Why decluttering won’t solve all of your problems

Here is what I know: Clutter can be suffocating. Decluttering, on the other hand, is freeing.  All of that letting go, lightening your load to remove “stuff” from your space that no longer serves a purpose can do so much for your psyche, and your space.

How do you know when you need to declutter? For starters, if you’ve ever described your life as overwhelming, or describe yourself as feeling tired and having no time, you probably need to lighten your load.

Decluttering is, as my sister would say, magic.  As in the solution to turning those words or phrases around. When you declutter you can almost instantaneously feel lighter, sane, more in control, with time to spare.  It’s that powerful!

But it isn’t going to solve all your problems.

The high hopes you have that decluttering your space will change your life for the better are only partly true.  The act of doing the work is important and it is the first step to solving problems of overwhelm and stress in your living spaces. It is actually the first step to organizing anything because when you choose to declutter you really start to understand and see what you have – and why. You choose to accept the challenge of really looking at what you like, need and use.  Challenges like that often lead to thinking more deliberately and deeply about how you want to live your life.  Which is, of course, important.

Not many people want to think about or give much credence to the fact that what you have (and how much) affects your happiness. It affects how you “do” life.

Start with decluttering. But don’t stop there. Don’t fall into a trap of a yo-yo organizing where you alternate purging (and feeling great) and then collect again or mindlessly add in more (and get cluttered yet again).

You repeat that cycle often enough and you start to get really tired. And feel pretty dejected, perhaps causing you to give up on decluttering all together. A yo-yo system like that won’t get you where you want to go.

Instead, you have to see there is more you need to do in order to get and keep your life feeling light, calm, sane. You must take to heart that adding anything in without questioning why you are adding it in can lead you back where you started. It leads to getting re-cluttered all over again. And the problems of overwhelm and stress and fatigue creep back in as your space gets re-cluttered.

Here are some tips to keep in mind to avoid this problem:

  1. Give it time. Cause it takes time to do this this work. Honor your life by allowing the time to declutter .
  2. Question what comes in consistently. The more you know why you are bringing something in and where it will be stored the easier it is to stay organized. Questioning forces you to reflect on what you really need in order to do the things in your life that give it true meaning.
  3. Tidy up daily. Take the small amount of time, daily, to put things back where they belong. It keeps the area neat. That breeds order and keeps clutter at bay.

Remember that the results of decluttering and questioning what comes in lead to easier management of daily routines and complicated endeavors. Doing this work leaves you more physical and mental space to conceive of and do what your heart desires. You can make clearer decisions on what you need to make the most of your life. And it is usually the gateway to other transformations because decluttering is about knowing your self more.

Have the courage to let go of what you don’t want so you can take the steps to get what you do. Decluttering alone will solve everything but it is your best start in attaining a simple life. One that is brimming with all the things that make if feel fulfilled.

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