Ten myths that stop you decluttering

By David on February 20th, 2013 | 2 Comments

Ten myths that stop you decluttering

Are there things you say to yourself which prevent you from decluttering, even if they don’t necessarily make sense? Psychology Today recently came up with a number of myths people use to avoid the difficult business of getting rid of things they don’t really need.

If you feel that too much clutter is having a negative impact upon your life, and you’ve been using any of these reasons as an excuse to avoid doing anything about it, then National Declutter Week 2013 should give you the perfect opportunity to start making some changes.

Here are 10 mistakes people make about decluttering, according to Psychology Today:

1.      Putting too much pressure on yourself to get organised

People are often too ambitious about how organised they want to be, making the transition to being organised seem much harder than it needs to. The key to decluttering is to be realistic about what you can achieve, and focus on manageable goals that aren’t too ambitious.

 2.      Thinking everything has to be hyper-organised

Some people do things like putting all their records in alphabetical order, which might be distracting them from dealing with bigger problems to do with clutter (such as whether they need so many records in the first place).

3.      Thinking you need better storage containers

This is like putting off trying to write a novel until you find the perfect typewriter, meaning it’s usually just an excuse not to attempt decluttering in the first place. If you have less clutter, you’ll need fewer containers anyway.

4.      Leaving things earmarked for different recipients and then not getting rid of them

Some people get things divided into piles, but then spend ages procrastinating before they take them to their intended recipients, such as the charity shop. If you’ve earmarked something to be got rid of, try doing it on the same day or the day after you declutter.

5.      Keeping things in case they come in handy one day

Everybody does this. A good rule of thumb is if you only realise you own something when you’re having a clear-out, that probably means you manage to ignore it the rest of the time. So why hold on to it if that’s the case?

6.      Keeping things that are broken because you might get them fixed

Again, the chances are you won’t. Most items are so cheap nowadays that, unless it’s an expensive piece of equipment or has sentimental value, you could probably just get a new one when you need it.

7.      Keeping gadgets because you might learn how to use them

If you aren’t experimenting with a new gadget then the chances are you don’t really need to. You probably have a way of doing whatever it is supposed to do that works already. So why hold on to it? Remember, newer gadgets are more valuable than older ones if you want to resell it after you’ve decluttered.

8.      Keeping clothes that are too small in case you lose weight

Even if you do achieve the commendable goal of losing some weight, wouldn’t you rather celebrate by buying some new clothes rather than squeezing into old ones?

9.      Holding on to too many mementoes from the past

Everyone needs to hold onto things from the past for sentimental reasons, but this can become a problem if they take up too much space and become clutter. Remember, “Nostalgia is always doomed and dooming,” in the words of the poet Sherman Alexie.

10.  Not getting rid of things because someone else gave them to you

Sometimes you might not want to declutter things people have given you if they remind you of the person who gave them. Just try and be rational about whether you need a lot of these personal mementoes, or whether you could manage with fewer.

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2 Responses to “Ten myths that stop you decluttering”

  1. John Smith says:

    There are lots of myths that avoid the difficult business of getting rid of things they don’t really need.

  2. Thanks for discussing the best myths with us and these are very informative to all your readers. Yes, I agree with your point there are so many myths people use to avoid the difficult business of getting rid of things which they really don’t need.

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