We all make excuses. I’ll get to that another day. I don’t know where to begin. I’m not sure I can part with these things. The process of decluttering and organizing is daunting and challenging. It is no different than starting a new exercise program or trying to eat healthy. It involves facing our fears, making tough decisions, and letting go of possessions that have some type of perceived value but might not be as useful anymore. Whatever the reason, you’ve determined that something needs to change. Your living space needs to change. Here are some questions to ask yourself for how for overcoming defeat when decluttering.
Different reasons for decluttering
The most important step when starting the process of decluttering is to pinpoint the exact reason you want to do this. If you aren’t totally committed, your chance of success diminishes. Getting the root cause by asking yourself the following questions. Just remember to be real with yourself!
Who are you doing this for? This might seem like a silly question, but if you feel pressured because you should, it will be good to go through the additional questions to really determine if/how much you need to declutter and what you will gain from it. You might come to conclusion that things aren’t as bad as you thought or maybe you’ve been in denial
What benefit will you gain from decluttering. A clean house. Being able to find things without wasting hours searching etc. What do you want your end result to look like? If you can, draw a picture. Find a few pictures on pinterest of your goal. (But no sitting on the couch for hours on end, pinning away ;-). ) You have work to do!
When should you start? How much time do you have to devote to this project? What days of the week and what time of day is best? Try to get chunks of time scheduled onto your calendar.
How much excess do you want to get rid of? Another way of asking, how much space do you have for your stuff? For example, you only have three shelves in your closet, but five shelves worth of stuff. Try and quantify the amount of stuff you need to get rid of to fit in your space. Also, make sure you aren’t move stuff from one location to another while not actually getting rid of anything.
What really perturbs you regarding your current state of disorganization? Like that one pair of pants that just digs in at the wrong place, what really gets on your nerves about the stuff that you own?
The Decluttering Process- 5 Steps
So, you’ve gotten real with yourself as to the why’s and what exactly you want to accomplish. There are still some questions to ask yourself that will help you avoid defeat and end up with the living space you want to create calm. Take some time before you start to come to grips with the process you about to embark.
You will end up with a bigger mess before you end up with a finished product. This is going to be the most difficult thing for overcoming defeat when decluttering. Whether you’re working on a room, a cupboard, a workspace, there is a good chance you will need to pull everything out or off of that space to determine what you want to keep, group like things together, and then figure out the best way to organize the stuff so that you have a better system of finding things. Be prepared for your space to look like a tornado went through as you go through your belongings. This can be really defeating because it feels like it’s getting worse instead of getting better. But as you go through things, separating them into different piles to get rid of things, or grouping like items, you will start to see a system emerging. A trip to Goodwill or a donation center, and an empty trash can before you start will help immensely with this problem!!
Game Plan and End Goal
Not appropriately evaluating your starting place. This partially refers back to the questions we asked ourselves at the beginning, but it also points out the need for a game plan and end goal. It’s super easy to get caught up in moving items around, but not necessarily organizing anything or getting rid of anything. Be specific with what you’re doing. Work on like items. If you have a pile of books, try and go through all of your books in that area. Or if you’re working on one specific location, try and complete one drawer, shelf, or space before moving onto the next.
Setting unachievable or too demanding of goals. The biggest mistake is not being real with yourself on how much stuff you have. And this can go both ways. If you can hang 40 items of clothing in your closet, but you have 80 items, you are going to need to get rid of 40 items, or find another storage solution. The other end of the spectrum is feeling like you need to declutter and get rid of things because that’s “just what you’re supposed to do.” If you have adequate space in a closet, but everything is just thrown in every which way, your goal would be to focus more on an organizational system than getting rid of stuff.
Facing Difficult Decisions
Forcing yourself to make difficult decisions immediately. Even though it’s important to really examine whether something is benefitting you, there’s only so much we can deal with mentally and emotionally at one time. If you are on the fence about something (it just can’t be everything), have a box or space to place these items and come back to them to make a decision. You might get enough momentum going that getting rid of things feels great and you decide to just purge then and there, or you might set it aside to go through at a later date, once you’ve been able to find a place for you necessities and have additional space for some of these items. Another great tactic is putting the stuff in a box, storing it away, and after a set amount of time, if you haven’t gone through it, donate it or get rid of it.
Not considering the benefit others will receive. One of the biggest rewards of purging is being able to help out other families that might be in need. Or just brightening someone else’s day who can repurpose your items. You will also benefit those in your family and friends who come over to warm welcoming home. You might be able to throw that party you’ve been wanting to or have family over for a holiday meal. Thinking outside of yourself never hurts, as it can be another motivator when others are impacted.
I’m so glad you’ve decided to embark on this journey to a clutter-free, organized home! It will be well worth it! Even if it’s only one drawer or one closet, I hope you are able to overcome your defeat when decluttering. No place is too small to start! Here is my journey with organizing that will hopefully provide some inspiration. I also hope these questions help you evaluate your situation and help you find your starting point. What is one goal you can set for yourself now? Which question helped you the most?
Hi, I’m Shara
I have a passion for organizing. This stems from being naturally drawn to simplicity and structure in my home. Combined with my desire to help women achieve their goals, Simply Renewed Living was born.