7 Mistakes People Make When Decluttering


So you’ve made the decision to declutter your living space- that’s fantastic! Finding the motivation is the hardest step, but there are still mistakes many people make when decluttering.

I’ve created a list of 7 mistakes people make when decluttering- these are mistakes that I made in the past, and ones that I hope you won’t make.


  1. Decluttering when the kids are home

Decluttering when the kids are home is counterproductive- not only will they constantly distract you from your task, but if they see you trying to discard their items, they may try to stop you.  Do not declutter while the kids are home. Wait until they are at school, or send them to a friend’s house for a few hours.


  1. Holding onto something that should be decluttered

You need to be completely honest with yourself while decluttering. People often make the mistake of holding onto something that they think they need, when in fact they don’t. As a general rule, if it’s something that can easily be replaced should you end up needing it (it won’t cost you too much and is easy to find), then discard it.


  1. Trying to declutter too much at once

Start off small- don’t try to declutter the entire home in one day. Focus on one area or space at a time. Decluttering your home could take several weeks or months, and that’s ok. If you try to do too much in one day, you will tire yourself out and give up completely.


  1. Buying and acquiring more things after decluttering

The process of decluttering also involves changing your mindset. There is no point in decluttering your things if you are going to replace those discarded things with new things. It’s so common for people to want to fill up the empty spaces in their homes with new things. And so the vicious cycle of owning stuff continues…



Image via Flickr


  1. Finding storage solutions is not the same as decluttering

There are so many handy and attractive storage solutions out there- it’s easy to get caught up in buying these storage items, thinking that this will solve the problem of too much stuff in your home. Storage neatly hides everything. The underlying problem is still there- you own too much stuff!


  1. Spending too long trying to sell items

Some items are worth trying to sell, but you must set a time limit for yourself. It’s easy to hold onto something, try to sell it and end up keeping the item. Give yourself a week or two depending on what it is you are trying to sell, then either donate or discard it.



Image: Laia Ros via Flickr


  1. Focusing on physical clutter only

These days, clutter isn’t just the physical items that you have in your home. Clutter is also the emails and text messages that you receive on a daily basis on your laptop or phone. Set aside some time to go through your email inbox and delete emails that you don’t need, and unsubscribe from anything that no longer serves you.


I congratulate you on deciding to declutter- it is worth the time and effort. Focus not only on the clutter that you see, but also the clutter that you don’t see, and try not to revert back to your old habits of buying stuff that you don’t really need.

Are there any mistakes you’ve made while decluttering? Are there any other tips you would add to my list? I’d love to hear from you!

This post is linking up with:


With Some Grace