Decluttering is not an easy task. Over time, we store things in places they don’t belong. This leads to a crowded place to eat, sit and sleep in — who wants that! So finally, you decide to do something productive one afternoon. You read a few articles and guides that teach you some simple organization tricks. But I have some advice… have you ever thought about things you should not do when decluttering? Here are my five tips for things you should not do!
1. Think That Decluttering Only Means Rearranging
People try to declutter their home to have a neat space afterwards. But in the midst of arranging and cleaning your space, you forget to actually toss out items that you no longer need. Remember to look at your possessions as you take them out and set them aside for either recycling or disposal.
“If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” — William Morris
2. Let Emotions Rule
While you take a moment to decide whether you need that item or not, it’s easy to let emotions bind you to it. Now you are stuck between sentimentality and your bid for freedom.
It’s normal to feel a little pang when throwing away a precious-but-old item. But surely there is a reason it’s been sitting there gathering dust and forgotten about for so long. Do you really have a need for it? Unless, it has sentimental value to a person that you are in touch with, you won’t even remember those feelings once you discard it. Try not to dwell on it too long. Simply keep the object for a few more days to see if it will catch your attention and then make up your mind.
“We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.” — Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
3. Replace Items with New Ones
The consumerist in you takes over. You want to clean up a mess of papers and old letters, so what do you do when you see a really nice and sleek filing cabinet in the store? You bring it home, disregarding your old filing system, which was just as convenient but a bit overcrowded. Now, you have more things to deal with, stuck between deciding if you should place the old one aside or replace it entirely.
Instead of making it complicated for yourself, purchase a new item only after organizing and emptying your space.
4. Create New Chores
Maybe you set aside a whole day for decluttering your home, but honestly you are more likely to take a lot of unnecessary breaks that way. We love to check our smartphones for notifications and end up getting drawn away from our task. In this situation, it would be wise to not set aside only one day.
Make sure you set a timer and reasonable meal breaks for yourself to complete each section of your home. Doing so means you can focus on the task at hand. Do not leave for other tasks at home or chat away on your phone or you may end up leaving more mess and using up more energy trying to finish the other chores.
“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.” — Kurt Vonnegut
5. Pile Your Stuff on the Bed
Fixing your home or room means that you will be taking out all the storage from where they live. But don’t put it on your bed! Seriously bad idea. Just think of all that dust making its way to your bed, and how many things are stored inside your wardrobe. Then what happens is you get so overwhelmed and tired during cleaning, but you have nowhere to take a nap. Keep the clutter off the bed!
“If you want to organize your psyche, you could start by cleaning up your room.” — Jordan B. Peterson
It is tedious to organise a pile of mess, but at the end of the day you will feel really satisfied when you see a clean and tidy space. The best feeling is when you know exactly where your things are, for the next few weeks at least. Keep it a habit to sort through regularly and you won’t have to feel so stressed again.