutter into neater piles or moved it to different room. But in my case this is usually because I no longer have heaps of clutter in my home. However I still love to declutter! My family are scared that soon I’ll be throwing away useful things (like the toaster!) just to free up some more space!
But sometimes this happens because you can’t actually part with the items you’re meant to be decluttering. If this is you, remember to ask yourself as you consider each item, “do I need this or love this?”. You will sometimes have to be ruthless. It will feel like a weight has been lifted.
Forgetting to prepare and follow-up
Having a few systems in place before you begin to declutter will help the process during and afterwards.
The key to an organised home is that everything has a place. And one of the most important ‘places’ in a home is what I call a ‘drop zone’ this is where you (and your family) put your things when you return home. For you, this might be a place to put your keys and phone. Or a place to hang your handbag. For children this might be a place to store their schoolbags and shoes. Define or create these areas to stop clutter building up around the house and set up the notion that there’s a place for everything.
Another system to set up is a donation bin/box in your wardrobe. This is a place to put things you’re decluttering now, but also as on ongoing thing. There will always be moments when you try on an outfit and realise you no longer like it or fit into it and if the donation bin is already there in your wardrobe you’ll resist the temptation to just put it back on the hanger for another time.
You’re touching too much
If you’re familiar with the Konmari method of decluttering you’ll know that Marie Kondo encourages people to touch objects to see if they ‘spark joy’. This is a brilliant idea that works for many people, but if you’re finding it difficult to part with your clutter you’ll be glad to know there is another way.
The other theory is that touching something reconnects you to it. And for some people, picking up a pair of jeans they haven’t worn for nearly a decade creates an attachment — a physical and emotional attachment — and the longer they physically hold on to it, the harder it will be to let it go emotionally.
If this is you, try asking a friend to help you to declutter. Let them do the holding. Get them to lift your clothes from the drawers while you sit a safe distance away with your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ signs!
This blog post is sponsored by Calm & Clutter-Free
If you’re having trouble decluttering your home why not join the Declutter Your Home in 12 Easy Steps online course. It’s is a room-by-room, step-by-step decluttering program with plenty of hints and tips along the way.
Take 20% off the already-reduced price of $99 (RRP$165) when you enter code BUBHUB at checkout.