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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2 of 17 comments
  • Karen Karen on Sep 14, 2022

    thank you, but I can't get through your video. too much narative. tell me what NOT to do and don't give me a lecture at the same time.

  • Trudes Trudes on Sep 14, 2022

    Thank you for your real-life de cluttering advice. I am looking for the checklist you mentioned in the ‘rule’ #4, I think. Will you please guide me to where I can find this? Again, thank you.