10 Big Decluttering Mistakes to Avoid: How NOT to Declutter

by Simplify

Marissa, minimalist mom and Founder of A to Zen Life, says that we all make decluttering mistakes from time to time. So, she’s put together a list of the top 10 decluttering mistakes to avoid the next time you begin a decluttering project at home.

When it comes to decluttering for beginners, the biggest mistake people often make, according to Marissa, is starting with unrealistic expectations. She says that large decluttering projects take a ton of time, and keeping this extensive time commitment in mind is important so that you’re not being too hard on yourself or worrying about getting things done too quickly.

Also on her list of what not to do when decluttering is focusing on quantity over quality. Instead of looking for a certain number of things to declutter in your home, you should find satisfaction in the quality of the decluttering job you complete. For example, you decluttered an entire drawer or closet which brings you one step closer to a decluttered home.

Other decluttering mistakes Marissa shares include following the advice of experts verbatim, not having a vision or developing a plan, doing too much vs. too little, and starting with high-level difficulty. Each of these decluttering mistakes is sure to set you up for failure before you even begin.

Boxes of clutter

Furthermore, Marissa says that it’s easy to fall into the following decluttering traps as well: making too many excuses, rehoming declutter too slowly, and failing to find a home for previously homeless stuff after you declutter a space.

The last of Marissa’s decluttering mistakes is not ultimately changing your bad clutter habits. In other words, if you continue to be a shopaholic, are a hoarder, or typically keep a messy space, you’ll need to change your habits long-term or your home will get cluttered all over again.

Decluttering mistakes

For more decluttering advice, discover these top (lazy) decluttering tips and the 6 types of house clutter (plus, how to declutter them).

To see more videos, check out the A to Zen Life YouTube channel.

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3 of 22 comments
  • Sandra Royers Scheve Sandra Royers Scheve on Nov 01, 2022

    I think, not positive, that you can't use the word "myself" unless it follows the word "I". The correct word is "me". Also, you don't put things "in". You put things "into". That I am very sure of.

    • Walt Walt on May 01, 2023

      Good for you, Sandra! The English language is being battered and beaten these days, even by professionals, like news staff on television, and people in tv commercials. Misuse of "I" for "me" is probably the most common error. I find it irritating that those from whom we should be able to expect perfect use of our language do not know better.

  • Lynne Vorst Hogan Lynne Vorst Hogan on Feb 18, 2023

    Good sound advice…

    not easy by any means….

    important to work toward re: those loved ones we may be depending on in our passing.