So you’re stuck on YouTube watching videos about decluttering again, huh? It’s ok. Let me tell you why you keep getting sucked in to watching OTHER people declutter AND how to get moving on your own personal decluttering mission.
The first thing you need to get started is a better reason for decluttering. Chances are, if you’re watching videos on decluttering, you are looking at other people’s homes wishing yours were as cute, as clean, as put together, as clutter-free as theirs.
Sorry. Watching videos isn’t going to help your housekeeping. But getting clear on why taking action in small chunks really does matter and really will make a difference.
Reason 1: Decluttering brings clarity
We procrastinate on decluttering because it’s a bunch of decision making. It’s not rote work. It’s not dull work. It’s hard work that doesn’t look hard, so we think we’re doing it wrong. But it’s hard because it’s all judgment calls – and, if your clutter has been around awhile, it’s probably all judgment calls you’ve been procrastinating on. The clutter is there because you don’t have the information you need to make a good decision OR you lack the courage to just make a judgment call and live with the consequences.
The consequences of not decluttering, however, are all around you. When you don’t declutter, you’re choosing to live in clutter. Entropy is real. Disorder happens when you aren’t actively pursuing order. It’s either decluttering or cluttering; there is no neutral.
But decluttering can be the place where we practice leadership. We can make a judgment call on the situation. There is no right answer anyone else can tell us. We just have to choose. Do I keep this or not? Does it get a home in my house or not? These decisions add up. Make them one or two or three at a time every day and you will get traction.
As we declutter, we process internally what our homes really are for. How do we know whether or not something belongs in our home unless
Reason 2: Decluttering makes you faster
Living in a cluttered place slows you down. When a home is busting at the seams, stuff gets in the way of the action. So decluttering is about more than just putting things away and taking care of your stuff. Decluttering is a way to clear the decks, set the stage, and prepare for active productivity.
We see an increase in speed and productivity most in how much time we spend locating items. If we have to wade through piles or go from room to room, hunting, we waste a lot of time. If, on the other hand, we have a home for everything and everything in its home, we spend very little time looking for needed items.
If you feel like you’re short on time, then decluttering is a project that will pay dividends. Much of the time it doesn’t feel like a project that’s getting you anywhere, but in the end you’ll be much more efficient. It’s like starting to cut down a tree by sharpening the ax. You start by clearing the path that makes productivity possible.
Reason 3: Decluttering takes practice
The most common mistake made about decluttering is that it is a once-and-done project. This assumption is a sure-fire way to make you feel like a decluttering failure, especially if you have a family. Kids need stuff. Kids outgrow stuff. Stuff-management – including decluttering – is just a standard part of a mom’s job.
Decluttering is an ongoing maintenance kind of thing, not a project to check off and “attain.” That means that it’s a skill we can improve. Instead of being discouraged by needing to declutter again, we can see it as another opportunity to practice.
When we’ve racked up enough practice time, we get faster and more confident as we move through our piles. So it’s not just rote repetition all through life. The repetition grows us, strengthens us, and increases our skill. That skill, in turn, will translate into greater wisdom when making purchases, passing things along, and otherwise managing the stuff of a household.
Decluttering is an ongoing part of life, but it’s a beneficial activity not only for our household, but for ourselves as well.