Decluttering is HARD! It makes me feel so bad. I don’t understand how it can be SO easy for other people!
- I’m NOT going to do it, it’s easier that way.
- Last time I threw something away that I regretted so much. I felt terrible for ages, I’m never doing it again.
- I’m trying to do it! I’m perfectly capable. I just get so overwhelmed and I don’t know why.
Reframing how you think about decluttering can help.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
If 1 was as easy and stress free as making a sandwich and 10 was as difficult and stressful as taking an exam, going for a job interview or something even worse, how does the thought of decluttering make you feel?
FEELING GOOD 1 – – – 2 – – – 3 – – – 4 – – – 5 – – – 6 – – – 7 – – – 8 – – – 9 – – – 10 FEELING HORRIBLE
If you’re at the higher end of the numbers it’s worth thinking about why you feel so strongly about decluttering.
Decluttering is too overwhelming, I can’t do it.
There’s just SO much to do. I start and then there’s more! I can’t finish one area without sorting another area first and I just don’t know where to start! I just can’t do it!
- Try not to confuse decluttering with organising. It’s good to get all the same things together to choose which to keep. But all you’re doing right now is decluttering – getting things out of that space and out of your house.
- Pick a type of clutter or one space. Stick to that space or type of clutter, ignore everything else. When you put things away, do your best to squish it into its space, don’t declutter that space too, stick with the space you’re focussing on.
- Just do one SMALL space. Don’t get too carried away, keep the timeframe for decluttering that space really tight too. If you have an hour to declutter, do one shelf or drawer and use the last 15 minutes to get that decluttered stuff out of your house.
I can’t declutter, I just get too anxious.
I’ve tried before but then I feel horrible, so guilty and angry. My heart beats so fast and I feel sick, what if I need this stuff? I’m afraid of the bad feelings.
- You have a choice. You don’t have to declutter anything that truly means something to you. It might be only some things that make you feel that way. Try decluttering the one thing that makes you feel less anxious. Start there.
- Think carefully about WHY you’re decluttering. Is it for you? Is it to make YOUR life better? If it’s really important to you to get this decluttering done, hold that important thought in your mind. Start with easier things and remember why you’re doing this.
- Almost everyone has difficult feelings when decluttering. If even the slightest thought of decluttering makes you feel absolutely terrible but you’re determined to do it, get some help with the process.
I’m hopeless at decluttering.
I declutter but it never looks like I’ve done anything. There are piles EVERYWHERE! The bit I’ve just done looks the same or WORSE.
- Try and focus on one really small space at a time. Focus on removing the things you’ve decided to declutter. Pull them right out of that space, out of that room and out of your house. Put them in a box or bag and put them in your car.
- Resist making piles. Put your decluttered things straight into boxes or bags. Limit the number of boxes and bags. Avoid having multiple bags for every person you think might like something. You are on a decluttering mission, they will be fine without it.
- When your boxes or bags are full or your time is up, take them where they should go straight away – your car, the bin, the recycling, your work bag. You probably won’t have the time later, do it now.
Remember, nothing has to be done in a rush (most of the time.) Take your time, be kind to yourself, break it down into small steps. Ask for help.
Liz The Tidy Lady
Declutter Coach & Tidyness Expert