Is Decluttering a Struggle for You? 3 Mistakes You May Be Making and What to Do Instead

Is Decluttering a Struggle for You? 3 Mistakes You May Be Making and What to Do Instead

You decide it’s time to declutter your home. You’re full of enthusiasm and energy. But after a while you hardly see a dent in the piles. You become discouraged and quit.

If you’ve made any of the mistakes below you could be sabotaging yourself. Learn what to do instead and you’ll be on your way to success!

Mistake 1: Tackling big jobs without a plan.

You jump in feet first and start decluttering. You pull everything out of the closet and dump it in one big pile.

You under-estimate how much time and effort it takes. No wonder you get discouraged and quit.

What to do instead: Make a plan. Break a large job into smaller jobs.

  • Set a timer for 15 minutes and work on one small area at a time. Schedule those 15 minutes on your calendar to remind you to do this daily.
  • Plan to work on one part of a room, closet, etc. at a time. Complete the decluttering and clean-up of one section before moving on to another.

Mistake 2: Letting perfectionism cause you to procrastinate.

Do you keep putting off your decluttering project because you don’t have a huge amount of time to work on it? Do you fail to start because you haven’t found the right kind of storage boxes or shelves yet? If you’re procrastinating because isn’t the perfect time or perfect storage containers then you are letting your perfectionism stop you before you even start.

What to do instead: The best way to overcome procrastination and perfectionism is to start small and with the easy stuff. Use a timer or even commercial breaks during your TV show.

1. Start by putting the obvious trash in the trash can or recycling bin.

  • old newspapers
  • junk mail
  • all kinds of empty food wrappers
  • empty soda bottles
  • empty packages, bags, etc.

2. Clean up items that belong in other rooms. Gather them in a laundry basket and take them to the room they belong in.

Mistake 3: Going at it alone.

You know you’re smart enough to figure out how to declutter once and for all. But each time you start a project you end up getting discouraged and quit.

You’re to embarrass to ask for help. You don’t want anyone to think you’re a failure.

What to do instead: The formula for decluttering and losing weight is the same. Calories in vs. calories out. Things enter the home vs. things exiting the home. It’s a simple concept but hard for most people to do it without some help.

Help comes in many forms.

  • Self-education: books, blogs, articles, etc.
  • Personal help: friends, family
  • Virtual support and encouragement: Twitter groups, Facebook pages, blogs, forums
  • Professional virtual help: e-courses, one on one emails
  • Professional Organizer help: phone calls, hands-on in your home
  • Professional Therapist: Find someone who works with emotional issues that cause excess clutter and hoarding.

Remember the tortoise crossed the finish line by consistently taking one small step at a time.