Sunday, 8 March 2020

Five Decluttering Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make

Have you decided it's time to declutter your belongings? We all know the benefits of decluttering, but sometimes we can find ourselves inadvertently sabotaging any decluttering effort we do. With that in mind, before you begin decluttering, let's explore the five decluttering mistakes you don't want to make.

A lady moving things to each side of her desk in a post about five decluttering mistakes you don't want to make.
“The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.” —Joshua Becker. 

If you're anything like me, this may not be the first time you've decluttered. That feeling of the clean and clear space doesn't seem to last quite as long as you imagined it would. Then fast forward, and once again, you are surrounded by excess clutter.

Learning from experience, I've come up with a list of five decluttering mistakes you don't want to make. Hopefully, by keeping these thoughts in mind, you will be able to effectively declutter.

1. Keeping something "just in case."

If you're unsure whether or not to declutter something, allocate a time frame that you will keep the item for and then review it. Even better put the things into a holding space. We use a bag that will go to the charity shop.

For example, when we moved from London in November, I had a few items of clothing and bags that I wasn't sure about. I set myself an aim to review in January.

One of the shirts I now wear regularly, so it's a keeper and the cardigan I knew I'd never wear again, so it's been donated along with the bags.

A man holding up an item of clothing in a post about five decluttering mistakes you don't want to make.

2.  Buying new storage to "organise" your clutter

There is a common misconception that organising is as effective as decluttering.

Well, there was for me anyway. I would nip into Poundland and pick up storage containers to make everything look organised. It was perfectly organised, but still drawers and drawers of clutter that I didn't need.

Finally, the excess toiletries have started to be used, and the drawers aren't looking so rammed. I've actually now got to the point that I've managed to start decluttering the storage containers :)

Storage boxes in a post about five decluttering mistakes you don't want to make.

3. Not planning ahead

This is something I am terrible at. I will start decluttering one area and then move onto something else, leaving the first job unfinished.

Instead, I now try to set myself a time limit and stick to one area. This makes it easier to finish the task, work out what is to be donated or sold and follow through with packaging up the items. Plus, if you're really organised or able, you can actually take the things to be donated.

4. Thinking of decluttering as a one-off task

If you're anything like me, decluttering will be an ongoing process. I thought in the past that now I've decluttered, I'm done.

In reality, I know the stuff will come back if it's not a lifestyle I adopt. That doesn't mean it will always be on a large scale colossal task, but by regularly reviewing the items I own, I can see whether it is something I need or want in my life and if not find someone who will want it.

Lady organising cupboards in a post about five decluttering mistakes you don't want to make.

5. Being too hard on yourself

The final decluttering mistake you don't want to make is being too hard on yourself.

Start with an area of your life that is in particularly overloaded and go from there. For me, this was my need to have backups.

I had the bathroom cabinet, Ikea Alex drawers and half of the cupboard space in the spare room rammed full of stuff. For example, we have 11 twin packs of mosquito wristbands from Poundland.

We used to go on around four holidays per year before we took over the pub. I have no idea why I thought they would run out.

Now, I am trying so hard not to buy backups of items.

Although, I still get that panicky feeling of what if we run out of something as we don't live that near the shops.

I have been doing a no-buy challenge, yet if you look at what I bought in January and February, they are back up items. The "essentials" only I've bought are arguably backups, just they are more sustainable than my usual choices. 

Have you decluttered, or are you hoping to? 

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Lots of love, 
Helen x

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