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  • Writer's picturePaula

6 reasons why decluttering is so hard

Spring is a great time to declutter but it's not always as easy as it sounds!

It’s almost Spring and it’s a great time of year to do a bit of decluttering. You will see lots of posts that make it sound so easy. If it’s that easy, then why do most people struggle with it? Here are 6 of the main challenges you might encounter and some suggested solutions:

1. You don’t know where to start

The mere thought of decluttering can be so overwhelming we get paralysed and instead just shut the door and tell ourselves we’ll deal with it another time.


It can be helpful to choose one area of the house and start there. For example, your junk drawer, your sock drawer or even your car. Once you make progress, however small, it will encourage you to continue.

2. You don’t know how to start

There are lots of decluttering techniques e.g. Marie Kondo – category by category, 20 minute sprints, room by room, extreme decluttering, etc.


You need to decide which method works best for you. For me, I choose one area of the house and do 15 minute sprints each day until I’m happy with it.

3. You quickly run into “decision fatigue”

We very quickly get exhausted making decisions, no matter what area of life it is.

Solution: Do short 20 minute sessions and stop before you are exhausted. That way, you are more likely to do another session tomorrow.

4. You don’t have the time

Decluttering can be very time consuming as you have to remove everything, make a decision about each item, repack everything and deal with all the items you are getting rid of.

Solution: Once more, short decluttering sessions addressing one small area are the answer.

5. You don’t have the energy

Decluttering can is both physically and emotionally exhausting. It requires a physical effort to unpacking and repacking everything but even more importantly, it takes a lot of energy to deal with all the emotions that decluttering can spark e.g. guilt over wasted money, anxiety around the sheer size of the task, stress, grief, loss, etc.

Solution: Start your decluttering journey with an area that you are not so emotionally connected with. By the time you get to the family photos, you will be an expert at decluttering and able to deal with it better!

6. You never feel like doing it

It’s no surprise that we never really “feel” like decluttering, given the challenges above.

Solution: Decide in advance when you will do your decluttering sprint each day/week and pick a time when your energy levels are usually good and you won’t struggle as much. Be strict with yourself and stick to a 20 minute sprint so that you won’t create a huge mess and put yourself off decluttering for another year!

Some good ways to avoid “re-cluttering” are a) buy less in the first place, b) be creative and repurpose instead of buying, and c) develop a regular decluttering habit to keep clutter at bay.

If you like this post, you might like the following related posts:

Image of winter jumper collection neatly organised
Decluttered Winter Collection


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