What is Your Biggest Decluttering Challenge?

What is your biggest decluttering challenge?

Each person faces different challenges when trying to organize or declutter spaces. Unfortunately, these problems sometimes have the power to discourage people and make them give up. If you recognize and acknowledge your biggest obstacle to success, it may help you overcome this barrier. Let’s take a look at some of the most common challenges and a few effective ways to tackle them.

1. More stuff than space

Someone with few belongings might be able to declutter simply by rearranging and storing things wisely. On the other hand, it’s more or less impossible to get organized if you live in a two-bedroom home but own enough stuff to fill a mansion. You can only succeed when you make an effort to decide what you truly need and let go of it or maybe throw it away.

More stuff than space

2. Random placement of items

This might be your biggest challenge if you often leave outdoor clothing on various pieces of furniture instead of putting it on the same hanger or rack every day. When you establish places to keep each of your belongings, clutter won’t multiply as easily. Take the time to find specific locations to put things like bills, newspapers, batteries, footwear, tools and so on.

3. Feeling overwhelmed

If you have a huge amount of stuff to declutter, you might get overwhelmed and lose ambition. You can address this challenge by concentrating on one part of your home at a time. Accept that the outcome doesn’t need to be perfect or resemble a picture in a home decor magazine. Feel good about what you’ve accomplished rather than worrying about what you still need to do.

Feeling overwhelmed

4. Too little spare time

Decluttering is certainly more challenging if your job, family or other responsibilities demand most of your time. Still, you can make some progress a few minutes at a time. Try to build decluttering into routine tasks. For example, when you check the mail and see an advertisement that doesn’t interest you, discard it right away instead of leaving it on your desk.

5. Little self-discipline

You must be persistent and determined to achieve any major goal. It’s hard to organize your home if you put it off because you want to watch TV or eat dinner at a restaurant. The same goes when you don’t resist the urge to purchase unnecessary things that will clutter your house (or at least let go of something equivalent after you buy them).

6. Keeping things for later

A major obstacle for many people is that they can’t give up anything they might potentially use or need in the future. This sort of thinking could persuade you to keep shirts in three different sizes and spare appliances of every kind. Try to think about each item and objectively decide if you’re genuinely likely to ever use it.

Try to think about each item

These challenges are understandable and few of us are immune to all of them. Even decluttering gurus can sometimes get tempted into buying superfluous things or keeping an extra coffee maker in the closet. Still, the great benefits of a well-organized home make it worthwhile to find solutions and stop allowing these obstacles to thwart you.

Kylie Browne

Kylie is our friendly Community Manager. Organizing advocate. 80s music fan. Busy Mom. Amateur over thinker. Thrives on coffee and chocolate.

11 thoughts on “What is Your Biggest Decluttering Challenge?

  1. katty jack says:

    I’m single, I live in a small apartment and I can’t believe the amount https://easyqualifymoney.com/ of mess all around me. It makes me feel ashamed, like if I had a family I’d have an excuse. I’m starting again (again) by cleaning after myself as I go and doing just one task – even if it’s tiny – each day to start dealing with the backlog.

  2. Jon Milla says:

    I’m single, I live in a small apartment and I can’t believe the amount https://paydaysay.com/4000-loan.php of mess all around me. It makes me feel ashamed, like if I had a family I’d have an excuse. I’m starting again (again) by cleaning after myself as I go and doing just one task – even if it’s tiny – each day to start dealing with the backlog.

  3. https://paydaysay.com/4000-loan.php says:

    I’m single, I live in a small apartment and I can’t believe the amount of mess all around me. It makes me feel ashamed, like if I had a family I’d have an excuse. I’m starting again (again) by cleaning after myself as I go and doing just one task – even if it’s tiny – each day to start dealing with the backlog.

  4. Alicia Sanders says:

    I just feel so much better knowing I’m not a complete failure. Thank you for your honesty and please don’t be ashamed. Life gets in the way of our plans all the time.

  5. BYSTORED says:

    There are so many great answers to this question! I have to say that my biggest decluttering challenge is definitely finding the time to do it. I feel like there is always something else that needs my attention and I can never seem to find the time to just focus on decluttering. But, when I do find the time, it feels great to get rid of all the stuff that I don’t need and to organize what I do need. It always makes me feel so much better and more productive when my space is decluttered.

  6. Iris says:

    This hit home, for sure. My boyfriend and I have just started the ‘fun’ process that is cohabitating. Yes, ‘process’ is the right word. At least it is at this point. Too much stuff and not enough point is us to a T… So is feeling overwhelmed. I am very glad I found your post, thank you for the wonderful content!

  7. Elizabeth Bond says:

    We moved over last half of 2020/first half of 2021. We did purge books (still have eight bookcases full!) and many other things. New house is bigger but with an open floorplan; we are trying to keep the ‘public’ rooms relatively clean and guest-ready. I am still facing too much stuff for the space! And also #3, being overwhelmed.

    I tried to purge clothing, but wound up just boxing many things when the sorting was taking too much time! I have less rod-space, but an additional build-in dresser. I also have a different lifestyle between my husband’s retirement, moving to another state, and the pandemic! So after a year in the new climate, I am ready to take on the closet/dressers with a better idea of what I need — and what can be gotten rid of! I figure most of what is in the still-unopened boxes will be easier to purge now that the emotional attachment has had a chance to wane. And I’ve gotten along without the things for a year!

  8. Adriana DiGioia says:

    Thank you. How many of each item do you recommend that l keep if l am paring down my wardrobe? Items like underwear and socks and tops and slacks? I would love to purge but would like to know a set number

    • Elizabeth Bond says:

      Hi Adriana: I asked this question for many years (!) and finally found an answer — possibly on this website? — Which is:

      As many as you have room for, to keep organized and available. So if you have one dresser, with a drawer each assigned to underwear, socks, foldable tops, and slacks, what fits is your number. Same with your hanging space.

  9. Closet Gallery says:

    You’ve addressed some common challenges here! Keeping too much stuff around is a big one; so is not having a place for every item in the home. Things get moved from surface to surface or end up getting stashed in a box or drawer with a bunch of other unrelated items.

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