Can’t Seem to Stop the Clutter?

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Do you feel like you’re drowning in clutter? Do you give yourself a set time and day to start de-cluttering, yet a few days or weeks later, the same problem creeps back? It is incredibly frustrating, and when you’re in the thick of your de-cluttering journey it can be tough to recognize where you are going wrong. So, let’s take a look at some common de-cluttering mistakes you might be making…

You don’t simplify things when you de-clutter – In order for your home to stay clutter-free, you need to make sure that your house flows in a logical way. So, what does this mean? Well, check out top simplifying tips online for inspiration. But here’s the gist – Things in your home are always easy to take out. If you want something or need it to complete a task, you’ll get the item out. However, putting those items back can prove a bit more difficult. For example, if you need a pan for a recipe you’ll dig to the very back corner of your cupboard to fetch it out. (Especially if you have a craving for whatever that recipe is!) But once you’ve done the washing up, it might sit in the drying rack for DAYS before it makes it’s way back to the difficult to reach spot in the cupboard. This is where clutter starts to build up. Instead, make sure that everything has a logical place, with most-used items in the most accessible locations. 

You get emotionally attached to everything – Many folks have a stuffed animal that they’ve held onto since their childhood and they want to keep it to pass on to their children or maybe just because it means a lot to them. There is sentimental value. And there’s nothing wrong with this. But, when you are holding onto, say, ten different stuffed animals, it becomes a bit of a problem. Once, when I was feeling weirdly attached to an outdated piece of technology, my husband asked, “Do you want to put it in a shadow box and display it on the wall?” (Not in a sarcastic way but genuinely trying to problem solve.) This felt a little ridiculous and putting it in perspective this way made it easy to part with. If you’re still feeling reservations, take a picture of the item. 

You don’t consider what makes you truly happy – Think about your happiest memories  and identify what made them so great. Was it the people you were with? The place? A certain time of year or a feeling of security? Most importantly, was it the STUFF? Chances are, the “things” involved in your memories – the clothes and the knick-knacks and the books and the home decor – don’t factor high up in this ranking. Consider a de-cluttering thought exercise that will help you part with possessions.

You don’t follow the one in, one out rule – Whenever you buy something new, do you remove something old from your house? If not, then this could be a huge contributing factor as to why you can’t keep on top of your clutter. Once you have fully down-sized, your house will feel serene and tidy. So, whenever you bring something new into the mix, you need to make sure you accommodate it by getting rid of something else. 

You haven’t got your partner on board – Perhaps your partner is letting down the team? If so, you need to have a conversation and get them on board. Related: Here’s an awesome article about why couples should split emotional labor

Not tidying up after yourself – This can be one of the most difficult changes to make if you are a naturally messy person. However, repetition breeds habit and no-brainer systems help create repetition. Whenever you use something, make sure you put it back in the right spot. Put systems in place that help you do this. Yes, this isn’t fun, but once you get used to it, you will start doing it naturally, and your house will be cleaner and more enjoyable as a result!

Hopefully, this helped you pin-point where you might be going wrong in your de-cluttering journey, and you’ll be well on your way to living clutter-free. Commit yourself to this advice and you’ll start to notice a significant difference within your home. Good luck!

Where do you go wrong when it comes to de-cluttering? Have any tips for going clutter-free? I’d love to hear. ❤ As I mentioned in this post, I’m still a work in progress myself! 

P.S. I love this post from A Beautiful Mess about de-cluttering a book collection. Definitely an area I struggle with!


11 thoughts on “Can’t Seem to Stop the Clutter?

  1. Very good tips. I am a chucker rather than a hoarder, but can struggle to take the rest of the family with me. I love the shadow box comment!

  2. Excellent tips! I was reading this with my fiancee and we both started laughing when reading the second tip. I’m always starting to think the emotional value of every item before I can throw them away and my fiancee keeps telling me that we really don’t need those. But sometimes it’s hard haha. 🙂

  3. These are excellent tips Beth! Finding a few moments every day to clean and tidy any room is the best and easiest way to avoid clutter. I read the Marie Kondo method and decluttered everything once, I need to re-do the process again.

  4. Excellent and very valid tips – decluttering can be hard, but I think I am pretty good nowadays. I don’t get emotionally attached to clothes and things as much as I do to things like photos and letters etc. Spring is the perfect time for some proper decluttering (again!).

  5. My husband is weirdly emotionally attached to all the wires he keeps hoarding. He’s got a box full of them in case he ”ever happens to need them”. I’ve been helping him to de-clutter all the wires by asking what purpose each one is & then threw it away whilst he’s been watching. It’s a riduculous amount of useless wires 😀 I’m going to have to link this post for him, such great tips!

  6. Points number 4 and 6 are top of the list for me. I hate things lying around so I always make sure I put things back as soon as I leave them. However, the only things I can’t seem to get rid of are my books and journals. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Sometimes following the “One in, one out” rule is difficult for me. This was especially true around Christmas time when I wasn’t really keeping track of how much I received. I do go through a little clean sweep every couple of months, but I feel like there is so much more I should let go of. Great things to be aware of when trying to get rid of the clutter!

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