Solutions for Those Pesky
Living clutter-free should be easy. After all, the benefits of living in a decluttered home are well-known and documented. We know that the positive, relaxing atmosphere of an organized and tidy space frees you, enabling you to live your best life.
However, those piles of too-small-for-me jeans and expired boxes of cereal tell a different story. The allure of an afternoon spent at the mall or grocery store can sometimes be too hard to resist.
After all, acquiring new things often has the ability to make us happy. That is, until those items begin to pile up in the corners and recesses of your life. It may be in the family room or perhaps in the garage, but chances are, clutter hides somewhere in your home. And although everyone has clutter to some extent, that doesn’t lessen its overall negative impact.
It should be easy to declutter; after all, social media inundates us daily with tips and tricks, touted as the newest ways to rid our home of unwanted items. So why is it so hard to rid your space of clutter? What are these pesky decluttering roadblocks that keep popping up and derailing your organizing attempts?
#1. Finding time in your busy schedule to tackle the disorder can be a really large decluttering roadblock. After a long day, it can be very difficult to begin a task that is not necessarily enjoyable. Although the long-term gain will out-weigh the short-term pain, finding the energy to begin can be a challenge.
Solution: Set a realistic goal for the allotted time for decluttering. It can even be for as little as 10 minutes per day; those small decluttering sessions will add up over time. After all, “consistency is more important than intensity when you’re decluttering”. Evaluate what you can fit into your schedule and commit to it.
In fact, as a form of commitment, write it down on the calendar for a specific day and time. Not only will this sense of importance increase the likelihood of the task’s completion, but it allows you to realistically evaluate where you can fit it in.
#2. Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of clutter in your home can derail your organizing attempts before they even begin. Add to that, many organizational methods require collecting numerous items together into a pile or a specific room.
Solution: Start your decluttering with small projects. For instance, that pile of clean laundry on the couch? By folding and putting it away, the sight of that uncluttered sofa will give you the positive boost that you need to keep going. The momentum you gain, simply by starting the organizing, will dismantle this particular decluttering roadblock.
#3. Sentimental treasures are difficult to get rid of. Even though you may no longer use these items, the pull to keep them can be a huge decluttering roadblock.
Solution: Keep a small number of these possessions. However, ensure you have the available space for their storage. For the items that you will be donating or discarding, allow yourself a brief moment of sadness and then let them go. Remind yourself that you will always have the memory associated with this treasure. In fact, if it is helpful, take a picture of the gem before it leaves your home.
#4. In a similar vein, guilt is a powerful decluttering roadblock. Its causes can be varied, and its emotional effects can be mentally paralyzing. Not using a possession makes it of no value to you. If you received it as a gift or if it was a very expensive purchase doesn’t matter; that item is clutter.
Solution: If the article was a gift, remind yourself what the purpose of gift-giving is. Once it has been received, it is yours to do with as you please. Treating that gift as clutter is not treating it with the respect it deserves. If you are not going to use it, then donate it to someone who will.
Furthermore, if this was an expensive item, remind yourself of the fact that this money has already been spent. Whether you keep it or donate it will not alter this.
#5. There is a special category of clutter that is dedicated to prior hobbies. Perhaps it is a collection of yarn and knitting needles, or a collection of rollerblades and helmets; the type of hobby doesn’t matter. The bottom line is that you have held onto these items long after you have had use for them.
Solution: Let go of the misconceived notion that you will re-visit this old hobby; accept that your present interests have changed. If you are not entirely convinced of this fact, give yourself a deadline to get back to this activity. If you don’t use those rollerblades or knitting paraphernalia within that time frame, pass them on.
#6. As a decluttering roadblock, ruminating about whether or not you will need a specific item in the future is a stubborn one. Although this possession may have been used frequently in the past, it no longer serves its purpose. For instance, while decluttering your closet you have found that pile of too-small-for-me-jeans and feel compelled to keep them.
Solution: You need to be brutally honest with yourself: will you ever wear those jeans again? When was the last time that they fit? If you have a realistic weight-loss goal, perhaps the reward for becoming healthier can be a new pair of jeans.By donating these pants, you are both decluttering your closet, and allowing someone else the opportunity for a new pair of jeans.
“Most clutter problems can be fixed with better habits and a good organizational system”; while true, these habits can be stonewalled by decluttering roadblocks. If you have tried to overcome them and failed, a Certified Ultimate Professional Organizer™ can help you get back on track. A Professional Organizer can either implement a variety of organizing methods to assist you, or he/she can complete the project for you.
The important fact is that you will be living your best life, in an organized, decluttered home.