Common Decluttering Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Find out the most common decluttering mistakes a lot of people who are new to decluttering make. Discover solutions that will help you avoid these mistakes and make your decluttering project a success.
Sooner or later people are faced with the task of needing to declutter their home. However, decluttering should be viewed as a process rather than a one-time activity.
If you are not experienced at decluttering then you might want to know the most common decluttering mistakes and how to avoid them.
Top 7 Common Decluttering Mistakes You Should Avoid
Mistake #1: Starting the Decluttering Process with Unrealistic Expectations
Many novice declutters begin the decluttering process with unrealistic expectation. Some expect to be able to declutter their entire home in a day or two.
To proper declutter, you need to survey and declutter every area of your home including cupboards, dressers, closets, drawers as well as those areas readily within eyesight.
Properly decluttering your home or apartment especially for the first time in a few years can take weeks or even months depending on the amount of time you have to dedicate to the process.
Starting out with unrealistic expectations will force you to leave the task half done, or worse derail your entire decluttering efforts.
Solution: Look at Decluttering as a Long Term Project
When you view decluttering your home as a long-term project you are less likely to become overwhelmed and more likely to be able to stick to the task until you have completed the task even weeks or months down the road.
Mistake #2: Not Having a Plan to Start Your Decluttering
Decluttering without a plan often results in confusion and you will likely end up feeling overwhelmed.
You need to plan for your decluttering so that you have all of the tools you need as well as the available time to devote to starting the project.
Solution: Schedule Decluttering Sessions on Your Calendar
Set a date when you have a space of time to devote to the project and also set an amount of time you will devote to the process of decluttering on each date you have planned.
Even a 15-minute period once a week will eventually help you accomplish your goal.
You may also want to read this article on how to declutter your home.
Mistake #3: Trying to Declutter too Many Different Areas at Once
Another big mistake that people make when they begin to declutter is trying to declutter too many areas at once.
For example, if you are decluttering the tabletops in your living room and pick up books to put away, then start to declutter your bookcase you will have two areas looking messy at the same time and will feel as though the clutter is getting worse not better.
Solution: Stick to One Area Until it is Completed
The simple way to avoid making the mistake of trying to declutter too many areas at once is to stick to one area at a time.
This may mean you will need containers to place items that belong in different areas in the home in order to avoid getting distracted.
Then take the items to the proper area after you have completed decluttering the area you are currently working on.
Mistake #4: Procrastinating Getting Started on that Decluttering
Decluttering is not a chore that most of us like doing, which makes it a task, which is all too easy to put off.
However, the more you put off decluttering your home the more clutter you will accumulate, making the process even more difficult to get started on.
Solution: Grit Your Teeth and Just Get Started
Sometimes starting with a small area makes getting started easier. Start with something simple like your dining room table, or a desk drawer.
Completing one task successfully will often give you the confidence to continue on to the next and to build up to the larger decluttering projects.
Mistake #5: Trying to Organize Before You Declutter
Another common mistake people make when decluttering is to try and organize their cupboards, closets, drawers, etc. before you actual declutter.
Many people think that getting their things organized will make decluttering easier, but the fact is that the entire reason for decluttering is to get rid of all that excess stuff, you don’t need.
So why try and find a place for something you will only be getting rid of in the end.
Solution: Decluttering First Makes Organizing Easier
The fact is that when you declutter first, you make more room for the items you are keeping.
This makes it easier to organize since you have more space for those storage containers and to arrange the items you are keeping in a manner that is easy to access.
Mistake #6: Letting Decluttered Items Hang Around too Long
One huge mistake many people make when they are decluttering is that once they separate those items they are getting rid of into “give away”, “resell”, and “garbage”, they leave the containers with these items in them in their garage or attic to get rid of at a later date.
Boxes of decluttered items that sit around for a period of time is like a treasure box to members of your household, who will go through the box and take out an item here and there.
Before you know it, your home will be once again cluttered with all of the stuff you spent so much time and effort to remove.
Solution: Remove Decluttered Items Immediately
Immediately after decluttering an area (or at the very latest the next day) remove the declutter items from your home by taking them to a local thrift shop, resell shop or recycling center.
That way they won’t be sitting around waiting to be “rediscovered” by family members.
You will also have the added benefit of knowing that the items are being put to better use than they would be if they remained in your home.
Mistake #7: Relocating Items Instead of Purging Them
When first decluttering many people find it difficult to get rid of objects they consider to be still good even if those items are no longer being used. (You may also want to read this article on how to declutter sentimental items)
Instead of purging their homes of these items, many people simply try to relocate them to other rooms.
While this may seem to work temporarily, it only will make your clutter problem worse in the long run.
Solution: Concentrate on the People Who Could Really Use Those Items You no Longer Need
A lot of people are having financial difficulties right now and can’t afford many basic items and appliances such a new toaster, coffee pot, pot and pan set and even clothing.
If you concentrate on how those items you don’t want or need may help someone else, it is easier to get rid of the excess items you simply don’t need and are cluttering your home.
Here is a list of 60+ things you can get rid of right now that you won’t even miss.
Final Thoughts on Common Decluttering Mistakes
Remember that decluttering your home is a process and it is a process that won’t happen overnight. However, each time you make time for a decluttering session you will soon discover that the task becomes easier and the decisions of what to keep and what to purge will come faster as you become more experienced and see what a difference decluttering your home can make.
Related Decluttering Articles:
- Decluttering Your Kitchen – Simple Tips + a Checklist
- Decluttering Your Bedroom – Easy Tips and Ideas
- Tips for Decluttering When You Live with a Hoarder
I hope you found the solutions to the common decluttering mistakes helpful. Leave your feedback below.