Why is decluttering so hard? Why are you procrastinating? Why do you pull stuff out to declutter it and put it right back? Of course you’re busy living your life. You declutter a bit here and there but then you just give up. Especially when you get to the tricky stuff!
Let’s look at the 5 top things I’ve heard from my clients about why they get stuck when decluttering and learn how you can fix it yourself:
1. It cost a lot of money.
“This was expensive!”, “These are pretty dear when they’re new”, “I’ve seen how much these cost nowadays”.
This is 1st on the list of my clients Why-I-Can’t-Declutter-Stuff, equal with number 2 below.
Regardless of how much something actually cost, if it’s just sitting there, it’s not earning it’s keep. If it cost $5 or $250, it’s just losing value. Unless it’s a fine wine or rare stamp, it’s not getting any more valuable while gathering dust. If you find yourself saying this about almost everything you’re trying to declutter, you might be dealing with a poverty mindset.
Use it or sell it. Every time you use it, it’s of actual value to you in that moment. If you sell it you get some of the cost back. Even better, be kind, donate it. Your amazing generosity is a blessing for someone.
2. What if I need it one day?
Your home is not a dusty museum or department store. It’s not a storage shed either! Unless you are a dedicated survivalist, hate shopping or live in the wilds of Alaska. Your home is a place for living, loving and enjoying yourself, right now.
Getting stuck in a fearful place, a mindset of lack and poverty can mean we just don’t have the space for new things in our lives. New experiences, new people and new things come to us when we make the space.
More good stuff WILL come into your life – Better stuff, that makes sense for your life right at that moment. Intelligent decluttering will take your actual needs into consideration. Good organising will make what is left manageable.
3. It was a gift.
Straight talking – It’s ok to get rid of something you don’t like or need, even if it was a gift. What a waste of space to keep it and not use it! And a waste of the materials and energy that went into the creation of that thing. Especially if it gets tossed in the bin in 5 years time!
Be grateful: thank them. Be generous: re-gift it or donate it as soon as possible. Some one will love it and use it. Be brave: let people know that you’re not doing gifts anymore. You can always make special arrangements for special gifts or people.
If it’s important to you that a particular person sees you using a gift, then use it when you see them. Bear in mind that most gift givers will have no idea that you’ve given away the thing they gave you.
4. It belonged to someone who passed away.
Is it the memory of them that’s holding you back from decluttering the things you’re barely tolerating in your home? There are other ways to honour our loved ones. Choose one small thing, a set of things, or a few tiny things that will fit into a small box. The size of box that you can grab if your house is on fire.
Make their photo your phone home screen. Sell their stuff to someone who loves it and use the money to buy something you love. Then thank them. Every time you look at it you’ll think of them with gratitude.
5. It doesn’t fit, but it will.
Do you love clothes? Do you love shopping for clothes? So why are you holding onto old clothes that don’t fit you?! You deserve to have clothes that you look good in, right now. It’s ok to have one or two goal pieces, or last seasons clothes that you WILL fit by the time you need them. But running out of space for the clothes you use right now is annoying. It’s stressful!
If you simply can’t bring yourself to give away clothes that you no longer fit, store them well. Get them out of your day to day wardrobe. Keep them clean and dry in boxes until you think you need them. And if you don’t? They’ll be so easy to donate!
You’re reading this for a reason. If you have stuff taking up space in your home that you could use for something better or use in a better way, it’s time to look at that stuff in a new way. If you’re feeling bad about your home because of all your stuff, it’s time to change your perspective.
You are living in a wealthy country, in a time of easy availability of pretty much anything you want. You’re probably earning a decent amount of money. If you needed something, you could buy it, new or secondhand. You could borrow it, barter it, or have it made for you.
Give yourself the gift of your decluttering dreams. Make them a reality. Declutter. You WILL be ok.
Liz The Tidy Lady
Declutter & Life Coach. Tidyness Expert.