Rather than offering you a list of suggestions for how to declutter the house, we thought it would be more helpful to provide a list of what NOT to do during the decluttering process. These tips come from our professional organizers, and some of the decluttering mistakes they’ve seen might surprise you!
Decluttering Mistake #1: You Take on Too Much
While you’re raring to go, it’s important not to take on more than you can reasonably organize within a short time. If you plan to organize the whole house in a weekend, for example, that is a big project that is likely to overwhelm you and might not be done by Sunday night.
That sense of overwhelm might stop you from even starting the project. Or, you could get halfway done and then return to work Monday, coming home to piles of stuff everywhere. That’s sure to stress you out.
Instead, choose a smaller project that you are likely to finish soon, such as decluttering the bedroom closet or beneath the bed. Taking small steps will enable you to do more in the long-run, rather than getting exhausted.
Decluttering Mistake #2: Trying to be Perfect
Magazines are full of stunning home interiors. But your living room and closets do not need to be picture perfect.
Instead, what matters is that they are functional, look appealing to you, and are uncluttered. When you get them this way, know that they are good, and that is enough. Organizing is not about being perfect.
Decluttering Mistake #3: Start Another Project before Finishing the First
It’s tempting to start a few of these projects at once. While you have lots of ideas for bettering the homestead, be careful not to get ahead of yourself.
Instead, conquer a smaller project that fits in your schedule so that you can feel a sense of accomplishment before moving on to the next one. For example, tackle the cluttered bookshelf in the home office and then call it a day. After completing one task in full, you’ll feel empowered next week to conquer the next one!
Decluttering Mistake #4: Not Assessing Your Progress
Our experts also encourage you to take the time after completing a decluttering project to look back at the accomplishment. Be proud of what you’ve done, especially if you have been putting off the decluttering process for a long time.
Rather than looking at what still needs to be done, focus instead on how far you’ve come. Clearing away clutter takes time, and every step you take is a great benefit to you and others in the household.
Decluttering Mistake #5: Buy Storage Containers Right Away
Don’t do it! Instead, declutter what you have first. While you have great intentions, getting storage bins to put everything into before decluttering anything is a misstep.
Only after you go through the clutter and make decisions about what to toss or keep can you know what storage containers are needed. You will likely have far fewer things than when you began. At this point, you can make accurate decisions about what sizes and shapes of storage baskets to get for the home.
Learning from These Decluttering Mistakes
When you’re decluttering an area of the house, try to keep these common errors in mind as they can derail your project. If you’d rather not do it alone, reach out to our professional organizers for helpful suggestions about how best to tackle disorganization in your unique home.