There are a few things to avoid doing if you want to be successful with your decluttering. Some of these DON'T'S are often recommended by experts as Must Do's.
1. Don't pull everything outI regularly see recommendations to pull everything out so you can see all of your stuff and then only put back the things you are going to keep.
If you don't have a lot of stuff and the area you are about to tackle has less then 10 things then maybe pulling everything out is a viable option.
However, if you're like me there'll be loads more then 10 items in an area that needs to be decluttered, even a small area like a draw of shelf. Pulling everything out is a recipe for ending up with a bigger mess then you started with.
Only pull out things that will be leaving your house. Leave the rest where it is and don't worry about organising it.
2. Don't organiseDecluttering and organising are different things, leave the organising until later.
Organising will be soooo much easier after you've decluttered. Sometimes all that's needed is a bit of decluttering and the space is magically organised. Does that sound as appealing to you as it does to me?
3. Don't stress over the hard decisionsIf you can't decide to keep something or not, leave that decision for later and move onto the next item. Keep the decluttering momentum going, don't break your stride.
Start with the stuff you are happy to have leave your home. You'll find the hard decisions get easier the more you declutter.
4. Don't make a 'to sort through box'This is another one of those recommendations I see regularly that for me is just asking for trouble.
Making a box of stuff that I'm unsure what to do with is just asking to add another box to the clutter. A box that I mentally label 'too hard' because it's full of things that I couldn't decide what to do with the first time I touched them.
Don't put things into boxes to go through later unless you want to leave everything in that box and put it in storage for several months, because boxes of hard decisions have a tendency to hang around adding to the clutter.
5. Don't set unrealistic goalsSet yourself up for repeated success with lots of small goals. It's much easier to reach a goal of filling a small bag with clothes then it is to clear your entire wardrobe out. Here's a few achievable goals to get you started.
- fill a small bag or box
- find 10 things to remove from your home
- clear a square foot of space
- 3 things in 3 minutes
- 1 item every advertisement break while watching your favourite program
And above all, no matter what anyone recommends, do what works for you.