If you struggle to declutter, you are not alone. Decluttering can be a frustrating process especially if you’ve been doing the opposite for more of your life. Choose a couple of these little reminders to motivate yourself when you are struggling to declutter.
10 Little Things to Remember if You Struggle to Declutter
1. Enjoy your things.
If you want to enjoy your favorite things, only keep your favorite things. When you are decluttering, don’t just think about what you have to let go of. Consider what you want to keep. Don’t save the good stuff for a special occasion. Life is a special occasion. If you want to know what matters, get rid of what doesn’t. Use the good dishes. Wear and enjoy your favorite things. Let go of the rest.
2. Our homes are not containers for stuff.
Our homes are not containers for stuff but rather a place for love and connection. Let’s make room for more of that. Decluttering your life is a good first step in recreating your life or reclaiming your life. As you let go of all the stuff that doesn’t matter to you, what does matter begins to rise to the surface. Love and connection for … yourself and your wellbeing, your best relationships, work you care about, things you are curious about. When you struggle to declutter, think … less stuff, more love and connection.
3. Your things always need more things.
Isn’t it annoying how our things always needs more things? Usually (and definitely in my case), the solution isn’t more stuff, it’s less. Of course there are exceptions but for the most part, more containers, more organization, more closets, more shelves, more drawers only leads to more stuff that needs your time and attention. You may have noticed that at some point, managing your things and your things’s things is too much. It you want your time and attention for something else, less is best.
4. Decide what you really want.
When you struggle to declutter ask yourself, “What do I really want for my heart, for my family, for my life?” When you get stuck ask yourself if you want more stuff to store and take care of or more space, time and peace.
5. Make space for more life, not more stuff.
When we moved into our house two years ago, we didn’t put anything on the walls. We didn’t know what we wanted. Since then we’ve added a mirror. We love art but we don’t know what we want hanging on our walls. Instead of filling the space just because you are supposed to, we left it alone. Now, I appreciate the space.
Time after time, we declutter after the holidays or for spring cleaning, or because we are sick of all of our crap and then what do we do? We fill up all the spaces. Stop filling all the spaces (even if it’s uncomfortable). The next time you make a little space for yourself, fill it with all the ways you really want to do life. And if you don’t know what you want to do with the space, just sit with it. Take your time. Answers will come.
6. You need less than you think to be happy.
The more I had, the more I wanted. My constant quest for more resulted in frustration, overspending, and discontent. In contrast, today I live in a smaller space and choose from a small selection of clothes. Owning less, choosing from less and managing less gives me space to feel light, grateful and happy. When I feel bored, frustrated or unhappy, I remember I never had much luck trying to buy my way out (although I tried) with new stuff. Usually a walk, talking to someone I love or leaving it alone in some way for a bit does the trick. I often remind myself that I need less than I think to be happy.
7. Letting go is easier.
When you struggle to let go of stuff, remember that holding on is harder. You have to hold on to it every day but you only have to let go of it once. You hold on to stuff with your time, money, attention and emotion. When you let go, you free up those resources for something else. Something more meaningful and relevant to where you are right now. For a long time, I held on thinking, “it’s not hurting anything” and when I realized it wasn’t helping anything either, I let go. It has to help, or add value, or make me smile … or it’s gone.
8. Consider what you will leave behind.
When people remember me, I don’t want them to remember my shoes, my furniture or decades of things I stored in containers. When people I love grieve me, I don’t want them to have to make decisions about things I never really cared about. I don’t want my legacy to be containers full of stuff, but rather how I loved while I was here.
9. The things you own, own you right back.
A little quippy, but still true. Our stuff owns us by taking our time, money, energy and attention. Think of how much it costs to buy your stuff, take care of your stuff and what you’ve paid to move your stuff. Then there is the time and energy it takes to organize your stuff, declutter your stuff and worry about stuff.
10. You are running out of space.
There simply isn’t room for all of it; not in a drawer, not in a home and not in a life. If you want room for the good stuff, for your favorite things or room to show up for yourself and the people you love, make space for yourself. Make space in your home, on your calendar, and in your mind. Make space everywhere so you have room love, create, heal and to notice the magnificence of your life.
I hope these reminders help you when you struggle to declutter, or when you need a little motivation to continue.
P.S. Join me this Thursday, July 20th for a special webinar about a simple trick to effortless habit change. It will help you with future decluttering projects and other things you want to simplify and change in your life. You can sign up here to attend live or to get the replay.