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8 Decluttering Mistakes You Might Be Making & How to Avoid Them

8 Decluttering Mistakes You Might Be Making & How to Avoid Them

You know you want to declutter and simplify, but it often feels like it’s one step forward and two steps back. If so, you’re not alone. There are some common decluttering mistakes that are easy to make. And can make decluttering harder than it needs to be.

In today’s post, we’ll explore 8 common decluttering mistakes. As well as how to avoid them for a more organized and stress-free life.

By avoiding these common decluttering mistakes and implementing a solid decluttering plan, you can create a more organized and peaceful home faster and easier.

Take a few minutes to notice if these decluttering mistakes are happening as you try to declutter and do what you can to avoid them. Remember, a clutter-free life is just a few steps away!

8 Decluttering Mistakes You Might Be Making & How to Avoid Them
Photo by Cameron Smith on Unsplash

Are these decluttering mistakes happening to you?

Do you ever feel like your home is being taken over by clutter?

Maybe it’s a pile of clothes in the corner or an overflowing bookshelf. Whatever it is, it’s causing unnecessary stress and it’s time to take action.

But sometimes decluttering isn’t always easy. There are things that can happen that make the process of decluttering more stressful, time intensive and frustrating.

But the good news is you can avoid making these decluttering mistakes if you know what they are.

Today, let’s explore 8 common decluttering mistakes that might happen as you’re decluttering and how to avoid them.

Learn how to create a clear plan, start small, and avoid getting bogged down by sentimental items. By the end, you’ll have the tools you need to create a simplified, more organized and stress-free home. Let’s get started.

8 decluttering mistakes you might be making & how to avoid them

1. Not starting with a clear plan

One mistake that’s easy to make when it comes to decluttering is not having a clear plan in place, to begin with.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of stuff you have and not know where to start. Starting without a plan in place can leave you feeling more overwhelmed and disorganized than before.

To avoid this, take some time to sit down and create a clear plan of action before you start decluttering.

Consider which areas of your home you want to tackle first and set specific goals for each space. Write down a timeline for when you want to complete each task. And break down larger projects into smaller, more manageable steps.

Having a clear plan will help you stay focused and motivated, making the decluttering process much easier. Not only will you have a better understanding of what needs to be done. But you’ll also be able to see your progress along the way.

That being said, it’s also important to not get too bogged down by your plan. Be flexible and willing to adjust as needed. Remember that the goal is to create a more organized, simplified and stress-free home. So don’t be afraid to pivot if something isn’t working for you.

Need help making your decluttering plan?

If you need some help making your decluttering plan, check out my complete decluttering guide, Your Clutter-Free Home!

Your Clutter-Free Home: decluttering guide & checklists

Your Clutter-Free Home is everything you need to completely declutter your home from top to bottom.

It starts with some great tips, tricks and information to help you learn how to declutter like a pro. Then it gives you detailed decluttering checklists and tasks for each room in your home. Breaking the work down into manageable steps. As well as guiding you through the decluttering process from start to finish!

Check out Your Clutter-Free Home here for more details and to get your copy today!

2. Not Starting with a Small Area

To avoid becoming overwhelmed by the decluttering process, it’s best to start small.

Focusing on a small area, like a drawer or a closet, will help you build momentum and gain confidence in your ability to declutter effectively.

Once you’ve successfully tackled a small area, you can move on to another small area and declutter it with more confidence and ease. Over time, all those smaller decluttering projects will add up and you’ll have completed larger spaces.

Starting with a small area also allows you to test out different decluttering techniques and find what works best for you.

Perhaps you discover that the KonMari method, which involves asking yourself if an item sparks joy, is particularly effective for you. Or maybe you find that decluttering items by category, rather than by room, is more helpful.

By starting small, you give yourself the space to experiment and find the methods and strategies that work best for you.

3. Keeping too many things for emotional reasons

Once you’ve successfully decluttered a small area, it’s important to keep the momentum going. However, sometimes this can be challenging, especially when it comes to letting go of items that hold sentimental value.

Whether it’s a favourite childhood toy or a piece of clothing that reminds you of a special occasion, emotional attachment to certain items can make it difficult to declutter.

One common mistake people make is holding on to items for emotional reasons even when they no longer serve a purpose or bring joy. Letting go of these items can be a difficult process. But it’s important to remember that memories are not tied to physical objects. It’s okay to cherish and honour memories, but it’s also important to create space for new experiences and memories.

Approaching decluttering with care is key when dealing with sentimental items. Take time to reflect on why a particular item holds emotional value for you and evaluate whether it still serves a purpose in your life. If it doesn’t, consider donating or repurposing it in a way that honours its history while also freeing up physical and mental space.

Often, taking a picture of a sentimental item is enough to hold onto the memories it holds without needing to keep the item itself.

While it’s important to approach sentimental items with care, it’s also important to keep in mind that holding onto too many items for emotional reasons can lead to clutter and overwhelm.

4. Not being realistic

Another common decluttering mistake that many people make is not being realistic.

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of decluttering and set overly ambitious goals or expectations. However, when you set unrealistic goals, you can end up setting yourself up for failure.

For example, if you set a goal to declutter your entire house in one weekend, you are likely setting yourself up for disappointment. Not many people have the energy, time or stamina to declutter their entire house in a single weekend.

Instead, try breaking the process down into smaller, more achievable goals. For instance, you can start by decluttering one room or closet at a time.

It’s also important to be realistic about the amount of time and effort it will take to declutter. It’s not always a quick and easy process. When you try to tackle everything at once, it can often lead to half-finished projects, burnout, frustration and a sense of defeat.

Instead, it’s important to break the process down into manageable steps, set realistic goals and expectations and give yourself the time you need to make thoughtful decluttering decisions. Being realistic about what you can accomplish is a great way to stay on track and achieve your decluttering goals without feeling overwhelmed or discouraged. 

5. Not being consistent

Another important decluttering mistake to avoid is not being consistent.

Consistency is key when it comes to decluttering. It’s not just about doing a massive purge and feeling accomplished for a day or two. In order to maintain a clutter-free home, you need to consistently declutter and organize.

This doesn’t have to be a daunting task, though. It can be as simple as setting aside 10-15 minutes a day to tidy up and get rid of anything you no longer need or want.

By doing this on a regular basis, you’ll be able to avoid the overwhelming feeling of a big decluttering project and keep your space organized.

6. Not having a system for sorting

Not having a system for sorting can make decluttering feel like a never-ending task. As well as lead to chaos in your decluttering efforts. Without a plan, you might end up with piles of stuff all over your home and not know what to do with them.

When you’re faced with a mass of items that need to be sorted, it’s all too easy to become overwhelmed and lose motivation. That’s why it’s important to develop a sorting system that works for you.

One effective method is to sort items into three categories: keep, donate/sell, and toss. By doing this, you’ll be able to quickly and efficiently make decisions about what to do with each item.

7. Not getting rid of duplicates

Not getting rid of duplicates is another common decluttering mistake.

While it can be tempting to hold onto multiple versions of the same item “just in case,” this often leads to unnecessary clutter.

When you accumulate duplicates, you’re allowing clutter to take up more space than necessary. And when you’re striving for a streamlined and organized home, this is counterproductive.

Start by identifying which items you have multiple versions of. This could be anything from kitchen appliances and gadgets to clothing items. Then, assess each duplicate and determine if it truly serves a unique purpose.

Choose your favourite or favourites from the items you have duplicates of, then consider donating or selling the extras. This way, you’ll be able to keep what you use and need, without holding unnecessary items.

Getting rid of duplicates is an easy way to make quick decluttering progress relatively painlessly. Remember, the goal of decluttering is to keep only what is needed and wanted in your life. By getting rid of duplicates, you’ll be one step closer to achieving this goal.

8. Not getting items out of the house

Another easy decluttering mistake to make is not getting the items you’re decluttering out of the house in a timely manner.

When piles of stuff hang around the house waiting to be donated or sold, they continue causing clutter in your home. Or worse, get spread back out into the house, undoing all of your decluttering work.

Before you start decluttering, make sure you have a plan for what you’ll do with the stuff you’re getting rid of. Decide where you’ll donate items and plan how often and when you’ll drop off donations. If you’re planning to sell items, plan where you’ll sell them, how long you’ll give yourself to list them and how long you’ll wait to donate unsold items.

Taking a few minutes to plan this ahead of time means it’ll be easier to get stuff out of your house and clear the clutter for good.

Avoid these decluttering mistakes to make decluttering easier

Decluttering can be a daunting task, but avoiding common mistakes can make the process easier.

You can do this! A clutter-free life is within reach. Take the first steps today and start enjoying having a simplified life and home.

Which of these decluttering mistakes have happened to you when you’re decluttering? Leave a comment below and share your experience!

8 Decluttering Mistakes You Might Be Making & How to Avoid Them
Photo by Kam Idris on Unsplash

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Saturday 20th of May 2023

This helped me out so much. I can identify with every point made here, and I didn't even realize it. Thank you!

Simple Lionheart Life

Tuesday 23rd of May 2023

I'm so glad it was helpful for you. Thanks for reading!


Tuesday 9th of May 2023

I enjoy the precise way you share the important points. I can remember them easier to apply them.


Simple Lionheart Life

Tuesday 9th of May 2023

I'm so glad you found the post helpful! Thanks for reading :)


Sunday 7th of May 2023

Great article!! My best friend & I have been decluttering my house for a few month's on one day a week. We have made such progress!! I need the help because I'm very sick. I'm able to maintain everything so far!! We just leave my husbands things alone!! I'm feeling so good about my house!!!

Simple Lionheart Life

Monday 8th of May 2023

Good for you! It sounds like you're doing an amazing job decluttering, even in spite of your health challenges. That's really something to be proud of! Thanks for reading and sharing your experience!

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