what not to do when decluttering

What NOT to Do When Decluttering Your Home

If your home feels chaotic, it could be because of clutter. By organizing the space, you can make better use of it and reduce your stress. With this goal in mind, it’s just as important to know what not to do as it is to know the best strategies. Below are top things to avoid, based on what our professional organizers have seen frequently, and how to fix them.

Mistake #1: Putting the Big Project First

When you try to do the biggest clear-outs first, you risk becoming so overwhelmed by the task that you only get partway through it before feeling defeated. Or, worse yet, you don’t start it at all because of the sheer magnitude of it.

Instead, begin with smaller projects to build up your self-confidence and get more familiar with how best to approach tasks. Depending on how much organizing a room needs, the ideal strategy could be focusing on different parts of the room at separate times. For instance, start with the bookcase, then move to the desk, then the closet.

Mistake #2: You Toss It All Out

Rather than taking the time to sort through the clutter, you might be tempted to trash it all. While it might be the easiest thing to do, it is not the best decision from a sustainability perspective.

As many of the possessions likely still have plenty of life left in them, you can give them a second home by giving items that are useful to friends and family. Alternatively, consider donating them to a non-profit organization. For those things that are beyond repair, recycle, or properly dispose of them.

what not to do when decluttering

Mistake #3: Touching Things Too Much

When you handle items a lot, they tend to have more emotional value. So, try only to have minimal interaction with belongings as you sort through them to decide what to keep or not.

You can still pick up the items, of course, but don’t get too touchy-feely with them. For example, hold up a sweater as you decide whether to donate it or put it back in your closet, but avoid feeling the fabric and reminiscing for several minutes. Otherwise, you risk having an emotional experience that prevents you from parting with anything.

Mistake #4: Overdoing It

You’re not a machine. Many homeowners find decluttering the home is tiring work, physically and mentally. That’s why it’s important to take breaks.

After an hour or so of sorting items, for instance, reward yourself with a 15-minute pause. Leave the room that you’ve been working in and refresh your mind, as well as resting the body. When you return to the project, you are more likely to feel in control and have the energy to reach the goal.

Mistake #5: Giving Things a Price Tag

When putting items into keep or discard piles, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking about each one’s price. However, assigning a monetary value to the possessions will only make it more difficult for you to part with them.

Instead, focus on their usefulness (or lack of). If the belongings are only taking up space and no longer use them, it is best to part with them now.

Now you know what to avoid and the more effective action to take instead. Find more helpful suggestions for your home by contacting us today!