decluttering mistakes- man holidng a sign that says common mistakes

“A failure to plan is a plan to fail” Benjamin Franklin

If you’re the type to jump into a decluttering project without thinking it through fully, this blog is for you!

Here are some mistakes to avoid when taking on your next decluttering project.


Not having a “decluttering” plan

Like all projects, things go more smoothly when there’s a plan in place.

Decluttering is no different.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Create a rough draft of your home (or area(s) you want to declutter))
  • Figure out what rooms will be involved in your project and what areas inside those rooms will be your focus.
  • Schedule your project- if it’s not in your calendar, it’s not going to happen. Not only should you schedule your project but schedule maintenance or upkeep as well.


Too much at once

 Be careful not to take too much on at once.

Break down larger tasks into sections or smaller tasks. For example, you may have a large pantry. Decluttering the entire pantry may seem overwhelming; the remedy to overwhelm is to break the pantry into sections. Maybe you declutter and reorganize one shelf of your pantry on one day and another shelf the next day.


Hanging onto Donation and recycling items too long 

Make a plan of action to move your donation items and recycling items out of your home. Get specific; write down where you will drop those donation items and when. Schedule it and write in the address of the drop-off location.

If there are items that won’t go in the recycling bin like paint etc., find out who will accept paint and when. Some areas have recycling days where they will take items like paint. Take note and schedule the drop-off.


Organizing before decluttering 

Some people get excited and want to organize before decluttering.

Remove the clutter first, then organize the things that are remaining.

You don’t want to waste your time trying to find homes for items you’re going to donate, recycle or throw away anyway.

The idea is you want more space than stuff. Decluttering makes space, and organizing makes room for the stuff left over. Organizing makes things easier to find by categorizing and planning.


Buying organizing supplies before decluttering 

This is a common mistake. Don’t even worry about the organizing process which includes buying organizing supplies until after you declutter.

Two main reason for this is:

1. You will probably end up with organizing supplies after you declutter

2. You may end up buying supplies you don’t need.


Not staying on track

Many people start a decluttering and/or organizing project but they don’t always complete them. Or they complete a project and their home looks amazing, but they backslide and before they know it, their home is cluttered again. Don’t let that happen to you. Commit to finishing the tasks on hand and maintaining organization. Develop routines that you and your family can do to help with decluttering and home organizing.

Tips to help you kick clutter to the curb for good

  1. Keep an eye on areas that tend to catch clutter:
  • Tables, desks (all flat surfaces in the home)
  • corners
  • chairs
  • under the bed
  • closets
  • garage
  • attic
  1. If you find yourself shuffling items from one place to another,  that tells me that they don’t have a proper home or you are not putting them in their proper homes. Focus on creating a space for those items that you tend to move from one area to another.
  2. If paper is an issue, set up a paper station or check out our Paper Organization Course!



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