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The craze for decluttering methods has been such in recent years that it would be surprising if you had not already attempted, at least partially, to purify your interior. However, there are few who can boast today of living in an always tidy house. It must be said that it is not enough to adhere to the various methods proposed to succeed in sorting and ordering, and the brakes are numerous on the road which leads to minimalism. Here are nine mistakes you should not make when you decide to declutter to see your approach successful.
Buy before organizing
Before investing in boxes, shelves, filing cabinets and cupboards, start by reducing the volume to be stored and organized. Once you have got rid of the superfluous, the storage you already have will probably be enough for you. You may even be surprised to be able to get rid of some of them! Do not delay the moment of decluttering under the false pretext that we do not have the right tools to put your things in order. If your wardrobe overflows, it is rarely the fault of the wardrobe! If you really realize at the end of the operations that you are missing a chest of drawers or a storage box, there will always be time to get them.
Want to do it all at once
By imagining decluttering your house in one day, you risk being quickly overwhelmed and discouraged before having successfully completed the exercise. Worse yet, you might dread when to get back on track and leave everything in plan without ending, at the risk of living in chaos worse than before your resolution to tidy up! Give yourself time to complete this business, and divide it into phases so as not to spend all your weekends or holidays there. The idea is not to impose a chore on myself, nor to transmit this impression to the rest of the family, but rather to initiate a profound change in joy.
Make bags and stacks of things to give / sell / throw away
Once your belongings have been sorted and the part you do not wish to keep discarded, avoid keeping the latter at home. Even if these bags and boxes piled up in the entrance or the garage seem temporary while waiting to be given or thrown away, they prevent you from going through with your decluttering process. They visually pollute the space and, instead of giving your interior the breathing that sorting should give it, it seems even more messy than before! Not to mention the risk of regretting a dress or a pair of skis in the pile and going to fish them out on a whim or under the blow of nostalgia ... Once you have sorted and identified the things to throw or give, take them immediately, either to the recycling center, to Emmaüs or to interested friends to collect them. What to do with the objects you want to get rid of?
Think "just in case"
Are you afraid of regretting something or needing it one day and getting rid of it? Unconsciously, you feel that it would mean that you have made the wrong choices, that your attempt to declutter was a failure, or that you are not capable of a rational sorting, of defining your own needs, of organizing your life … Stop! This anticipated guilt will not lead you to anything, except to spoil the beautiful energy that you put to make your interior more pleasant. If an item has not been used for several years, the chances of you suddenly needing it are reduced. And even so, error is human and we learn from these little blunders. Trust yourself and you will see that they will be rare, and never irreparable!
Imagine it's done once and for all
Even if you put all your good will into it, it is rare that a massive decluttering dispenses you in the future from tidying up or sorting your interior again. Already because disorder quickly resumes its rights, especially if the other members of the family do not share your taste for order. But also because you quickly get a taste for sorting and once your decluttering begins, there is a good chance that you will see other useless things to eliminate, other cupboards to purify ... Getting rid of the superfluous remains a subjective approach, and therefore never completely finished!
Store room by room
This is a point on which Marie Kondo insists a lot in her book The magic of storage. Because if tidying up one room after another may seem logical to organize its decluttering, it will not give you an overview of what you have. Marie Kondo rather suggests classifying your belongings by type (books, clothes, papers, miscellaneous objects, sentimental objects) and sorting each category independently. Not only does it allow you to organize the storage (you can dedicate a weekend to each category for example), but it will also help you not to forget any element. You sort your books? Gather not only those stored in the library, but also the cookbooks, the beautiful books lying on the coffee table and the novels of your bedside table Do you unclutter the wardrobe? Do not forget what is hanging on the hooks in the bathroom or in the hallway, what hangs in the room or the laundry waiting to be ironed. By having a complete vision, it will be easier to sort!
Focus on numbers
The decluttering methods are full of figures which pose an often extreme ideal. Between the minimalists who live with less than 100 objects, Courtney Carver who invites to keep only 33 pieces maximum in her wardrobe, Dominique Loreau who recommends having 7 outdoor outfits, 7 tops, 7 bottoms and 7 pairs of shoes, all seasons combined ... Do not focus on these figures which represent an unattainable ideal for most people, even if driven by great will. For clothes for example, the ideal figure will depend on your lifestyle (you go out often, you have a dirty job ...), the frequency of your washes, the place you have, etc. Remember to adapt the advice given by the books to reality!
Aim for perfection
You surely must have seen spectacular before / after when overloaded interiors transformed in a few hours into a minimalist haven where nothing superfluous remained. It is certainly impressive, but remember that no one is perfect, and that it is quite normal that you do not get a result as sharp! You could not resign yourself to throwing away the old toys of the children, to eliminate this dress never worn or to sacrifice this old guitar which sits enthroned in the office? Patience! It is normal to remain attached to certain objects, and imposing too radical a change does not only have benefits. There may still be a few messy areas in the house, but you will have initiated the change and it is a safe bet that this remaining bazaar will not resist the next sorting session!
Don't think about your lifestyle
Decluttering your interior is above all a reflection on your lifestyle, your desires and the place given to objects in our daily lives. It is a real process that must be accompanied by awareness and profound change. If you consider this only as a kind of improved household, the risk is to refill your house without realizing it, giving in to fear of the vacuum and compulsive shopping. Ask yourself about the meaning of this approach: why do you let things suffocate you, what do you think you will escape by filling your already full wardrobe? It is only by answering these questions that you will move towards sustainable and profitable decluttering.