I’ve written this decluttering list of not to do because most of us aren’t experts when it comes to decluttering and organizing our homes. Unfortunately, it’s common to get about halfway or even completely through the job, only to discover we’ve gone about things in a poorly devised manner. Perhaps you discover the process is taking much longer than you thought, and you end up with things strewn about the room for weeks because you simply don’t have the time to get back to the job. That’s just one common example of why so many of us avoid this stressful process. However, knowing what not to do when deciding to declutter can help to ensure you don’t end up with such frustration.
Don’t Overdo It
As already mentioned, it’s unwise to get overzealous. Thinking you will sort through an entire houseful of possessions in one day is unrealistic. Doing this may even cause you enough frustration to give up on the project entirely. Avoid burnout by setting aside a smaller time frame to complete one room or area.
Don’t Organize Before Purging
Part of the process of decluttering your home is organizing everything in a neat and tidy way. That’s great, but first, you need to purge your home of all those things that are just taking up space. Oftentimes, people want to skip to the fun part. So they go out and buy a bunch of pretty containers, bins, and storage boxes for organizing all their stuff. This strategy is usually a waste of money and time because it’s impossible to understand your storage needs until you’re able to assess your remaining possessions after the purging process.
Don’t Do Only Half the Job
A big mistake made by many is setting items for the church rummage sale or for thrift store donation aside to be delivered another day. You may think it makes sense to leave that bag of sweaters intended for Aunt Pam sitting in your closet until you see her next. In reality, all of these things simply leave your decluttering project looking unfinished. Take the extra effort to remove all unwanted items from your home immediately. Set a date when you’ll deliver the items to their new home. Label them in tubs, boxes, or bags you can put in the garage to get them out of the house as quickly as possible.
Even better download our free 30-day decluttering challenge to keep you motivated to avoid quitting before the job is done.
Don’t Reward Yourself with More Stuff
Finally, no matter how much you may be tempted, never go out and reward yourself for all of your hard decluttering work by buying more stuff. This mistake simply continues the cycle of the bad habits that led to your clutter problem in the first place. An exception to this rule may be the decision to buy a new armoire or another piece of storage furniture to replace the one you just gave away, as this move doesn’t add clutter. It improves aesthetics. This decluttering list wouldn’t be complete without this reminder.
Avoid the things on this decluttering list of what not to do and you’ll be well on your way to an organized, comfortable space. Reward yourself with a nice cup of tea or coffee while enjoying your beautiful surroundings. And here’s some more reading to keep you going strong: