When Decluttering Isn't Enough
The most difficult thing is following the steps to get to a simplified life and being stopped in your tracks.
There is so much stuff. A lot of stuff. The amount of stuff is so big that it’s not even worth the time of going through all of it.
When you’re in this pickle, what do you do? You know you’ve been putting off going through things, but is it worth the time to sit down and go through EVERYTHING? Who has the time or the patience for that?
I recently hit this fork in my own path not too long ago! In fact, most people going through this change will come to this crossroad. When you’ve been accumulating for so long, you’re pushed to a limit. But really, you and I both know that this “limit” is nothing more than just good, old-fashion fear.
Fear of the unknown, fear of change will always hold you back if you let it. “If I throw away this, I’ll need it down the line!” Or “if I don’t keep this, so-and-so will be mad.” Yikes, all of these things have been said by me in those dark days.
If this is your first hurdle in your decluttering journey, check out Two Easy Ways to Overcome Any Decluttering Struggle. Everyone goes through a battle with decluttering, and you and I are going to get through this together!
In this article, you’ve tried everything and you’re looking for some BIG changes for all of your stuff. You feel like you’re still just shuffling around the same stuff, right?
After sitting in my own complete fear-paralysis, I started thinking of what items I actually wanted to keep. If I couldn’t name them, I didn’t need them. That’s right, I got to that stage. If you’re there with me, let’s start really decluttering and I’ll walk you through how we’re going to get rid of a ton of stuff!
If you’re just starting your decluttering journey, take a peek at How to Start Decluttering & Live Minimally. This easy how-to will start you off on the right foot on how to start your journey or regain your focus. Easy to implement mindsets and motivation will have you decluttered in no time!
Are you looking for guidance in your minimalism journey, you're in the right place! Check out the Minimalism tag for all things minimalism related. Here you'll find every resource you need for your journey! These articles will help you start and continue your journey to your ideal minimalism that fits perfectly in your life.
Looking for even more tips on how to declutter and wrangle your stuff? I got you covered! Check out the Decluttering tag for everything you need to get control back over your home and beat the mess.
Have you wrangled most of the clutter in your life and are looking for tips to live more intentionally? The Intentional Living tag has steps to be more present and how to live focus on being meaningful in your journey.
Put everything away & Decompress
Dead serious. Just put everything right back where it was and wait. Having a meltdown while decluttering? Shove it somewhere unseen and close the door. Throw a sheet over it. Just walk away from it for a bit.
Take a breather, take some time let off some steam. Go outside and scream, I’ll wait.
It’s so difficult to make this shift from clutter to clutter free and it’s overwhelming. Decompress yourself and let yourself just unwind before you go back in.
Decluttering is a dish best served when you’re cool and collected. The things that you’re pulling out of every nook and cranny are just that: things. Don’t forget to remind yourself of that. Was your life completely dismal and dark before you acquired this thing? Chances are: no. Will live be dismal and dark if you get rid of said thing? No.
Use this non-decluttering time to talk yourself through these fears and these hesitations.
Anytime you’re going through a major change, especially environmental, this is the time to really pay attention to your well-being, mental and physical.
There’s nothing more stressful than being surrounded by things that feel stifling and having to decide what stays and what goes.
When you’re at this decluttering fork, take some time to go through a self-care routine favorite. And just do something good for yourself away from the stress for a bit.
After hitting the refresh, then come back with a clear focus and a rejuvenated, decluttering energy.
What do you want to keep?
While you’re still in decompressing-mode, take some time out of the clutter-zone. Even if everything is hidden away, just get out from the four walls. Wherever you’re headed, bring a pen and paper. Your phone will work too, but just for the ease of use, paper works better for this.
Once you’re settled in, write down a list of everything you want to keep. Get specific, don’t leave out the details. Imagine if you’re telling a stranger to pick up these items, write down where they are and what they are.
Give yourself three chances if you forget the location of something or you can’t really describe it that well. Three items that get the pass, that’s it.
This list could take you an hour, a few hours, or a week. Be completely specific without looking for the item once you go home. If it takes you longer than a day to list, make a line from all of the items that you listed to keep the first day. Under that line, list the second day, so on and so forth. That way, you can see what your best items are from the ones you first listed.
Curious about more decluttering tips?
There’s a lot more posts like this over at the Decluttering hub! There’s plenty of articles to help you find real life solutions with results that are tailored to your lifestyle.
Ask for Help!
So many times, I would struggle and just do everything myself. I’d tackle whole rooms, closets busting at the seams, but I would wear myself out completely in the middle of it. I would banish everyone out of the room I was working in and just do it myself!
This was the worst thing I could do, especially when I was decluttering the “normal” way of just looking at things I didn’t need. When I shifted to looking at the things that I wanted to keep, I knew I needed help.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Especially when you’re following this way of decluttering by pulling everything out to see what you have. Once you have everything you want to keep out of the way, you’ll need some extra hands to shuffle out the things you don’t need.
And I know you might already be thinking it, so let me just clear the air: you are not burdening anyone by asking for help. So, just ask! You may even get rid of some stuff that day if your help wants it!
It’s all in the Mindset
The biggest help for successful decluttering is changing this mindset of “losing” something.
The word losing holds a lot of negativity for a lot of people, so when we’re already afraid of the unknown after decluttering, we’re already latching onto “losing” our things. That negative word that doesn’t have the right to be in our decluttering path!
Switching to the word “keeping” or “saving” for the things that you have on your list will help take the burden off. Just by being positive!
Once you’ve conquered the negative mindset, you’re able to declutter for good. Remember, you’re doing this to help yourself. To make your life easier. Don’t let fear or a negative mindset get in the way of what you truly want.
If you get stuck along the decluttering way, just take a deep breath and step away for a bit. What you’re accomplishing is no small feat! Focus on your discipline and your mindset, and you’ll achieve your decluttering goal even faster than you thought!
If you’re looking for real solutions to clutter and organization, be sure to check out the Completely Organized & Clutter Free Series!
Each room is a deep dive to get you at a solid foundation for starting a new routine to stop those bad habits from keeping you from being clutter free.
Along with a free printable workbook, each post goes into detail of how to effectively organize your home to start working with you and not against you.
The schedule of this series is completely up to you. You can start with one room and move through every day for a week, or you can go through at your own crossing one item off your list at your own pace. It’s completely up to you.
The Completely Organized & Clutter Free Series is all about finding the right balance for you, your family, and your schedule.
So many times, I spent following tutorials and finding out they just didn’t work for my own schedule. In this series, I wanted something to be diverse and inclusive enough to help others who didn’t have an entire day to declutter and organize.
Each room breaks down bit by bit what it takes to starts a new routine and builds on sustainable habits for maintaining an organized and clutter free home.
Know someone who could use this article?
Everyone needs some help sometimes, so if you know someone who can benefit from this share it and send it to them! Leave a comment below and let’s chat about your decluttering journey, I’d love to help!