Whether you’re still in the process of spring cleaning or haven’t started yet, It’s often hard to stay motivated during the decluttering process. The internet is laden with decluttering tips, suggestions, and hacks, many of which are super helpful. But today I wanted to share with you 11 truths about decluttering that might help you stay positive and motivated during your process. Because sometimes all we need is a little awareness (and some tough love) to keep moving forward.
11 Simple Truths About Decluttering
1. You don’t need to hold on to things to hold on to memories.
Sentimental items can cause major paralysis during the organizing process. Treasured keepsakes take us back to those special moments in time and souvenirs become a beloved part of our home decor. But the truth is you can remember that moment perfectly without that physical (space-wasting) object.
I mean, you’ve got tons of pictures from that Paris trip you took last year. You don’t need the cumbersome Eifel Tower snow globe on your desk to remember what an amazing time you had.
2. Stop preventing your unused items from being useful.
You’ve got two large kitchen cutting boards when you only use one of them consistently. The other one just sits in your kitchen drawer occupying valuable space. By holding on to this extra item you’re preventing it from being used. Now, cutting boards don’t have feelings, but if it did it would be feeling a little neglected right about now. The same goes for that handbag shoved in the back of your closet.
These items can be useful to someone. Give them to a friend or donate them so that they can fulfill their purpose.
3. When you let something go, you always gain something in return.
Whether it’s more space, a cleaner, uncluttered room or just a sense of peace and calm, letting go of the things that no longer serve you makes room for all the things that do. Often times you gain freedom and extra time on the weekends when you don’t have to organize the pantry or your desk (again). So as you’re decluttering and letting go of things, think of it as a beneficial trade-off.
4. If you declutter storage areas first, you’ll have enough space to store the things you actually want to keep.
I’ve always found this to be a good strategy. Tackling your storage and storage areas, bins and baskets first will free up space for all the things you choose to keep after your decluttering process. You might find that you have extra space for other things.
5. More storage is not the solution.
Finding a bunch of baskets, bins, and containers for your clutter is not only counterproductive, but it’s also lazy as hell! Take it from me (a lazy person when it comes to organizing). Doing this just means you’re hiding your junk. Now it’s covert clutter. Declutter your space first, then find storage for the things you’ve decided to keep. If you follow the advice above, you may not even need extra storage!
6. Moving stuff around is NOT decluttering…don’t even try it!
Clutter is clutter–No matter where it sits. Moving a heap of random stationery you don’t use off your desk and into your drawer is counterproductive. Now you’ve got a cluttered desk drawer. Sure, it’s off your desk and out of sight, but in reality, you still have a cluttered workspace because the clutter is still in your home. What you’ve done is create a sticking point that can only cause more hassle and annoyance further down the road.
So unless you want to pull a ‘Monica’ from “Friends” and get yourself a secret clutter closet, consider your current decluttering process carefully. Are you actively getting rid of stuff or are you simply moving it to another location?
P.S. Check out that ‘Friends‘ Episode titled “The One With The Secret Closet” So funny!
7. Everything you own is something you have to take care of.
Think about that. The more stuff you have in your home the more time and energy will be spent on keeping it clean, keeping it in place, and keeping it organized. Now, if you’re lazy (again, like me…) the idea of constantly managing and organizing things I don’t really care about sounds like a total nightmare.
Nope! No thank you. Where’s the trash can?!
8. Eventually, someone will have to decide what to do with every item you own…
Ooff! This really hit me the first time I read it. When you’re dead and gone, your husband, your children, your parents, or your friends are going to have to deal with your stuff. Don’t make them hate you after you’re gone…Just sayin’.
Declutter often and do it thoroughly!
Yikes! That took a dark turn didn’t it?
9. Decluttering is different than organizing.
While this may seem obvious to some, it’s still worth dissecting. Decluttering is getting rid of unnecessary, unused, unloved items, i.e things that no longer serve you. While Organizing is about strategically storing the items you do want, need, and love in a manner that doesn’t create more clutter. We declutter first, then organize what’s left.
In other words; The process of decluttering is all about WHAT you keep, while organizing is HOW you keep those things. Make sense?
10. Your loved ones want you to be happy more than they want you to keep their gifts and legacies.
I get it. Gifts from loved ones are special and you feel guilty for wanting to get rid of them. But if these items are no longer serving you it’s okay to let them go. I mean, let’s be real here for a minute– Your cousin doesn’t care about that dress she gave you back in 2010. She really doesn’t.
The truth is that most people who give gifts want the item to benefit the life of the person they gave it to. They wouldn’t want it to be a burden. Also, depending on the nature of the gift, they won’t expect you to hold on to it forever.
If the item is useful but YOU don’t need it anymore, then give it to someone who would benefit from it. At least that way it gets a new life with a new owner.
11. The objects you struggle to get rid of are likely tied to your self-worth.
Ever wonder why it’s so hard for us to let go of certain items? Turns out it’s more than just sentiment or the “I might need this later” lie we always tell ourselves. Sometimes it’s about our own self-worth.
According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, “The objects you struggle to get rid of are likely tied to your self-worth.” Rather than viewing those objects as “mine,” you may think of them as “me.”
Researchers found that “whatever objects you cling to the most, are likely the ones that fuel your self-worth.”
” If you place a lot of value in success, for example, you may have trouble getting rid of anything that serves as a tangible reminder of your accomplishments. A plaque from your last job, an expensive watch that no longer works, or a stack of old college transcripts may represent your achievement.”
“Throwing away these objects might cause you to feel slightly less successful. It’s as if these physical manifestations of your triumphs will somehow take away from your achievements.”
So the next time you find yourself struggling to let go of an item, “consider whether those objects you’re holding onto have anything to do with your self-worth.” Then consider which is worse “the grief you’ll experience if you toss it or the frustration you experience from looking at the clutter.”
–Source: Psychology Today
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