By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer
As I was preparing to write this blog, I originally thought I might have 3 good reasons why many baby boomers might fail at decluttering, but the more I started to think about it, there are many more than just 3. I’m going to share with you 8 reasons baby boomers often try over and over again to declutter their homes and get organized, but get distracted, frustrated, and end up never finishing the job.
This makes us feel like we have failed. But it’s a new year and this year you’re determined to succeed at decluttering and getting organized so you can find what you need when you need it.
But before you jump in… again…
Wouldn’t it be helpful to understand the reasons…
· Why you were not successful decluttering and organizing in the past?
· Why you never finish decluttering so you could get organized?
· What it was that held you back?
Once you answer these questions, you can avoid the same mistakes and set yourself up for success so you can finally succeed at decluttering and getting organized in 2022.
#1 Reason: Not having a decluttering and organizing plan. As the saying goes “if you fail to plan you plan to fail”
Decluttering is not easy. It can be overwhelming, frustrating, and it’s easy to get distracted and off track.
Because decluttering is a big project, it’s important to know where, when, and how to start.
Break it up into smaller quick “wins”. Start by decluttering a drawer, a shelf, or a countertop.
#2 Reason: Confusing decluttering with rearranging/re-organizing
Decluttering means removing and reducing stuff, getting rid of it, letting go of things that you no longer want, need, or use.
Re-organizing/rearranging things and putting them into pretty containers is not decluttering. It’s a temporary fix that makes you feel good at the moment, but that doesn’t last for too long because you haven’t reduced the amount of your stuff.
#3 Reason: Not consistently allocating time and energy to decluttering
If you don’t put time aside each day, each week to accomplish your project, likely you will not succeed.
Put it on your calendar. Schedule it as if it were an important appointment because it is!
Then, put in the hard work that it takes on a consistent basis.
#4 Reason: Not knowing “why” you want to declutter and get organized
Why does decluttering matter to you? Why is it important for you to get organized?
How is it impacting your life, your relationships?
- When you spend time and effort looking for things it’s frustrating!
- When you get into arguments about clutter or when you yell at your kids about their messes, it’s hurtful!
- When you’re ashamed of how messy your house is and you don’t invite people to your house because of that, it’s embarrassing!
When you know your “why”, you’ll be motivated. You’ll be much more determined to stay with it when you get discouraged and want to quit.
#5 Reason: Not knowing what to do with all your stuff
When you create your plan…
- Decide where you will donate, where you will consign, and who in your circle of family and friends will want any of your things and will be willing to remove it from your home when you declutter.
It’s important to not let your clutter sit around in bags, boxes, or bins. Put them in your car or in the trash.
#6 Reason: Not knowing where to put the stuff that you DO keep
Everything you keep needs a proper “home”, a logical place where you know where it is so you can put your hands on it when you need it and so you will know where to return it when you’re finished using it.
This is the organizing part of your project. Make sure you have removed and gotten rid of what you don’t want, need or use in that area before you start organizing.
You’ll be surprised at just how much space you actually have!
#7 Reason: Not being clear about which decluttering method works best for you, your personality, and your schedule
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to decluttering.
Don’t Let Another Year Go By!
This is Your Solution to Start Decluttering
- The Burst method (my favorite)
When you allot even 15 minutes of highly focused time, think about how much you can accomplish when you start repeating that method multiple times each week. You would definitely see progress.
- The Category Method
This decluttering method is used for particular categories that you might have excess amounts of. For example, shoes might be your nemesis! This decluttering method allows you to focus on just one category so you don’t get distracted and you can make good progress.
#8 Reason: Getting bogged down with sentimental items
If you get stuck or stopped when you are decluttering your sentimental items, stop what you’re doing and schedule it for another time when it might be a little easier for you emotionally.
Start decluttering in another area so that you can experience success and see results.