Why Decluttering is So Overwhelming

The Secret is about to be revealed! I’m surprised no one has figured this out yet, but it’s so jaw-droppingly simple it’s going to blow your mind.

First, decluttering is overwhelming because this is how we typically approach it: We decide to declutter the basement. We start in one area, pull everything out, sweep the floor and wipe down the racks. We open a few boxes and bins to see what’s inside. Yep, still keep it. Restack it.

There are loose items that have accumulated over time. They need to be binned. No problem: we had the foresight to purchase ten plastic bins before we got started.

Some items can be donated. We have bags. Some items are trash, maybe, no wait, we might use it again. Keep it. Bin it.

Some items belong elsewhere, so we carry them elsewhere, only elsewhere is full, so now there’s new chaos elsewhere until we get around to decluttering elsewhere.  

We finish the basement. Everything is in order. Stacks and stacks of order. Trash has been removed, donated items have been delivered. Job well done!

Over time, our well-crafted stack will become a problem. We forgot to anticipate the arrival of new stuff to be binned. That new, to-be-binned stuff is now lying loose around the well-crafted stack. It was too hard to unstack the top bins and access the bottom bin in the moment we brought it to the basement. Once a year we unstack, bin, and restack. Maybe. If there’s room left in the bin.

Meanwhile, bigger items have appeared. The crib and car seat we might use again; random items from the in-laws; furniture we want to repurpose, reupholster or refinish.

The bins are full. New bins are needed, and there’s no space for the new bins and the crib and stuff from the in-laws. We sigh, hands on hips, thinking we need a bigger house. Wait, we can rent offsite storage. They don’t cost much. Storage is certainly much cheaper than moving. 

We do this every few years, carrying more to the storage unit. For a hot minute we think about the items being stored, how we’ve never needed any of it since hauling it there. We decide to deal with it some day. Just not today.

Here’s the thing: we organized with bins, we tidied by taking things to their proper place, we purged and got rid of items, and we cleaned—we swept and wiped, but what, exactly was the act of “decluttering?”

When we set out to “declutter” we are actually performing four separate tasks: organize, tidy, purge and clean. No wonder decluttering is overwhelming: we’re doing four things at once! Just thinking about it fills us with dread as we reach for another glass of wine.

When I work with clients, I often hear them say that the idea of tackling their clutter is so overwhelming because “It’ll get worse before it gets better.” To their mind, there’s no easy path to “better” because they’ll have to travel through the “worse” to get there.

Well, that’s just not true.

I teach a new approach that makes the process much easier and more manageable. There’s no temporary “worse before better” and there’s no chaos. There’s a plan, with steps, and no storage units.

Here’s the thing: bins and storage units allow us to procrastinate. We organize and stash it so we don’t have to make a decision about it. Bins also cost money and take a gazillion years to decompose in our landfills. There’s a better way, and I can help you navigate it, with confidence, speed and zero pain. Decide to stop living overwhelmed and stuck, and contact me for a quick chat today!

You might also like: Best Definition of Decluttering

Copyright © 2022 by Cynthia Gentry Black, Home Staging by Cynthia, LLC in Kansas City.
All rights reserved. No portion may be shared, reused or republished in any format without express written consent of the author.

Posted in
Home Staging by Cynthia, LLC