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What NOT to do when decluttering

I’ve been feeling the urge for a few weeks now… and the end of the school holidays confirmed it – it’s declutter time around here. The change in the weather did it for me yesterday. I pulled every single item of clothing out of my boy’s bedrooms and starting culling and passing them down. It opened up a can of worms (as it always does when you start culling!), so now I feel like I have to move on to every room in the house.

I’m not a hoarder and I don’t keep everything I have ever been given, but I am realistic. I live in a house full of males and sometimes the cupboards, under the lounges, the drawers, the shelves… they all get full of stuff. I let it go for a while and it doesn’t bother me, but then suddenly I am so overwhelmed I have those yellow garbage bags out and I am filling them like there is no tomorrow….

I’ve got some tips today on what NOT to do when decluttering –

Don’t buy first

It’s a common mistake for people to motivate themselves by buying all the containers, hangers and basket before they start to declutter. But I think this is not the best way to start off. It will just become more overwhelming and create a bigger mess! The best thing to do is complete the declutter of an area first, then write down what you need to keep it in order. It’s more satisfying going to the shops to only buy what you you need.

Don’t start big

There’s no way you can organise your entire home in one go. It has to be in stages and parts. Start with one cupboard and move around your home over a period of time.

Don’t leave it half finished

This goes hand in hand with the above point about not starting out big. You will definitely leave it half finished if you start out thinking you’ll decluttering your entire home in one day. Don’t move on to the next area until you’ve finished the space you’re currently working on.

Don’t expect miracles

Rome wasn’t built in a day. The reality is we have families and kids which get in the way of our decluttering mojo. It takes time to bring it all together.

Don’t expect perfection

You are probably not going to have that magazine worthy pantry or home office. Don’t expect perfection because near enough IS good enough. If you’ve decluttered, used some sort of storage system and thrown out some junk then THAT is good enough. Decluttering isn’t about perfection, it’s about minimising the junk but still living in your home full of things you love.

If you live in Wagga Wagga then I am now offering personal decluttering services. OR, check out this awesome online course with Becoming Minimalist for a 12 week online course. I’ve read the bio and it looks really good and is affordable too.


  • Anonymous

    I need someone else to declutter for me – when I’m not home. I have a crazy emotional attachment to “stuff”. I have a walk in storeroom that I can’t even walk into anymore How do you break that emotional attachment?

    • Anonymous

      Always said… let me loose and I’ll solve your clutter issue

    • Katrina Chambers Life & Design

      That’s Kylee! I do suggest you get someone to help you if you really want to break free from the emotional attachment. Usually someone helping and encouraging you is the best thing!

  • Anonymous

    I love this Katrina and so true !!!
    Thanks for answering a few of my dilemmas l am having at the moment !!

  • Elliott

    I love the tip about waiting to purchase organizational items until after you’ve de-cluttered; I’ve made that mistake before and bought stuff that didn’t work right for what I’m de-cluttering and organizing. Sometimes it’s more fun to do the shopping first, but it isn’t very practical. We’ll pass this tip on to our clients when we tell them to de-clutter their real estate listings. Thanks Katrina!

  • Anne

    Love Marie Kondo on Netflix too but yes you do want to start tidying after watching each episode.
    I am currently replacing plastic storage kitchen containers with glass ones and am using the plastic ones for storage in my bathroom vanity and craft items – no waste.
    Going to be hot this week even on the coast so shall get stuck into this.

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