If you’re someone who regularly follows this blog, you may be the type of person who has tried using free checklists or paid guides to learn about and practice decluttering and organizing in the past. Perhaps you have even found yourself clicking "Buy Now" on a bunch of products shared on your favorite home influencer's social media page in order to create the sense of order in your home that he or she did. If so, I’m also curious as to whether or not you’re here because the tremendous efforts you put towards tidying up your home someone else's way just did not stick.
Have any of you ever experienced this? Have you ever looked at the results from someone else’s decluttering and organizing session, gave the strategies and products he or she suggested a try, and found that after a couple of days or weeks or months (if you were lucky!) that your home was, well, right back to looking and feeling the way it did prior to all of the effort you put into "fixing it"?
I’m here to share why this happens. It’s because organizing and decluttering do not adhere to a one-size-fits-all model. It's nearly impossible to check a task off of a list provided by a complete stranger and expect that the status of our homes will suddenly be different… changed for the better, forever. The truth is, we all have diverse lifestyles, priorities, and familial responsibilities that impact the way our homes look and feel. Because of this, we need to consider various individual factors in order to declutter and organize our spaces in the most impactful ways.
When we attempt to follow someone else’s specific rules and guidelines for our homes, we begin creating spaces that are, in fact, unfamiliar and uncomfortable for us to exist in. It's no wonder why we eventually find ourselves falling back into old clutter-building habits and disorganized living; we've introduced systems that conflict with who we innately are, and our brains do not like it one bit!
If you feel the struggle of "not being able to" create and maintain an organized home, here's what I need you to do: stop, I repeat, stop expecting yourself to live up to the places you see on TV, in magazines, and on social media, and start, I repeat, start organizing for the way you live!
Here are some quick examples of factors to consider when identifying your individual organizing needs and style:
Do you like to "throw" items where they belong? Labeled bins may become your besties; they allow you to be able to toss yet categorize and contain your items.
Do you like to "place" items where they belong? Drawer dividers and decluttering to a more modest collection of items may be the way to go.
Do you become easily distracted by visual stimuli? If so, solid bins/baskets for organizing and containing your belongings are better than clear.
Do you host guests often? Hang onto the amount of items you find yourself typically needing for them plus 2-4 more. If you host larger occasions, consider placing certain serving items in storage to keep them out of your everyday stock and to give you some more breathing room.
Do you find yourself going out of your way to use the same few items time and time again (ie. mugs, blankets, shoes, jackets)? It may be time to purge! There is no need to hang onto loads of extra items that are going unused. Don't let the "what-ifs" stop you from creating the clutter-free home you are seeking!
Although there are more factors to consider when decluttering and organizing your home than the ones listed here, these can get you started on the journey of adjusting your mindset to where it needs to be to create systems that work for you.
Want more? For specific information on how to stop clutter before it starts, grab your copy of my "Catch the Clutter" guide by clicking here!