In a nutshell – it’s easy to get carried away and throw out things that mean a lot to you. This post helps you identify times that not decluttering may be better than getting rid of things.
It might seem weird reading about when NOT to declutter on a site called less-stuff. I’m all for keeping the clutter levels of stuff you like under control. I’m not a minimalist but I can find things when I need them. If you are feeling a bit out of sorts it’s quite easy to get rid of things by mistake. Here are some danger spots to watch out for.
When you are angry
This is a pretty easy emotion to identify. If you find yourself decluttering in a rage, there is a good chance that you will make some decisions you may regret later. If you really need to throw out all his guitars or whatever it might be better to go for a good angry walk instead and leave your money at home so you can’t buy something else. Take some time to breathe and work out what you really want.
When you feel bad about your size/shape
I’m not suggesting that you keep all the size 8 clothes you had as a teenager. I just know that there is a danger of hating every item of clothing when you hate the shape your body is in. Assuming there is nothing you can do about loosing/gaining a couple of stone or becoming fitter right this minute it is probably better to save decluttering until you feel less wretched. Be kind to yourself instead.
When you are blissfully happy
“But I’m in LOVE, I don’t need shoes because I’m floating with joy!” Hmm. I hope this feeling lasts a long time and your landing is gentle.
It’s out of season
Can you remember how cold it gets in the winter when it is midsummer? Can you remember squinting in the sunshine when it’s a gloomy winter day? In my home we double up on duvets during the winter, which means the airing cupboard is ram packed during the summer. It would be easy to look in the cupboard and see far too many things out of season. Leave winter and summer things until the right seasons so you can judge them better.
What to do instead of decluttering when the timing is wrong
If you feel the need to get rid of things try cleaning something instead. If you hate the way your home is and can’t stand it for another second, get out of it, go for a walk, meet a friend for coffee, don’t buy any more clutter while you are out! If you are crazy with happiness, enjoy it but no sudden moves. Unless you are good at remembering what it’s like to have ice cold toes when you are suffering a heatwave, leave the unseasonal stuff alone for a while.
Decluttering just a few things a day is a good safe way to make sure that you keep things that are important to you. It may seem like you are not getting any where for a while but 5 things a day, for 5 days a week is over a thousand a year!
For help and advice to build up a gentle decluttering habit that won’t hurt later start here