Why decluttering is so important

3 March 2016

The importance of decluttering

I met with a client recently who explained all the storage solutions she and her husband had attempted in an effort to create order. They have three kids and a small house and it felt to them like their home was bursting at the seams. Yet their storage solutions hadn’t solved the problem.

My comment to her was that one way to get things to fit better into their home was to have fewer belongings.

Decluttering is an important first step in the organizing process.

Decluttering should be embraced, not skipped, because when you let go of those items that don’t serve you, it is so much easier to organize what remains.

I was reading some old blog posts this morning and came across one from eight years ago in which I detailed some organizing projects in my own home. My 2016 self started twitching when I read this sentence, “Last weekend, I started doing some shifting of closet contents in order to help alleviate some clothes storage problems.” No, I thought! Don’t shift things around. Get rid of things! I know that in 2008 I had a lot more clothes than I have now. And I know I still have more than I need.

When we own fewer items we have less to manage. When we distill our items down to those things that we use and love, then we can easily find what we need and put it away. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

Life is easier when you have less stuff.

Next time you have the itch to organize, see how much you can let go of before you start the actual organizing. Don’t move things around, move things out. Resist the temptation to buy organizing supplies or storage solutions before you declutter.

If you declutter prior to organizing, you set yourself up for success. When you have fewer items to organize (and manage), everything becomes easier.

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I agree with this so much. My grandparents have a nasty habit of hoarding items that they don’t really need nor do they use. I showed grandma an item she’s had for more than five years that she hasn’t used even once, and she told me to put it back, because she might need it someday….! It goes to show that probably the hardest part of organizing is letting go :/. They need to see this post.

Brandon 04/17/2016 03:24 PM

Brandon, thanks for commenting. Letting go can be so difficult for some people. The difficulty is that you can’t helps someone declutter and organize who doesn’t want to be helped!

Janine Adams 04/18/2016 09:53 AM

We constantly recommend clients declutter and organize before moving. For one, it can lower costs (Which is a common question) and secondly as outlined about decluttering and purging can go a long way!

Heather 02/12/2018 01:39 PM

One big problem!!!
When one spouse is into cluttering since more than 40 yrs. Even four full rooms not enough… but would not just let go even a needle or a crocid nail..
That is NAIL BITING..One can only get extremely frustrated… any solution u have for such personalities.?
I am overwhelmed with this problem….even 6 bed house is not sufficient when our kids get together..bcz 2 rooms plus a store plus a small kitchenette not complete n in use in basement…are stores for items of no use since 40 yrs of my marriage n beyond

Surraiya 04/06/2019 01:57 AM

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About Janine

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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