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Decluttering Inspiration

July 8, 2014

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Need some decluttering inspiration? Here's why I declutter - and why you should too!

Though I haven’t gotten rid of nearly the amount of stuff I can, I’m starting to feel like I’ve made quite a bit of progress with decluttering my home of unneeded, unloved items. I’ve been working hard to change my mindset and to think twice before buying something that isn’t 100% a NEEDED item. I do still buy some wants occasionally, but I’ve really cut back to only buying what I truly want in my life.

Now, that I’ve started to be able to look around and see my decluttering progress, I find myself saying things like, “I’ve made so much progress, I can just skip getting rid of something today”. This is not a good habit to get into! I know that overtime I will still generate clutter because no one is incapable of not bringing any clutter into their homes what-so-ever, plus over time interests and tastes change, which can also create clutter.

Finding decluttering inspiration isn’t hard for me though. Over the long 4th of July weekend, my dad helped me with a couple of projects at my house, so I returned the favor by helping him and my mom with some things at their house too.

Every time I go over to their house I’m reminded exactly why I want to declutter my house and my life. My mom is a terrible housekeeper (sad, but true).

They have greenery on top of the kitchen cabinets that hasn’t been cleaned more than once in the 8+ years they’ve lived in their house. Their carpets are only about 8 years old (the house was brand new when they moved in) and yet they haven’t been taken care of, thus they really need replaced already. There are piles of books, papers and magazines several feet high that haven’t been touched in years. You have to walk around piles to get where you are going. You can’t take a direct route anywhere because you have to avoid stepping on stuff. The toilets are always moldy. There are countless other examples, but you get the idea.

I truly believe that if they got rid of the crap stuff they don’t even use and haven’t touched in years, the house could maybe, actually be cleaned. As it is now, there’s no point in trying to clean because there’s so much stuff hindering your efforts, you have to dust and clean around things.

I don’t say this to rag on my parents, but to prove a point to myself and you, it is important to get rid of things as they become clutter. There’s so much less to maintain and you can focus your energy else where if you don’t have so much stuff.

What serves as your decluttering inspiration?

Need some decluttering inspiration? Here's why I declutter - and why you should too!

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20 responses to “Decluttering Inspiration

  1. Yep… I totally get that. I have family like that as well. If I didn’t try to keep my fiancé in check I think he could get like that as well. But I force the issue. I have de-cluttering on my list for this weekend. I can easily get rid of a bag of stuff, as well as getting rid of 15 year old pay stubs (yes, I know…)

    1. Sounds like you are working hard to keep your clutter down. I sometimes watch “horders” which is great inspiration for me too 🙂

  2. This post resonated with me: I thought my mother was a terrible housekeeper: piles and piles of papers, craft supplies, books, canned food, clothes, and cleaning supplies through her entire house (3000 ish square feet without a clean surface to be found). Ten years of living hundreds of miles away, and I’ve got some perspective: My mother is a hoarder. When I need inspiration to either clean or de-clutter my home, I speak to her about how her ‘housework’ is going. I then appreciate the small-ish condo my husband and I live in, relish in all the clear surfaces, and usually get a bag or two ready to donate.

    It took me 7 or 8 of those ten years to figure out a system for paper coming into the house, (and how to keep what I needed, and not have it burried in a giant pile of paper), as well as how to keep my wardrobe under control. This post (way back when) from fashion forward 40 revolutionized my closet (It was suddenly less crowded, and actually functional)

    1. I will check this post out for sure! I’m not saying I’m perfect by any means, but I sure keep up a lot better than my parents (mostly my mom)! I also watch “Horders” for inspiration sometimes. That gets me up and cleaning/decluttering right away!

  3. Sounds a lot like dieting, doesnt it? “Just this cupcake today only…”. Then off the wagon we go! The important thing is to jump back on. I am still in an organizing phase. Everything’s in boxes, so once I settle in, I’ll start getting rid of things. Somehow my stuff multiplied since my last move. As far as parents’ stuff… I’m there with you. My mother is a big time hoarder, and I just got tired trying to make sense of the mess or organize it some. You can see less than 1/3 of the floor in her room, and zero floor in the walk in closet. It panics me to get there.

    1. I’m sorry it panics you! I sure hope you can get your stuff under control once you get settled in your new place. My parents house grosses me out and makes me feel stressed. There’s just so much dirt, grime, and stuff! I try to help them sort it out so that I don’t have to do it all myself someday when they pass.

  4. I grew up the same way! My mom was obsessed with knick knacks so we always had a ton and she wasn’t the greatest housekeeper either, plus we had pets! My dad is also a pack rack and keeps everything. When I moved out of my house and into my own, I was a pack rat and slowly started getting rid of stuff. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve decluttered over the years only to say that we as humans just accumulate and it’s important to go through everything and get rid of stuff. My roommate is an organization freak and a clean freak which has really helped me the most, which is funny. I am more organized and clean than I’ve ever been in my life. Well, despite my bathroom. 🙂

    1. I’m glad you’ve made progress over the years. Yes, we do accumulate more, so it’s a never-ending process. I’m trying to slow down the in-flow for sure and for the time being, speed up the out-flow too!

  5. I’m a bad housekeeper. I really am! I don’t like to do chores and usually forget to do them until there’s clutter all over the house or piles of laudry everywhere. As long as I can remember, I was like that, not that my parent tried to do something with me !

    As I grew up, I tried to be better at housekeeping, without great success. I moved in with my boyfriend 2 years ago and his appartment was neat. I must have contamined him with my procrastination disease, as the appartment became filled with clutter. I mean, I was ashamed to let people into our home because of that!

    I started reading your blog a few weeks ago. I was already having a blog (in french), where I set goals(mostly finances ones) and try to reach them. I’ve been inspired with your “Things thursday” and started a series on my own. I must say that it helped me a lot to declutter some things! I still have to work on my housekeeping skills (like having a routine or something), but it’s way better than before :).

    1. You should check out! I read it from the beginning and it has made a huge difference in my life and in the cleaning I do! I’m glad I’ve inspired you to start decluttering. It really is much easier to clean when you have less stuff.

  6. I like to be decluttered just to make cleaning and organizing our home easier. It seems we are always misplacing things in our home, because we have too much stuff. We have not added to much new stuff over the last several years, but do need to do a better job of cleaning some of the stuff up that has been around for years.

    1. At least you’ve stopped the in-flow, now to work on the out-flow 🙂 Great progress on keeping the clutter down Brian!

  7. Thankfully, I was taught to get rid of things I didn’t need as I grew up. I’ve never really had to deal with clutter, but can see how things can definitely pile up over time if you’re not diligent about getting rid of things that don’t work or that you don’t need. Thanks for the great read!

    1. I’m glad you learned it as a child. It’s so much harder to have good habits when you don’t start them until adulthood.

  8. That totally sounds like my parents! They, especially my dad, grew up with the idea that you keep everything because it might be valuable in the future. It got to the point where we had so much stuff on our kitchen table, we just ate family meals on the couch in front of the TV. I’ve had my stuff packed up in storage for about 2 years, and I can’t wait for the renovation where I am to finish, me to move in, unpack and to start going through everything. Once I get my space in order, I’d love to go help my parents. I’m also so afraid I’m going to end up like them!

    I find de-cluttering so emotional that I can’t handle much at once. Has your plan been one item per day? That’s a great idea that I think I should borrow 🙂

    1. I do shoot for one item a day, so obviously I just share some of them on here. It would get a little tedious and repetitive if I posted my item each day. A little at a time works best, especially if it’s emotionally taxing for you. Just get started and it will get easier!

  9. As you know, my parents were my inspiration, too. Not my mom’s fault (she keeps on top of cleaning), but my dad is a tiny bit of a hoarder when it comes to sentimental things, or items he thinks he’ll find a use for at a later date. It all accumulated to a pile of trash at the curb when they moved. Their garage was so packed there was a narrow little pathway to get to the garbage at the end. It was so sad! I never, ever want to get to that point.

    1. I’m glad you are able to see their “mistakes” and learn from them. I’m sure that although they may not be proud of the amount of clutter they’d accumulated, they are probably proud of you for learning from them.

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