I can attest to the fact that people do, indeed, pay other people to declutter and organize. Why would they do this? Lots of reasons! Sometimes people simply need an accountability partner, a cheerleader to work side to side with them while they tackle their stuff, in the hopes of getting a sense of order in their home and life.
Regardless of the reason, hats off to people who are reaching out for support in this process. It’s not easy! I love to help people with this journey! Yet, even more than that, I want to equip and empower people to take hold of their clutter, habits, and space so that they can maintain it moving forward. Here are 6 reasons people aren’t decluttering, and how to cut through these mental stumbling blocks so lasting progress can be made.
1. It takes too much time.
As with most worthwhile things in life, decluttering does take time. We’re stretched for time, as it is, keeping kids fed and the wheels somewhat on the bus. I get it. And, I don’t want to make light of these reasons. However…I promise you, making a commitment to declutter is the single most impactful step you can take when organizing. If you didn’t “organize” anything, but you did pare down, that would be progress.
When you’re in a decluttered state, you’re in maintenance mode – a great place to be. A place that does NOT take much time. It takes regularity, but (this bears repeating because I’m sensing you didn’t believe me the first time!), it really does NOT take much time. Make it a priority to do a little every day and you’ll be amazed how far you get. More on this in point #4.
2. It will just get messy again anyway.
Yep, kids, spouse, us!, (fill in the blank) can be messy. But, remember, we’re talking about decluttering – the act of removing the things that are being messed up! So there is LESS to mess up, LESS choices to overwhelm people, LESS to not put away, so you, in turn, have LESS to stress about.
And, even at a very young age, kids can learn where things go, and can learn to put something away before something else comes out.
3. It’s hard…
Decluttering takes time and physical effort. But, even “harder” is that it often entails making decisions about things that are sentimental in nature. It’s easier to leave the pile of inherited china and knick knacks in a box in a storage room. But, that’s no reason to not get after it! It’s so worth it to dive into our clutter, and determine what is special enough to keep, and what can be donated or sold, while tucking the memory away.
4. I don’t know where to start.
This sentiment often includes the prefix “there’s just so much”….thus “I don’t know where to start”. I wrote a blog post with tips on where and how to start. Short answer: It doesn’t matter where. And, start small – one corner, one drawer does the trick.
5. I paid good money for that!
The money has been spent. It is a sunk cost. Holding on to an item will not un-sink the money that was spent. There is no need to feel guilty over spending money on something that you no longer want to keep. It just doesn’t help. And, maybe you can recoup some money (and bless someone else) by re-selling it. You definitely won’t recoup anything keeping it stashed away. No time is better than the present to let it go.
6. What if I need it again?
Over the years, I have decluttered hundreds and hundreds (probably more!) of my personal items. I can count on 1 or 2 fingers the items I wished I held onto. And, in the grand scheme of things, they were nothing important, and easily replaceable.
The objective isn’t to be carelessly tossing things away, filling up landfills. There are usually ways to recycle, repurpose, and share things with others. But, for awhile, until you’re in a decluttered state, I do encourage you to do what it takes to get to a point where: 1. you use what you have, 2. you can fit what you have. It is a freeing and peaceful place to be. And, you can do it!