The number one culprit for disorganization in our lives is clutter. Whether at home, in your office or even in your car, things just seem to accumulate. Thinking back to when times were simpler, say over a hundred years ago, we had little to no clutter. Mainly because we had little to collect. And isn’t it ironic that in this digital age of the cloud, where things can hang out in the ether, we still manage to accumulate?
When I first meet a new client on a consultation, clutter can often be the first thing we tackle. Accumulation of stuff can sabotage just about every area of your life. Not to mention, waste too much of your precious time. Drawers filled with broken plugs, appliances, paper clips, pennies and dust bunnies from two years ago, still account for the overall picture of your clutter demon.
I think the biggest mistake people make when decluttering is hanging on to too much stuff for all the wrong reasons. Whether it be guilt, monetary value, or sentimental value, at the end of the day you have to ask yourself, does this: paperclip, penny, broken appliance, operational manual really bring me joy? If it doesn’t, its time to start decluttering.
When it comes to decluttering there are a few rules everyone should apply to stay on track and focused to achieve results, and there are things you should never do because it will prevent you from achieving any kind of lasting results.
What not to do when decluttering
- Never do one drawer at a time. In fact, do an entire category. Marie Kondo talks about this very thing in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. We tend to have more than one of many things without even realizing it. So ask yourself, do you need three blow dryers?
- Never live by the adage of just in case. Many clients I work with keep things for years because they think someday they may need it. While this statement is true, you will likely need that odd shaped box to use someday for a gift, is it worth the valuable square footage it takes up in your home for five years collecting cobwebs and dust bunnies?
- Never keep items based on past monetary investment. We’ve all been there – out shopping and on a whim we purchase an expensive XYZ only to find it hanging in our closet a year later with the tags still on it. So you keep hanging onto it because you paid a fortune for it. But ask yourself, if you haven’t worn it yet, will you ever wear it? Probably not. And more importantly, would you buy it today and pay the same price?
- Dont hang onto multiples. We are living in the best, most richest times in our lives but that doesn’t mean you need to have multiples of things. My feng shui teacher had a wonderful story of a client she had who had 16 broken computer mice from the 80’s – he kept them just in case.
Decluttering is not hard and keeping your space in order is also not hard if you keep it tidy on a regular basis. Make a habit of getting rid of what you don’t need, donating items to people who may need them more, and you’ll be amazed at the outcome in all areas of your life. Let’s get tidy!