Today I am collaborating with Michelle over at Boomer Eco Crusader to share our answers to some top decluttering questions that we often get.
Michelle has a lot of amazing ideas about decluttering, being eco friendly, and much more! After you check out her answers here, you can pop over to her blog to read my answers.
Michelle’s Answers to Your Top Decluttering Questions
What was the moment that started you on your decluttering journey?
I don’t recall a single a-ha moment that got me started. In many ways, my desire to declutter grew out of my focus on eco-friendly and sustainable living. As I started to look for ways to reduce waste, I found myself buying less and wanting to live a simpler life. Decluttering was a logical next step on that journey for me.
What’s your decluttering philosophy?
My philosophy on decluttering is similar to the way I approach most things in life. For me, it’s about progress not perfection.
I don’t have the time, or even the interest, to set aside two or three full days for a big decluttering event. I tackle decluttering one small task at a time. Over time, those small changes make a difference and you start to feel the benefits of less clutter.
I also believe it’s important to find ways to repurpose the items I declutter and not just fill garbage bags destined for the landfill.
What is the hardest thing for you to declutter?
For me, it’s hard to let go of things I spent a lot of money on if I think I may use them again one day. A great example is the scrapbooking tools and supplies that I accumulated over the years.
When my daughters were small, I was an avid scrapbooker. I carefully documented every event and milestone in their lives. Now that my girls are older, it has been years since I did any scrapbooking but I still have all the supplies sitting in my basement.
I do plan to tackle that clutter this year as part of my 52-Week Decluttering Challenge. We’ll see how it goes.
Do you have tips on how to get family members on board with decluttering?
Getting family members on board is definitely a challenge when you start to declutter. I do have a couple of tips.
• Although it might be tempting, never get rid of their belongings behind their back. One day they might go looking for something and then you’ll find yourself in a tricky situation.
• Don’t force the issue. Start with your own stuff and let them come around to decluttering in their own time. Once they start to see the benefits of less clutter, they will get on board.
If someone is just getting started with decluttering, what is the first thing they should do?
The first thing I’d suggest is to think about why you want to declutter. Keep asking why until you get to the heart of what you’re trying to achieve, and the benefits you think you’ll see from decluttering. Knowing your why will make it easier to motivate yourself to do the work. It will also take some of the stress out of those difficult decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of.
What are some decluttering benefits you enjoy most?
For me, there are three decluttering benefits that make the effort worthwhile.
First, decluttering saves time. Think about how much time you spend looking for things you’ve misplaced or digging around in overstuffed drawers and cupboards. As things get less cluttered and more organized, I waste less time searching through clutter looking for things I need. Cleaning is also faster because I don’t have to move a ton of stuff to get to the surface I want to clean.
Second, decluttering saves money. It has made me a much more mindful shopper. These days, I question everything I’m tempted to buy. More often than not, I realize I don’t need the item. Buying less saves me a lot of money.
Finally, decluttering also makes me feel calmer and less stressed. There’s something about being in an uncluttered, organized space that frees the mind. A decluttering mindset also helps me focus on more important things instead of just accumulating stuff.
Did you make any decluttering mistakes that you learned something from?
I think my biggest mistake was not taking the time to think about my “why” and my motivation up front. I knew the clutter bugged me and I wanted less mess but I really didn’t think about why. This made it too easy to procrastinate and not get it done.
Don’t forget to visit Michelle’s blog to see my answers to the same questions. Also, make sure to check out all of her great content while you are there!