Over the years I’ve encountered many people attempt to de-clutter and become more organized. Many times, their efforts have been unfulfilled and they remain frustrated, stressed and often give up, resolving themselves that they’ll never accomplish this task successfully.
Here are the biggest mistakes I’ve seen in their quest to de-clutter and how you can avoid them.
They rush into it without a plan
The most frequent mistake most people make is they rush out to buy containers, bins, baskets, hangers, and all sorts of additional organizing products before they clear their space of clutter. Stop – Don’t buy anything until you’ve de-cluttered your space first. Then access your needs, determine what and where you’re going to keep and then purchase products based solely on your needs.
More often than not, you most likely have many of these types of supplies on hand. Avoid this mistake by first doing the work of sorting, purging and categorizing your stuff, then get onto the task of actually organizing. Additionally, it helps to understand the volume and amount of the stuff you intend to store and organize, then measure the intended storage space. Save yourself a lot of time and effort by taking photos to the store with you.
They don’t have the proper mindset
The second most frequent mistake is setting un-realistic expectations. After seeing glossy magazine photos and beautiful Pinterest posts showing how neat, tidy and organized an environment is, they set themselves up for failure and frustration when they don’t achieve the same result. Everyone’s lifestyles are different and as individual and unique as you are and attempting to make your home look like those you’ve seen is a common cause of disappointment.
Making good decisions with a clear vision in mind and how realistic the outcome will become is the key to getting positive results. Begin by determining why you want to de-clutter and get organized and decide how your space should look, feel and function, then define what will be the results of your energy and effort. You’ll accomplish much more and have longer lasting results.
They’re overly ambitious
A common occurrence is they attempt to do it all at once. This is often too overwhelming and a major cause of burn out. Attempting to do too much at once results in poor decision making, physical and mental exhaustion and rarely yields timely results. Oftentimes when attempting to engage at this pace, your creativity and ability to think clearly becomes comprised and the accomplishments are less than satisfactory.
You can’t start everywhere and with everything. Start small. One small corner of a room, one shelf in a closet or one drawer within a desk. Set a timer and works in small blocks of time for no more than thirty minutes to an hour. Knowing when to stop for the day allows you refresh and avoid becoming burned out. Even a big project like packing and moving can be broken down into small blocks of time when it’s well planned out.
They’re too hard on themselves
Another common mistake that’s made when de-cluttering is being too hard on themselves for the cause of the situation. They feel guilty and may have feelings of shame, frustration, blame of oneself or others and a low level of self-esteem and confidence in their ability to change.
It’s important to not beat yourself up! You’ve recognized and decided on the need to change and that’s why you’re engaging in de-cluttering and organizing in the first place.
So, stop wasting your time beating yourself up and remember that all your efforts are going to be worthwhile. You’ll be rewarded with less stuff to worry about and take care of. You’ll now have more time to do the things most important to you and you’ll enjoy the feeling of calm and clutter-free lifestyle.
They’re after the wrong end goal
Strive for progress – not perfection. Avoid trying to pare down on everything to its bare minimum. The ultimate goal is to simply prioritize what matters most at the present time. The value of things will change over time and what you consider you need now to live your life with fulfillment may change into the future. You may want to consider purging just 20% of the items you never use at the present time. But also consider letting stuff go if it causes you stress or frustration. Ask yourself if keeping this item contributes to creating your lifestyle with less stress and more success?
Although, it’s easier to manage less than to organize more.
Share this with your friends on your favorite social media site!
Be sure to check back next month for another invaluable tip to help you live a lifestyle with less stress and more success!