Thump! Thump! Thump!
From my kitchen I could hear the thumping, but I had no clue where it was coming from or what was causing it. I walked into the living room searching for the source when a dark form appeared in my peripheral vision. I turned just in time to see a tiny bird hitting my window.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! This bird kept slamming into my living room window, over and over again. For several minutes I watched him hit the same spot, determined to make his way through it.
As I observed his odd behavior, I knew there could only be two possible outcomes to this situation – the bird would either figure out that his efforts were in vain and move on, or he would die trying. It seemed to take forever, but the bird finally figured out that he wasn’t going to get through my window and changed his flight path.
Like that bird hitting the window over and over again, our organizing efforts can look the same. We keep trying and trying but don’t seem to make any progress. When that happens we have two choices – either try a new path or “die” to the dream of orderly living and stay stuck in our clutter.
This can happen in various stages of the organizing process, but I where I see people struggling the most with this is in their decluttering efforts.
4 Reasons Why Your Decluttering Isn’t Working
Decluttering isn’t easy. It takes time, it demands that decisions be made, and it requires people to let go of things they may be very attached to. Some people are able to overcome these barriers; others aren’t.
If you are one of those people who keeps hitting the window when it comes to decluttering, there may be a few reasons why:
- You have a false belief that you can organize clutter – Many people don’t feel the need to declutter. Instead they believe all they have to do is organize their stuff, and once it’s organized their problems are solved. The truth is you can’t organize clutter! You have to remove the unnecessary from the necessary so you can have space and room to breathe. Without purging your stuff you will never truly have an orderly life.
- F.E.A.R. – Many people refuse to let go of an item because they might need it one day or they’re afraid they’ll hurt someone’s feelings if they get rid of it. Sadly, those are excuses hidden behind fear. Fear is nothing more than us Forming Excuses and Accepting them as Reality. Once we allow our excuses to become actual thoughts in our mind, whether they’re right or not, we accept them as truth and act accordingly. If we want to get out from underneath the clutter we have to stop making excuses and instead, make decisions.
- You aren’t asking the right questions – In order to know whether or not to let something go, people will generally ask themselves questions about a particular item. Most often they ask, “Do I like it?” If they do, they end up keeping it; if they don’t then they might let it go. But, “Do I like it?” is an emotional question, not a practical one such as, “When was the last time I used it?”. To clear out the clutter, you have to ask the right questions, the hard questions, and the practical questions to truly determine if an object needs to stay or not. Once you ask yourself the right questions, it is easier to make a decision, and if necessary, let go.
- You’re trying to do it alone – When you declutter by yourself there is no accountability, no one to question your decisions (or lack of them). If you want to see real results that lead to a change in your clutter, you have to be willing to have someone work alongside you. Whether it’s a family member, a trusted friend, or a professional, having someone with you can keep you on the straight and narrow and motivate you to keep moving ahead. As the saying goes, two is better than one!
There’s a popular quotes that states, “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.” If you want to get out from underneath the clutter and chaos that has overtaken your home and life, you’ve got to make some changes. Stop hitting the same spot on the window and chose a different path!
Maybe you need to seek out help, ask the hard questions, overcome your excuses and fears, or just think differently about your clutter. When you do, you might find that your organizing efforts will take flight and you’ll find yourself on the orderly path you were always meant to be on.
Need help with your decluttering? Then I encourage you to join me for the 180 Challenge – a 10 month decluttering challenge where we’ll work together to clear out the clutter and the chaos so you can restore order and enjoy your home. To learn more about the 180 Challenge and how you can sign up, click here.