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Reasons people resist decluttering

Even when we need to move on from our current house, or have to deal with family members’ possessions for the sake of our own sanity, it can be hard to get going.  It’s often as though the “ghosts of acquisitions past” haunt our home and cast a shadow over us!  It can help to name the obstacles in our way to overcome the obstacles, so to speak.  Here are the reasons for avoiding decluttering I’ve found to be the most common among our clients.

Not knowing where to start.    Sometimes an organising/decluttering project can seem too difficult and overwhelming even before we’ve begun.  It can help to tackle unsentimental objects such as clothing to begin with, to give you a sense of achievement and some momentum for the tasks ahead.

Health / energy concerns.  Fair enough too!  If I had to overcome some of the health challenges that our clients have had to overcome, I wouldn’t feel much like decluttering either.  Working in short sessions can be helpful, and everyone has good days and not-so-good days.  Working within our limitations (or entrusting others with the process) is all we can do.

Too many sentimental objects.  Sentimental objects can be the hardest to deal with, particularly when they evoke emotions of grief or regret.  It can be helpful to see whether particular individuals or charitable organisations may value certain sentimental possessions.  Many of our clients find it reassuring to know that their possessions are going to a good home, not just to a generic charity donation bin.  Although, op shop donations certainly have their place also!

No (or not enough) help.  Particularly when family members are far away or busy themselves, it can feel like it’s too big a task to tackle.  There is no need to feel we have to do everything ourselves.  We live in a society where we outsource other domestic duties such as dry cleaning, house cleaning, painting and decorating.  There is no shame in getting outside help with decluttering and move preparation.

Not knowing what to do with everything.  In addition to all of the above factors, some people feel they are at a loss with what to do with all of the “miscellaneous” reusable or recyclable objects which come up in a decluttering project.  If you’re getting a home organiser to help you, we will generally take things away after a session and redistribute them accordingly.

Inability to sustain focus.  Life happens, and other things demand attention.  Having fixed “appointments” for decluttering and organising possessions can help maintain a rhythm and keep you on top of the process.  As well as working towards a fixed goal. Sometimes identifying which factors may be slowing down your downsizing project can give you some clarity around how it might be best to move forward. If you decide that you may want help with your downsizing project, or that of a family member, feel free to get in touch for a free no obligation chat about how we can help you get over the finish line.

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