When you hear the word decluttering, what comes to your mind??
Maybe, like so many people, you are thinking “I would have no time for that.” Or, if you are anything like I was before starting on my journey, you are saying “I don’t have anything to declutter, I like and use everything I have.”
Do either of these sound familiar?
Decluttering can be very easy for some people and very difficult for others. If I’m honest, my husband tried to get me to get rid of things for many years but I was extremely resistant. I held onto everything, even things I didn’t like, for the sake of having things.
As I have continued on my journey to a more uncluttered and simple life, I have come across many different opinions and ideas about decluttering. I have met so many people who have preconceived notions about decluttering and minimalism.
And I want to share some of the truths I have learned since I have decluttered!
Here are 4 truths about decluttering:
1. It doesn’t have to take up all your time or be finished by a certain deadline.
95% of the people I talk to about decluttering think they can’t do it because they don’t have the time. And, while it is going to take time to complete, it doesn’t have to take up ALL of your time!
Here’s the thing, how much time you spend on decluttering each day or each week, is up to you.
Work full time and only have the weekends to work on this? Perfect. The weekends it is!
Have little kids at home and can only spare 5 minutes a day to declutter? That works too! Pick one thing to declutter at a time, such as a drawer or a cabinet, and spend 5 minutes a day working on it until it is complete.
There is also no time frame or deadline to finishing your decluttering, unless you put a timeline on yourself. Take your time and work at your own pace. If you have something you are specifically decluttering for, like family staying in your guest room, then you have made that deadline for yourself. Which is fine!
But, unless there is a specific date that you have chosen for it to be done, you can take a long as you want/need!
2. There are NO rules to decluttering.
I can’t even tell you the amount of times I see people in Facebook groups tell someone else that their home isn’t decluttered or they aren’t minimalist enough.
This is not a thing!!
Do not, I repeat do not, let anyone tell you that your decluttering is wrong. If it works for you and it makes you happy then it is just right!
What works for you and what works for me may not look the same and guess what? That is why this journey is so beautiful.
Maybe you want to keep knick knacks because they remind you of a loved one but I don’t have a single knick knack in my home.
Neither of us is wrong!
Do what feels right to you. Keep what makes you happy. Get rid of what doesn’t. It is that simple!
3. Decluttering is different than organizing.
Okay, I will be the first to admit that I love a good bin (or five) and have a thing for organizing my house. Specifically my kitchen.
When I first started decluttering, I thought that I had to go out and buy all the containers, labels, baskets and bowls. So I spent way too much money buying the cutest organizing materials thinking that I was doing this whole decluttering thing right.
I quickly realized however, that organizing and decluttering are two very different things! (Bummer!)
In fact, once I got farther along with decluttering, I got rid of 98% of the organizing materials I had purchased because I didn’t have the “stuff” to go in them. Ironic right?
One of the things I have learned on this journey is that, while organizing your home (and your life really) makes for a much more simple life and removes a lot of stress, it is completely separate from removing “stuff” from your home.
The process of decluttering is about WHAT you keep in your life while organizing is HOW you keep those things. Does that make sense?
—> Tip: Focus on decluttering before organizing, not the other way around!
4. Decluttering shouldn’t be hard or stressful.
One of the most important things I tell my clients when I am coaching them is that decluttering should not be adding to your stress or overwhelm. If it is, then maybe you need to reevaluate either how you are doing it or why you are decluttering.
The point of decluttering is to remove the clutter from your home and your life so you have the space for the things that bring you joy.
Not adding anxiety and pressure.
If you are in a place of resistance then take a step back and figure out what is making you feel that way. Why are you finding it stressful? Is there something standing in the way of this process?
At the end of the day, decluttering shouldn’t be hard. It should be peaceful and stress-free. Try and remember that!