Common Mistakes When Decluttering

“Clutter isn’t just in your home, attic, garage or office. Clutter is also in your mind, and distracts you from the amazing things you are meant to do.”

-Katrina Mayer


You know the drill.  Keep, sell, toss.  Only keep what you truly love or find to be useful.  Ask yourself if your stuff sparks joy.   All of these mantras to help you declutter, and yet we still struggle with getting rid of our excess stuff. 


Everyone is decluttering. And everyone is talking about how good it feels to do it.  You save money when you know what you have and where it is.  But decluttering is a lot of work.  And it’s easy to make mistakes like these.

#1. Starting out overwhelmed.

You cannot look at your entire house filled with stuff and think that you’re going to tackle it in a day or even a weekend.  Starting out overwhelmed with the process will just lead you to quit that much sooner.   You need to start small.  How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! The same thing goes for decluttering.  Start with one room – or even one closet or one drawer and then move on to the rest.

#2. Failing to start with a goal.

Why are you decluttering?  Is your goal to make more space in your home?  Are you trying to raise some cash by getting rid of stuff?  Start with an end goal in mind.  You will have an easier time decluttering if you know you are working toward an achievable goal.

#3. Getting rid of too much (or not enough).

You not only need to set goals for the process, you need to have a plan for your stuff.  You need to determine exactly what it is you need.  How many sets of bed sheets do you really need.  How many years do you need to keep that old paperwork?   You may only use some items once or twice a year during the holidays, but if they are an important part of the celebration, make sure you keep them.  There is a fine balancing act between getting rid of too much and keeping too much.  Find out what you need to achieve your goals and feel comfortable with the results.

#4. Letting emotions control the process.

You will have a very hard time decluttering your home if you let your emotions get involved.  You have to make peace with letting go of your things.  That means you cannot keep things because your dear aunt gave them to you and you would feel bad if she found out you got rid of them.  It means letting go of stuff you kept only because it belonged to a loved one who is no longer with you.   Let go of the fear of tossing things you “may need some day” because chances are you won’t.  If you’re serious about decluttering, you’ll have to declutter your mind of those emotions that hold you back from achieving your goal.

#5. Tossing stuff just to get rid of it.

When you have a lot of clutter to deal with, it can be very tempting to just haul it all out to the curb.  But don’t!  You have an opportunity to do something good with your clutter! You can sell your stuffs, you can give it away, or you can donate it to a charity.  You can upcycle your stuff into something new.  Figure out where to get rid of your stuff without sending it to a landfill.

#6. Spending money on the process.

Decluttering is all about getting stuff out of your house.  So don’t think you’re decluttering by heading to the store to buy drawer organizers and storage totes for your stuff.  Work on clearing out everything you don’t need and you will find that you don’t need anything extra to organize what is left.  In fact, you’ll be amazed at how much extra space you have.

#7. Buying more stuff to fill up your space.

Do you know someone who has a really awesome garage sale every year?  They clear out all their stuff at one sale, then they go out and buy a bunch more stuff to replace it.  That’s not decluttering.  That’s a shopping addiction.   Decluttering means  you get rid of what you don’t need and appreciating what you have left (including more space!).
Remember that decluttering is a process – one that takes place both physically and mentally.  You have to overcome the hurdles to get rid of your excess stuff and to keep more from coming in. Keeping the right stuff is a key component of healthy personal finances. Your clutter is costing you money and sanity.  Let’s work on putting a stop to that.
Source: Christina Brown
To Top