3 surprising reasons your decluttering is doomed to fail

Room full of boxes

Sorting out your belongings is a chore. Many of us would rather not deal with it especially when you put so much effort into a previous declutter and now the house is a mess again.

Professional de-clutterers see the same mistakes that prevent decluttering success. Several reasons stand out for de-clutter fails and it’s not lack of storage boxes.

Check out the top three, as noted by professionals, and use them to avoid your next attempt from nose-diving.

You keep buying storage boxes

The biggest myth of decluttering is that you need more storage.

What? This may seem contradictory – won’t more storage boxes help keep the clutter under control? There’s a temptation to be seduced into buying all sorts of containers but if you don’t know what’s going into them, you’ll end up having to de-clutter your boxes too on top of everything else.

According to Dr. Elizabeth Forrester, a clinical psychologist who specialises in hoarding behaviour, buying extra storage is just a quick fix and doesn’t solve the de-cluttering issue.

The key is to appreciate the difference between organising and decluttering. The latter is about removing items or streamlining your belongings, not rearranging them.

Sort through your clutter first, get rid of what you can, then decide on how to store what’s left in your pretty boxes.

You don’t plan

People often start a major declutter without thinking it through. The house is chaotic, you can’t find things and you’re getting fed up. It’s time to take decluttering action and surely doing something is better than nothing, right?

You start highly motivated then realise what a mammoth task you’ve set yourself and soon lose that initial enthusiasm.

Approaching any task haphazardly is likely to end in failure. Instead, the professionals suggest setting yourself decluttering goals and creating a plan to achieve them.

Write it down; go from room to room and note how you’ll approach clutter. As you start decluttering, tick things off the list to keep you motivated and update your action plan as you go.

Planning isn’t the most exciting task, but you’ll be glad you did.

Trying to do too much at once

A huge hurdle to decluttering as noted by the professionals is trying to declutter a huge area in one go. Often this runs on from not planning.

People underestimate the time it will take to sort through and dispose of things. You begin with what seems like the simple task of sifting through boxes in the loft and before you know it, you’ve spent a whole day moving piles of clutter from one area to another with little progress.

It’s far better to set aside smaller chunks of time – two or three hours over a weekend for instance, to attack one room. This will keep you motivated and avoid being frustrated by biting off more than you can chew.

Bonus tip!

Even if you follow the points above and conquer the clutter, you need to keep it going. Decluttering also fails because people don’t appreciate that regular decluttering is required. Check out these ways to establishing an organised habit.

Take solace it’s not just you that fails in the decluttering war. Next time you feel the need for a declutter attack, take a more organised approach like the professionals and give your declutter a fighting chance.


Large white stepped wardrobe

Storage Solutions

Unique and original ideas to solve your storage dilemmas, no matter what size and shape your living space…