I’ve talked about decluttering a lot on the blog, although not for a little while! However, even though I haven’t been writing about it you can be sure it’s something I have continued to do. That’s because for me decluttering is an ongoing process, and I imagine it always will be. Today I thought I’d talk about some of the reasons why, and how I make it work for me. I’d love to hear your thoughts about ongoing decluttering too!
It can take time to let go
I often find that the first time (or multiple times!) I declutter a space I tend to hold on to things that I have rediscovered in the process and decide I will now definitely need or use. Almost all the time that doesn’t turn out to be the case and when I go back over the same space later down the track they eventually find themselves in the box of things to be donated. Sometimes, it actually takes us time to emotionally be ready to let go of items, especially if you’re early on in your decluttering journey. So if you stopped after your first attempt at decluttering you’ll probably find you still have a lot of things you’ll realise in time you don’t actually need. Seeing decluttering as an ongoing process will enable you to give yourself a chance to reconsider items over time.
Your priorities may change
One of the other key reasons I believe in ongoing decluttering is your priorities may change over time, and therefore the items that are important to keep will also change. You might change the sort of job you’re doing, which might impact on the clothes you find important to have in your wardrobe. Or you may stop a particular hobby or activity, and no longer need the equipment or supplies you had made space for. Coming back and decluttering in an ongoing way will allow you to reassess what is important to you at particular points in your life, and choose items accordingly.
Decluttering is a mindset
One of the key factors as to why I think decluttering is an ongoing process is because I see it as a mindset shift, not just the act of decluttering. It’s not just about removing unnecessary items from your home, but stopping them coming in to begin with. The more you embed the idea of wanting a less cluttered home into your mindset, the more you’ll be able to focus on asking yourself more effective questions before you purchase something new. It will also help you stay on top of keeping things organised, and you’ll have a more immediate sense of when things might be getting a little out of hand.
Think of it like cleaning
One of the easiest ways I found to change my thinking about decluttering was to view it like cleaning. Unfortunately, we know we can’t just clean a space once and never have to clean it again, and decluttering is much the same. Unless you live an incredibly minimalist life, for most of us decluttering will never be ‘done’, just like we’re never ‘done’ with things like our laundry or dishes. That doesn’t have to be seen as a bad thing though! It’s just part of life, and given the very clear benefits that come from decluttering it’s absolutely worth making it an ongoing part of your life.
Find an approach that works for you
One of the most important things about seeing that decluttering is an ongoing process is finding an approach that works for you, as there are so many ways you can go about it. For some people it might be about revisiting locations at set intervals (seasonal, monthly etc), for others it might be a more steady approach like decluttering a certain number of items a month. Once you’ve been decluttering for a little while you may find you want to change your approach, and that’s totally ok too! I have some parts of my house that just need a light touch every now and then, but others that I’m still finding lots to declutter each time (office cupboards, I’m looking at you!). But that’s ok, I’ll work my way through them eventually!