Fair warning here! I’m feeling rather sassy today, so this post is going to be more of a straight shooter (a.k.a. totally blunt) than most of my posts. If you’ve worked with me or know me, you know that I have no judgment and I say all of this to help. 🙂 Without further ado, here are 9 reasons why you keep clutter. And they aren’t that great, as you might suspect, so I’m also going to share exactly how to overcome each one!
1. FOMO or I might need it one day
Not wanting to miss out on having an item that *might* be needed one day is a pretty big block with many of my clients when it comes to letting go of items and getting organized. But what if you got rid of things that are not currently being used that could be re-acquired in 20 minutes for no more than $20? This 20/20 rule would take care of a lot of your clutter, I bet.
2. It’s still good
If your item still has life left and could be used by someone else, make that happen! List it on Craigslist, a local Freecycle group, or schedule a pickup with Donatestuff.com. Don’t get caught up on trying to find the perfect person to get your item. Perfection is crippling!
Need help figuring out how to sell your stuff? I have the perfect guide for your right here.
3. It was a gift
The gift giver intended to make you happy by giving you the gift. If the gift no longer makes you happy (or you have no use for it and it’s collecting dust), it’s now clutter.
Don’t feel guilty about getting rid of the gift. Let it go! If you want to remember the gift, take a picture of it first.
4. Someday it will be worth something
Do you have the time or space to wait for “someday?” That’s a rhetorical question really, because you don’t. It likely isn’t worth it and the item won’t appreciate in value. The time you’ll save by letting go of the clutter now, you’ll open up new opportunities going forward. Start living for now, not the future!
5. You don’t know what to do with it
If the item doesn’t have a specific place in your home because you don’t know what to do with it, it’s clutter. If it’s not something you use, want, need, or like, then it’s time to let it go. If it’s a newly acquired item, now is the time to make room for the item or let go of it.
Need help figuring it all out? That’s exactly why I’m here!
6+7. I don’t know where to begin and It’s too much to do, I can’t do it myself
These are both common reasons for most people who want to get more organized. To cut through clutter, you need someone who can make good (yet quick) decisions and figure out the best way to get started. It’s time to get a someone else involved to help you, someone like me!
And a professional will be your best bet. A true professional puts your needs ahead of their own and can be subjective. Pro organizers know the questions to ask and can help you craft a plan to get it all done.
I have a membership community, the Organizing Oasis, where I help people get organized without ever visiting their homes. It gives the privacy and discretion people are looking for when working with an organizer.
8. More is better
Or is it?
Quality over quantity will win out just about every time.
Except maybe with chocolate. Nah, it’s better to have quality chocolate over lots of cruddy chocolate anyway!
The same holds true for possessions too. It’s better to have a smaller set of treasured quality books over many jammed bookcases full of books you don’t like. Apply this thinking to other possessions as well.
Consider if the item is in good shape and worth keeping for its content. Anything not in good shape is likely clutter.
9. Sentimental items
Some folks hold on to things because it holds a special memory or because it was from someone special.
Consider if what you want is the actual item or if you want to hold onto to memory of the person who gave you the item or how you acquired the item (travel mementos, anyone?).
If you want to hold onto the memory of the item or related experience, ask yourself if a picture of the item would be enough. If so, take a picture and let the item go! If you cannot part with the item, keep a select group of items and set limits of how much to keep.
Over to you!
How many of the reasons ring true for you? It really doesn’t matter if you have a lot of clutter, or just a small amount (I’ve yet to meet anyone that doesn’t have any!). Chances are one of these reasons is holding you back. And now that you’ve identified them, you can work to overcome and get organized!
Drowning in clutter, but don't know where to start?
This Organizing Jumpstart Challenge is *exactly* what you need!
Stop wasting the hour (or more!) you're currently losing to clutter + disorganization each day!*
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