If you’re planning on decluttering your home this season, there are lots of tips out there telling you how to do it. Instead, we suggest a few things you should avoid when tackling a massive project like this. Don’t make these five mistakes:
Don’t Buy Storage Bins First
Refrain from heading out to your favorite home organizing shop first thing. Instead, sort through what you really need, and then buy the cute bins to fit the clutter. If you buy a lot of bins, you might be tempted to just stuff things inside of them, without actually sorting anything out to get rid of. Until you know what you need, you could just be wasting your money and your time.
Don’t Try to Do It All in One Day
Often you’ll hear someone say, “Today, I’m organizing my whole house.” How much do they actually get done? Probably not that much. Most people don’t have the attention span, or the energy or time, to sort through an entire house in one day. Rather, set aside two- to three-hour chunks of the day to tackle one room at a time. You’ll make a lot more progress and you’ll stay on task this way.
Don’t Forget to Tweak Your System as Needed
Don’t feel like a failure when the sorting system you chose doesn’t work perfectly the first time. It might take a couple of tries to get it right. Just take a look around and think of all the ways you can improve on the original method, and take those into consideration when adding new methods to the mix. Organizing is a process.
When you put things aside in bags to give or to throw away, don’t let them sit there. Get up and actually throw them away, or take them to the charity shop and donate them. If you’re giving them to family members, call them and make arrangements right away. It is far more satisfying to see the project through all the way to the end instead of looking at bins and bags hanging around your house.
Don’t Put Form Over Function
While catalogs can inspire us, it takes several teams of designers—none of whom will actually live in the space—to get a catalogue image looking picture perfect. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Make your spaces more functional and clear of any unnecessary clutter, and then call it a day. If you set out with perfection in mind, you’re sure to become frustrated and you could end up quitting too soon.
Decluttering takes time and focus. Pick a time of year and a couple of days with no distractions to get started. Success means making things easier than they were and getting rid of unneeded items taking up space in your home. Being successful means you’re more likely to try it again and again in the future.