Have you ever tried to declutter a room but left off totally frustrated and discouraged? Decluttering is something people want to do, but they often go about it all wrong. If you’re decluttering your home, make sure you’re not making these common mistakes.
1. Not picking a focused area to declutter
If you are trying to declutter your home, don’t just pick and choose an item here and there to get rid of. This cherry-picking approach is very inefficient and will never make a significant impact. Instead, declutter focused areas – a drawer, a cupboard, a room. You probably can’t declutter the basement in a day, but you could do it in a week if you break it into manageable areas.
2. Trying to find the perfect home for each and every piece of clutter you want to discard
Sometimes people are hanging on to some piece of clutter because they want to find just the right person for it. Maybe it’s a children’s toy that they no longer want, but they don’t just want to toss it in the trash or donate it to the thrift store. So it sits on the shelf, taking up space while they look for someone who wants to have it.
Instead of doing this, remember that even if you give something away anonymously, someone else will likely be blessed by it. You’ll save so much time if you just make a big donation drop at the thrift store (or even throw the stuff in the trash if it’s no longer usable).
3. Not disposing of the clutter right away
Some people are good at decluttering, but they don’t complete the process! They tidy up a room and remove all the clutter which then sits in a pile by the door or in the trunk of the car for weeks.
If you do this, you’re missing out on the best part of decluttering – the wonderful end result! So make sure to plan a drop off at the thrift store or to list your item for sale immediately. Make a deal with yourself that if it’s not gone in a week, you’ll throw it out.
4. Holding out for perfection
Some people postpone decluttering because they don’t have time to do it up to their standards. They want a nice long stretch of time uninterrupted by children or other responsibilities. This might be ideal, but probably not realistic.
If this is you, see if you can redefine the scope of what you want to do.
Change from “Today, I want to declutter the bedroom” to “Today I want to declutter my nighttable.” Do that task from beginning to end and then do something else. Using a checklist like the one in my Decluttering Mini-Course (see below to sign up) can be a big help.
5. Thinking decluttering is the same as organizing
While you can certainly organize WHILE you declutter, don’t confuse the two. Organized clutter is still clutter. If you have too much stuff or things you don’t want, make sure you discard these things and organize what’s left.