5 Reasons Why Decluttering Won’t Work

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Decluttering can be a very worthwhile and valuable endeavor. There is are many benefits of decluttering. However, decluttering on its own is a fruitless effort.

I know you are probably thinking “Did she really just say that? Decluttering is a fruitless effort?” Believe me, I know how that must sound but please hear me out or in this case keep reading.

You see, without a personal evaluation and insight, any progress you make will more than likely be undone.

Let’s use dieting as an example. Have you ever tried to diet but failed? Why do you think that is?

Personally I believe we have to really want something for it to work. Otherwise we are wasting our time. The same goes for decluttering.

We say we want to loose weight and for many of us we may actually join a gym and begin eating better. But for how long? How long do we keep showing up at the gym?

What about that extra piece of birthday cake we ate? You know the piece we said we would work off but never did.

Decluttering has the same affects on us. You could declutter your entire house only to wake up one day to the same mess you got rid of a few weeks before.

Want to discover why decluttering won’t work and how deeper personal insight can lead to lasting change. Keep reading…

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Decluttering Doesn’t Require Introspection

5 Reasons Why Decluttering Won’t Work

Getting rid of stuff you haven’t used in the last year or donating an item of clothing for each new piece you bring home are short-term fixes.

For decluttering methods to stick, you must evaluate your reasons for the decisions you make regarding your possessions, such as making statements regarding your values, passions and desires.

As I mentioned above decluttering is a lot like dieting. You need to get clear on why you want to declutter and how the outcome will affect you.

Decluttering Won’t Help You Understand Your Attachment to Possessions

Decluttering Won’t Work

Delving a little deeper, you must actually consider the personal motivations for your attachment to the stuff you own.

For example, do you hold onto things because you fear being without?

Further examination may lead to the realization that you are holding onto habits from a childhood of poverty and that it’s okay now to let go of your abundance of stuff.

I know a few people who grew up very poor and never had much of anything. When they grew up and was able to afford things they soon found themselves hoarding everything and not getting rid of the old.

One couple I know, owns 5 vehicles, three of which they will probably never drive, 3 iceboxes (yes I said icebox 😂that is refrigerator for those who didn’t grow up saying icebox), a deep freezer, and they have a 5 bedroom house.

Did I mention it just a husband and wife? The thing is the husband grew up poor so it is hard for him to let go of things.

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When you don’t understand your attachment to the possessions you own you will never be able to get rid of clutter. Here is a book on The Sentimental Person’s Guide to Decluttering.

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Decluttering Doesn’t Benefit Others

Decluttering without mindfulness does little to help others who could benefit from your overstock.

Taking steps to get rid of some things and tidy up, without understanding your reasons for doing so, rarely leads to the kinds of results that could come from purposeful action.

When you understand what you hope to gain from this release of clutter, you can significantly pare down your possessions, allowing more people to benefit from your abundance. This was something I had a hard time with for many years and sometimes still do.

Clutter is like a phobia for me. I absolutely hate it with a passion. Throwing things away is probably my favorite thing to do. Which is kind of ironic considering most of my childhood I had nothing.

However, when I turned thirteen years old I started babysitting and paying for my own clothes along with anything else I wanted.

One year in particular I really wanted an Adidas jacket that costed $120. So, I babysat and saved the money to get it. Well my cousin actually did the saving since I babysat for her.

The thing is though when I got that jacket I took care of it. As I did and continue to do with anything I buy. But for some reason when it comes to selling, giving away, donating, or throwing away, I would rather throw away. So much that I actually went a garbage bag hunt for the perfect garbage bag.

I’m not kidding you. I got so tired of the garbage bags ripping and tearing and making a bigger mess. So I went on a hunt for the perfect bag. And I found it! The Glad Force Flex with Febreze scent are amazing! If you are going to be doing a lot of decluttering I highly suggest these bags!

It is just so easy for me to throw something out. This could be because I hate clutter so much that once I decided something is no longer needed I can’t bare to see it sitting in a box somewhere. Just waiting to be taken away.

Of-course I am getting better at this. Well with my son’s clothes anyway. I still tend to throw mine out.

Again this could be because I don’t know anyone who wears the same size as me. And deep down I know the box will never make it to the second hand store. The thought of it sitting in my trunk gives me anxiety.

My son on the other hand. I know plenty of children that benefit from his clothes that no longer fit him.

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Decluttering Has No Impact on Your Debt

5 Reasons Why Decluttering Won’t Work

You may think decluttering can help you raise some cash by selling your unwanted things.

However, without examining your motives for acquiring so much stuff and evaluating your priorities in life, you’re practically guaranteed to buy more items to take the place of those you’ve sold. 

It is okay to declutter and sell those items but it is also important that you don’t run out buy more of things you just decluttered and sold.

Too often I see this and it makes me want to scream.

Instead of using the money you earn from decluttering put the money aside to pay down debt or use it towards a family vacation.

You could even put it in a savings account for a rainy day. Or use it as a crises fund. At the time I am writing this it is March 19, 2020 and here in the United States we are currently facing a potentially deadly virus.

This is a great example of how decluttering has no impact on your debt if you run out and buy more clutter. In the Printables Shop there is a planner for decluttering your finances. If this is something you struggle with you should check it out.

Decluttering Rarely Leads to a Lifestyle Change

Mindless decluttering is temporary. Your clean and organized environment is merely a facade that isn’t likely to last.

If you want to change your life by implementing healthy changes and making positive strides, you first must do the work of introspection.

Taking time to evaluate what has led to your clutter and to consider your lifestyle goals will go a long way toward creating a soothing home environment that lasts.

Decluttering doesn’t work on its own, but combining it with mindfulness can lead to success.

RELATED POST: How to Organize and Declutter Your Home

RELATED POST: WHY DECLUTTERING ISN’T PERMANENT (AND HOW TO CLEAN DIFFERENTLY) by Alison Lange 

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