Five Myths About Decluttering

Five Decluttering Myths

Have you ever watched those TV house makeover shows where a family has their home decluttered and re-decorated? I love seeing the amazing results at the end, but I sometimes wonder what the same house looks like six months down the track- have they managed to keep the place looking tidy and organised, or have they gone back to their old ways?

I’m betting the latter is more likely to happen.

Physically removing and organising our things is only one aspect to decluttering and having a more simplified, less busy life. I’ve been living a less busy life for the past 12 months, but I won’t lie and say that my house is completely tidy and decluttered. I have managed to turf a lot of stuff and have a tidier and less messy home, but I know I still have a long way to go.

I’ve been decluttering our home for the past 12 months and have found out (the hard way!) that there are quite a few decluttering myths. Here are 5 decluttering myths I want to share with you:

Myth 1: “Storage containers will help your home become more organised and tidier”.

Yeah, for about a week. There are so many pretty (and expensive) containers, boxes and storage systems that are designed to hold our junk (and hide the stuff from visitors!) but the reality is that the junk is still there. It ain’t going to disappear, unless we physically remove it from our houses.

Myth 2: “Once you’ve decluttered your whole house, you’re finished”.

Nope, unless you have mastered the art of not letting more stuff come into your home. And I’m not just referring to the typical clothes, toys, books and other everyday belongings. It could be as simple as a note your child has brought home from school, or the restaurant menus that have been left in your letterbox, or the hand-me-downs kindly given to you by a friend. Slowly this “stuff” creeps back into your household and the only way to prevent or reduce the likelihood of this occurring is to change your behaviours and reduce your consumption. Otherwise, it will be back to decluttering in 6 months time.

Myth 3: “Decluttering can be completed in a couple of days”.

Ok I’m sure most people know that this is untrue, however many don’t realise that the decluttering process can sometimes take a couple of years. I’ve been decluttering for 12 months and I know I still have a long way to go. As you journey through making your life less busy, you start to change how you view your stuff. I am now at the point where I am getting rid of stuff that I once viewed as being sentimental. Can be scary and hard to do, and I certainly was not ready for this 12 months ago. But decluttering must be thought of as a journey, and don’t for once think that it’s an exercise that can be completed in a weekend. You can certainly get rid of a lot in that time, but remember that it can take a very long time for some.

Myth 4: “Decluttering and throwing things out is bad for our environment”.

While it is true that we throw away too much stuff that ends up in landfill, and this is adding to our environmental problems, our consumer behaviours do far more damage to our environment. The more we buy, the more manufacturers produce goods- goods that require raw materials and precious resources to create, for us to enjoy. This creates pollutants and depletes our environment of natural resources. I strongly believe that if we want to reduce our carbon footprint and want to start caring for our planet, we can do so by changing our consumption behaviours. This starts with learning to live with less, which in turn leads to having less to throw away, and less goods manufacturers need to produce to keep up with our demand.

Myth 5: “Decluttering is too hard”

It can seem like a daunting task, especially if you have held onto your stuff for many years, but decluttering is the easy part of the exercise to become unbusy. Even though it may take days, weeks, months or years, it is fairly easy to sort through things and decide whether to keep, repurpose, throw out or donate. The hard stuff is changing your behaviours and mindset to prevent further stuff from entering your home (see myth number 2). As you declutter, you won’t be getting rid of stuff that you don’t want to get rid of. For example, if someone told me 12 months ago to throw out all my photo albums, I would have screamed! But a few months ago I started doing this, because I was ready to do this. I wasn’t scared, and it wasn’t hard at all.


So there you have it, some myths I have come across while decluttering. If you are starting on the decluttering and unbusy journey, keep these myths in mind to help you along. And don’t forget to read here for more tips on starting your journey to an unbusy life.

Thanks for reading!

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  1. I throw things out in batches. I have a whole bunch of old makeup that I haven’t used in years. I just can’t bring myself to throw it out all at once. So I’ve done a couple of passes and probably still have a couple more to do. Same with personal care products that I didn’t love. I’ll toss a one or two at a time. I still have a bottle of lotion that I’ll never use that’s still sitting on my bathroom shelf. I really need to get rid of it. I also recently went through all my books and boxed up 11 (!) boxes full and I still have too many. I wanted to get it down to one bookcase and I failed. I still need to actually figure out what to do with them because they’re now taking up space in my garage. Some I’ll take to the used bookstore and then probably divvy out the rest to various charities. I wish my husband was on board. I think he’s trying, but he’s not really getting the same level of satisfaction out of it that I am. He thinks I’m going to open up the Museum of Steve when he dies. I tell him that I’m just going to throw it all away anyway. Granted, he doesn’t do all the cleaning either. Why should he get rid of his stuff?

    • Lisa,
      Wait until you start to show all the positives that come out of living a de-cluttered and less busy life, he will probably want to jump on board then!
      Natalie xx


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