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Decluttering Why's (Wise)

“Clear your environment so you can clear your mind and move forward.”

That’s what I’ve been saying since I started my business almost two years ago. I’m wondering if the opposite is also true. “Clear your mind so you can clear your environment and move forward.”

For me, if I’m sitting in a cluttered room, I can’t relax. It’s like sitting in the middle of a “to do” list. How can you relax with everything around you yelling at you to get up and get it done? But that’s just me. I have to clear my environment first.

There are others who need to clear their mind first. Their space cannot change without changing their thinking first. Let’s start with the “why?” Why does “stuff” bring you comfort . . . until it doesn’t? What emotions are holding you back from decluttering? I’m going to start a short series of blogs on “Decluttering Why’s” a.k.a. “Decluttering Wise” Today we’ll start with a pretty prevalent plight: Perfectionism


Perfectionism can be a tough weight to carry around Are you afraid of making a mistake as you declutter? Will you get rid of something that you may need later? The real answer is, Probably. Let’s unpack how we deal with myth of being perfect in our decluttering.


There is a school of thought that says “When in doubt, throw it out.”

Um. No.

There is another school of thought that says if you don’t know whether or not you should keep something, put it in a box, tape it up and date it six months into the future. On that date, if you haven’t needed or wanted anything out of the box, then you can toss/donate it.

Again. No.

These two options will stop a perfectionist in their tracks. Decluttering items, especially sentimental items, is not like purging your fridge of spoiled fruit. If you’re not sure what to do with sentimental items, may I suggest this school of though:

When in doubt, KEEP IT.

Don’t put it in a box out of sight. If you do, the moment you unbox it, it will become precious again, like a long-lost friend. Keep it in sight. Decluttering is cyclical. You will continue to revisit these items and will continue to make choices to cull some out. The further away you get from the sentimental time associated with them, the more clear these choices will become. Give away only what is clear to you today.

Decluttering is like a muscle. Sentimental items are the 100 lb. weights. Work up to it and give yourself lots of grace. Start with items that have very little emotional meaning, like socks. :)

We all make decluttering mistakes from time to time. The goal is to move on from those mistakes. Forgive yourself for those times you tossed something you later wanted back momentarily. (Momentarily is the key here. “Dang, I gave away that scarf. It would have looked good with this outfit. Oh well. I’ll use another one instead.”) Know that that might happen again. And be kind to yourself if it does. When I start getting down on myself, my husband says, “Hey! Don’t talk about my wife that way!” It’s a good reminder that our self-talk should be as kind as the way we treat others. That’s a hard habit to break, but do try. You are worth it.

“I will be patient with myself as I develop into the person I am meant to be. Being perfect is not the goal. Continuing to grow in a positive direction is the goal.” Unknown

You can do this!

Laura ~ your organizing girlfriend

“Clear your environment so you can clear your mind and move forward.”

That’s what I’ve been saying since I started my business almost two years ago. I’m wondering if the opposite is also true. “Clear your mind so you can clear your environment and move forward.”

For me, if I’m sitting in a cluttered room, I can’t relax. It’s like sitting in the middle of a “to do” list. How can you relax with everything around you yelling at you to get up and get it done? But that’s just me. I have to clear my environment first.

There are others who need to clear their mind first. Their space cannot change without changing their thinking first. Let’s start with the “why?” Why does “stuff” bring you comfort . . . until it doesn’t? What emotions are holding you back from decluttering? I’m going to start a short series of blogs on “Decluttering Why’s” a.k.a. “Decluttering Wise” Today we’ll start with a pretty prevalent plight: Perfectionism

Perfectionism can be a tough weight to carry around Are you afraid of making a mistake as you declutter? Will you get rid of something that you may need later? The real answer is, Probably. Let’s unpack how we deal with myth of being perfect in our decluttering.

There is a school of thought that says “When in doubt, throw it out.”

Um. No.

There is another school of thought that says if you don’t know whether or not you should keep something, put it in a box, tape it up and date it six months into the future. On that date, if you haven’t needed or wanted anything out of the box, then you can toss/donate it.

Again. No.

These two options will stop a perfectionist in their tracks. Decluttering items, especially sentimental items, is not like purging your fridge of spoiled fruit. If you’re not sure what to do with sentimental items, may I suggest this school of though:

When in doubt, KEEP IT.

Don’t put it in a box out of sight. If you do, the moment you unbox it, it will become precious again, like a long-lost friend. Keep it in sight. Decluttering is cyclical. You will continue to revisit these items and will continue to make choices to cull some out. The further away you get from the sentimental time associated with them, the more clear these choices will become. Give away only what is clear to you today.

Decluttering is like a muscle. Sentimental items are the 100 lb. weights. Work up to it and give yourself lots of grace.

We all make decluttering mistakes from time to time. The goal is to move on from those mistakes. Forgive yourself for those times you tossed something you later wanted back momentarily. (Momentarily is the key here. “Darn, I gave away that scarf. It would have looked good with this outfit. Oh well. I’ll use another one instead.”) Know that that might happen again. And be kind to yourself if it does. When I start getting down on myself, my husband says, “Hey! Don’t talk about my wife that way!” It’s a good reminder that our self-talk should be as kind as the way we treat others. That’s a hard habit to break, but do try. You are worth it.

“I will be patient with myself as I develop into the person I am meant to be. Being perfect is not the goal. Continuing to grow in a positive direction is the goal.” Unknown

You can do this!

Laura ~ your organizing girlfriend



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