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Stuff! It doesn’t take long to collect stuff. Shopping activates the pleasure centers of the brain. Many use shopping to self-soothe. What may start as getting an occasional new item can turn into daily deliveries. Suddenly you look around and see clutter everywhere. We often don’t think about what we will do with stuff once it is in our houses.

Decluttering is physical and emotional

Clutter is the belief that living spaces have too much stuff. It’s not that we shouldn’t own things. It is that we have been sold on the idea that our identity depends on what and how much we own. Additionally, the things we own can evoke strong emotions. You will go through a range of emotions as you declutter. Clutter can lead also to procrastinating. Knowing decluttering may be hard is the first step.

Decluttering is not organizing

When you’re done decluttering, everything will not have a home in a labeled bin. Decluttering is only one part of the organizing process. Be intentional when deciding what to keep. Don’t rush out to the store to buy bins and tools before decluttering. You may get the wrong tools or box up things you don’t need or want. Know the layout of your space and why you have the things you do. Then, determine what is working for you.

Start small and be realistic

State decluttering by making small changes. This helps us to make decisions without feeling overwhelmed. There is no one way to declutter so find what works for you. Decide what to do with things you don’t need before decluttering, so you can take care of it as quickly as possible.

Make an appointment to declutter

Many of us think that we don’t have time to declutter. It isn’t just about finding time. Even when there is time, an emotional attachment to things makes it tough. When it comes to finding time, schedule decluttering on the calendar as a recurring appointment. Then it can be more intentional and impactful. Keep it like an appointment with another person.

Get help decluttering

The decision-making process might go more smoothly and seem less daunting with someone else. Others don’t have the same emotional attachment to your items. They offer a different perspective. Having company can make it more enjoyable. Look for way to make the process fun or turn it into a game. Get your kids involved. You don’t have to be alone in the process.

Know the process will be ongoing

You will never be done decluttering, and it may take a few tries to get things how you want. Then, as you acquire more things, there will be more to do. Our spaces are always evolving because we are always evolving. Our needs change. You don’t have to hold onto things that you don’t need or want. It will always be a work in progress. Be gentle with yourself as you process emotions that arise when thinking about what you want in your spaces.

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