Welcome! If you are new to this decluttering challenge, make sure to check out the resource page so that you don’t miss a thing!
As promised, we start our challenge with de-cluttering. If you are anything like me, your life is a constant cycle of de-cluttering or needing to de-clutter. Our materialistic society and our constant quest for STUFF leaves us with a lot of clutter.
Why do We Declutter?
De-cluttering can be a very worthwhile and valuable endeavor. There are
benefits to the process.
However, de-cluttering on its own is a fruitless effort.
Without personal evaluation and insight, any progress you make will more than likely be undone. (And it is not only our family to blame!) That is why we are working through this challenge together! My goal for you is that in the process of de-cluttering, we can get to the root of the source of your clutter, and hopefully, find a workable solution tot hat root “problem”.
My goal for you is that in the process of de-cluttering, we can get to the root of the source of your clutter, and hopefully, find a workable solution to that root “problem”.
Here are 5 reasons why de-cluttering (alone) does not work:
- Decluttering doesn’t require mindfulness: I know that you have heard all of the sage advice. You have seen it all splashed on Facebook memes: Turn your hangers backward and if you have not worn an item in the year, donate it. Get rid of two things for every one thing you bring home. But, getting rid of stuff you haven’t used in the last year or donating an item of clothing for each new piece you bring home are short-term fixes. For de-cluttering methods to stick, you must evaluate your reasons for the decisions you make regarding your possessions. Why do you have all of this stuff in the first place? Which brings us to:
- De-cluttering won’t help you understand your attachment to possessions. Digging a little deeper, you must actually consider the personal motivations for your attachment to the stuff you own. For example, do you hold onto things because you fear being without? Maybe you realize that you are holding onto habits from a childhood of poverty and that it’s okay now to let go of your abundance of stuff. Or, do your possessions hold great (or not so great) memories of loved ones? Are you holding onto a ratty chipped coffee mug because your grandma drank from it every morning? Are you afraid that if you let go of an item you may end of needing it next week? Will you need it or next year? Will you need it 10 years from now?
- De-cluttering doesn’t benefit others. Just let that sink in for a moment. I know that when I declutter, I feel like I am helping those that I donate my clutter to. But, if you have tried donating clothing lately, you will notice that everyone is totally overwhelmed with clothing donations. And while, yes, today, in our challenge, we may want to part with more than a few clothing items–let us also be mindful about future clothing purchases. (Spoiler alert–I have at least one post in this challenge devoted to exactly this!) De-cluttering without mindfulness does little to help others who could benefit from your overstock. Taking steps to get rid of some things and tidy up, without understanding your reasons for doing so, rarely leads to the kinds of results that could come from purposeful action. When you understand what you hope to gain from this release of clutter, you can significantly pare down your possessions. This allows more people to benefit from your abundance.
- De-cluttering has no impact on your debt. You may think de-cluttering can help you raise some cash by selling your unwanted things, and it can! However, without examining your motives for acquiring so much stuff and evaluating your priorities in life, you’re practically guaranteed to buy more items to take the place of those you’ve sold. Which leads me to:
- De-cluttering rarely leads to lifestyle changes.
Your clean and organized environment is merely a facade that isn’t likely to last. If you want to change your life by implementing healthy changes and making positive strides, you first must do the work of introspection. Taking time to evaluate what has led to your clutter and to consider your lifestyle goals will go a long way toward creating a soothing home environment that lasts.
And that is why we are here! To get to the bottom of our clutter problem and Organize all the things!
Assignment: Take a few moments over a cup of coffee (or your beverage of choice) and think about what the root of your clutter is. Is it a fear of going without? Are you afraid to let go of items with sentimental value? Do your spouse or kids shriek if you even hint at parting with something? Drill this down to a few sentences and then come share with the Facebook group!