Tag Archives: more with less

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 Once, when I was feeling weirdly attached to an outdated piece of technology, my husband asked, “Do you want to put it in a shadow box and display it on the wall?”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!