7 Tips to Avoid Decluttering Burn Out

Have you decided it’s time to get serious about decluttering your home? Are you tired of the piles, not being able to find what you need, and just the stress of clutter? Today I wanted to share with you 7 things you can do to avoid decluttering burn out. Sometimes when we decide we are fed up with the clutter and want to do something to change it, we can quickly get burnt out! 

Often people try to do too much, too fast, causing this decluttering burn out. In light of that, my first suggestion is to do a little at a time. I know at first it can be easy to pull everything out of a space konMari style and want to tackle everything all at once, but I suggest you resist the urge to do this. It is better to do a little at a time so you don’t get easily overwhelmed. I would start very small – maybe a single drawer or cabinet. Usually starting small like this gives us motivation to choose another small space, and then another, until we have gone through every space in our homes! Another idea adjacent to this is to set a timer. It can feel less overwhelming to work on projects like decluttering when we know there is an endpoint.

My next tip is to have a decluttering plan. For anything in life, when we have a plan set in place it makes everything go more smoothly. When we have a plan, we also have that feeling of there being an endpoint. {{Although I will say, as long as items are still coming into your home – even as gifts, freebies, or things your kids bring in, decluttering is a constant process. You just eventually get to the point where it’s not as overwhelming.}} What I like to do is choose one room in my home per week to deep clean and declutter throughout that week. Going through spaces in this way breaks it down into more manageable tasks.

My third tip is to make a game out of it! Making a game out of any task that isn’t fun can make it fun! I like to play the Minimalism Game, however this may be overwhelming to some people. With this game, you choose one item to get rid of on day one, two items on day two, three items on day three and so on throughout a month. So you end up donating things for 30 days, equaling over 400 items! Another game you could play is have every family member take a trash bag or box and see who can find the most items to donate. I am sure there are so many great decluttering games out there which you could Google for more ideas!

My next tip is to take breaks. If you feel a burn out coming on, take a few weeks or months where you aren’t focusing on decluttering. Sometimes we just need to take a break from it to recharge and feel ready to go through things again.

Another thing you can do to avoid decluttering burn out is to not start with sentimental items. These items can be very difficult to declutter and slow your process down. By starting with a space with items that you don’t have sentimental attachment to, you get the momentum you need to be successful at decluttering.

My sixth tip is to celebrate your successes. Celebrating along the way can also help with the momentum. When you acknowledge the progress you have made it can inspire you to keep working at it. An idea that I have seen is to take before and after photos. Sometimes we forget how far we have come! Having those photos can remind you of how much progress you have made!

My last tip is to invite a friend or a professional to help you! Sometimes you just need someone there to help you talk through why you should keep or get rid of items. Having another pair of eyes and someone else’s input can be really helpful. Also, this can also make this process less painful and more fun!

Well, I hope this post was helpful to you and that you are inspired to start decluttering your spaces today!

The Real Secret of Tidy People

I think I have figured out the real secret to being a tidy person. I have a whole blog post sharing how to keep your house tidy. These habits are easier to develop if we adopt this secret of being a tidy person. In my other blog post I share several habits you can cultivate to become a tidier person. Dealing with things immediately instead of setting them down to deal with later, having a cleaning routine that makes sense so you can stick to it, enlisting the help of other family members, and having a place for everything are all great habits that can help you to stay on top of clutter accumulating. But the real secret is the final tip I shared in that post – DON’T OWN A LOT OF STUFF!

The real secret of being a tidy person is that they don’t have extra inventory in their homes. They don’t keep things just in case. They don’t want to manage a lot of inventory. I think I came to this conclusion as my kids got older. Now that all of our children are adults, even though currently they are all living with us, I realize that there is a lot less stuff I need to manage. When they were younger there were toys, school papers, and sports equipment. Now that they are older they manage their own things.

In addition to that, over the past 7-8 years I have been pursuing minimalism. It is definitely a slow process for me decluttering my home and learning new spending habits, but less inventory in my home equals less to put away, clean, and organize.

I have a friend who openly admits she is not tidy. I would consider her a maximalist. She loves ALL the things! And I think that is totally fine! We are all different, and that’s what makes the world a beautiful place! I can go over to her house and appreciate all of the things she has surrounded herself with, but I personally could not live this way. If you’re someone who loves all the things, that is okay. But just know that the more you own, the more difficult it will be to be a tidy person. It comes down to what you value and what you can handle.

I am very affected by my external environment. My guess is you are too since you are reading this blog post and wanting to learn the secret to being tidy. Clutter and extra stuff around me definitely affects my anxiety and my mood. When my external environment is chaotic, I feel a bit chaotic in my mind as well. Everything we own takes up our energy and time. The less we own, the less we have to manage, the easier it is to keep a tidy home.

The more I simplify our home, the more I really see the benefits of living with less! Easily being able to tidy your home is one of those many benefits. I hope this post was helpful for you today!

Digital Organization

Today I wanted to talk about digital organization. I have had this topic idea to share for quite some time, but have hesitated to share honestly because I feel like this is a space that I am the worst at keeping organized and decluttered. Much of our lives are now digital, so there is definitely a need to keep things organized and minimized. I will share with you what I would ideally do to keep this space under control, but I’m confessing that this is a struggle for me!

So first let’s talk about photos. This is one area that is so difficult to stay on top of! I’m pretty sure that currently as I write this I have over 5,000 photos on my phone! This is definitely something I need to deal with and learn to better stay on top of. A long time ago when digital cameras were first available, I was really good about removing the photos off of my camera, and putting them both on my computer and on a hard drive. As my kids got older and my schedule became chaotic, I found it difficult to keep up with this and eventually lost about a year and half worth of our family photos. Thankfully I was able to recover some of them as back then I used a website similar to Shutterfly to share photos with my extended family. This is definitely something I would suggest – to use an app that automatically backs up your phone’s photos. I personally use Google photos for this purpose. You can also use the Cloud, although I believe they cap the amount of data you are allowed to have stored there unless you pay an additional fee. 

I recently learned about a thumb drive that can connect directly to your iPhone in order to dump photos onto it to clear off your phone, and that is what I plan to use to save my photos in another location.

If you have time to organize your photos, I like to organize mine chronologically and will create folders for each month, putting the year first, then the month to keep it all chronological. That way it is easy to find the photo you are looking for. However, Google photos has a search mechanism which works wonderfully for finding a photo of a specific person, location, or thing.

Next let’s talk about computer file organization. First, I like to use external hard drives to keep minimal files on my computer as this helps it to run better. Creating folders with like files helps to keep things organized. Everyone will have different types of files, so you will have to determine what makes sense for your specific files. Perhaps having separate external hard drives for different types of files would be wise. Maybe you have personal files and work files.

Evaluate which programs or apps you have on your computer and determine if there are any that are unnecessary and uninstall those. In general, it’s good to have a regular habit of decluttering files and photos you no longer need.

Next I wanted to address email. I would suggest having a daily habit of deleting emails. Staying on top of emails will prevent that overwhelming feeling of having thousands of emails in your inbox. In addition to that, unsubscribe to emails from companies that you no longer need the information or are no longer helpful. I also suggest streamlining your email. Sometimes it is necessary to have more than one email address, but evaluate how many is really reasonable to have. It is far easier to keep up with just a couple email inboxes than several! 

The next thing I wanted to address is passwords! Keeping track of all of the passwords you have for all of the websites you use can be an overwhelming task. Every website seems to have different specifications on what the password can be. I think it is important to find a password storage tool that is easy and safe. I use NordPass to store all of my passwords, making it easy to access at any time, and I don’t have to worry about remembering all of these different passwords! Every site has different specifications for your password, and honestly it’s more safe if you use different passwords for different sites.

I of course also wanted to address your phone! The digital clutter we have on our phones can be overwhelming. As I mentioned with your computer, it’s a good practice to make time to declutter your phone regularly. Evaluate which apps on your phone that you actually use and delete any that you are not. Categorizing your apps into folders will keep your home screen looking less cluttered, and it will make finding them easy. You can categorize them into folders based on type (like social media, photography, finances, ect.) I like to do it according to color – Home Edit style, because I find this more visually pleasing. This may seem inefficient, but your brain quickly learns where to find each app.

Adjacent to our phones is social media. First, evaluate which social media apps you really want to spend your time on, and delete any that aren’t serving you! You can also declutter the people you follow on each social media platform, only keeping around the people who are helpful. If there are people who make you feel sad or upset about your life, or just create more mental health issues, I would suggest hitting the unfollow button!

Using a digital calendar can be really helpful for reminders and to access your calendar from anywhere. I like to use both physical and digital calendars. Keep your calendar up to date by setting aside time each week or each month to update all of your appointments and commitments. If you need to also keep track of other family member’s schedules, I  like to use a different color for each member of the family.

Lastly, I wanted to share that using sites like Google Docs and Google Sheets can help to keep things organized as well. There are functions within these sites/apps that allow you to create folders in order to keep things organized. You can then access these files easily on your phone through the apps. It also makes it easy to share files with others. I like to keep recipes in a folder in my Google Docs to access while I’m cooking!

Well, I hope this post gave you some inspiration or helpful information for you to get your digital space decluttered and organized today!

12 Tips For Packing To Move

In today’s post I wanted to share with you some tips for moving! I thought summer is the perfect time to share these tips as a lot of people move during the summer months. I have been married for 26 years, and we have three adult children now. Over the course of our marriage we have lived in 4 states, 6 different apartments and 2 homes, so I have experience with packing to move! I hope these tips are helpful for you for a future move, or if a move is not in your near future you can pass this along to a friend or family member that might benefit from these tips!

{{1}} The first tip is to pack all non essential items well in advance. I always liked to pack non essential items even a couple months in advance to get this out of the way. When we begin the packing process, we don’t realize just how many belongings we own. At first it seems like it won’t take long at all to get everything packed, but the deeper into the packing process you get, you realize that you have A LOT of stuff and it is time consuming. Some examples of non essential items are home decor, throw pillow and blankets, picture frames, books, and holiday related items. 

{{2}} My next tip is to color code labels to match the rooms they belong in. This tip is especially helpful if you have movers moving your belongings, but even if friends or family members help they will know which room each box goes to very quickly. You can even have a color sign in each room to indicate which boxes go in which rooms. 

{{3}} Another tip is to use towels and blankets to pack fragile items. Using towels and blankets to pack fragile items will be efficient since you’re packing both items, but protecting the fragile items. Obviously you will want to take special care to wrap really fragile and special items with bubble wrap or newspaper.

{{4}} Speaking of newspapers, save newspapers to wrap breakables. If you don’t get newspaper you can buy non printed newspaper from moving stores. Using the non printed newspaper is nice for things like dishes and drinking glasses so they don’t get dirty from the printing.

{{5}} Another great tip is to ask local grocery stores or big box stores for boxes. Instead of purchasing new moving boxes, you can go to local grocery stores or places like Target or Walmart to ask if they have extra boxes you could take. They often have leftover boxes from unloading inventory and are happy to give them to you. Sometimes these boxes aren’t quite as sturdy as the moving boxes, so you will want to be careful with what you pack in them. 

{{6}} My next tip is to declutter, donate, and sell anything not worth moving. It is best to use the opportunity while you are packing things to move to declutter and donate or sell anything you are no longer loving or using. Depending on how much you have, this can be an overwhelming task and too time consuming to do in conjunction with packing to move, but it is wise to just leave behind anything that is no longer serving you.

{{7}} Next, have paper goods on hand for the last few days leading up to the move and the first few days in the new place. It is nice to have paper plates and bowls, and plastic cups and cutlery the last few days before a move so you don’t have to worry about doing dishes. In addition to that, then you can get your kitchen packed and ready to go! And it is nice on the other end, moving into a new place knowing you have something to eat on when you arrive without having to unpack.

{{8}} Something else that really helped me was to have a box or bin filled with all moving essentials – packing tape, sharpies, labels, scissors, AND know where it is (have a designated location for it). Often during a move everything is a bit chaotic. It’s easy to misplace things or not know where things are because everything is getting upheaved. If you have a designated bin for all of the moving essentials, and you know where it is located (maybe in a central location in the home), then it’s easier to keep track of those things and know where they are when you need them.

{{9}} The next tip some people may not think about, and that is to carefully label the last boxes. We often are just throwing a bunch of stuff together towards the end. Indicating in detail what is in the box will make it easier to know what is in it. In addition to that, write “last box” on them clearly so you know that it is a box you will also want to unpack first!

{{10}} Another tip I have is to enlist help. You can teach your children to pack! Most kids are excited to help with the packing process. You can allow them to pack their own things and give them ownership. Maybe a friend or family member can come over and help you pack or unpack as well. Working with friends and family is always so much more fun than working on your own!

{{11}} My next tip is to unpack essentials first. Maybe this is an obvious tip, but it can be overwhelming arriving at your new place and feeling like you don’t know where to start. Starting with bedding, bathroom essentials, and kitchen essentials is a great place to start. You will also have those last few boxes that you labeled “last box” which you will likely need right away as well. If you’re anything like me, the coffee will be the first off the truck!

{{12}} My final tip is to take breaks! Packing for a move, and moving in general is really exhausting, both physically and emotionally. Be sure to listen to your body and take breaks when you can. 

Well, I hope this gave you some tips that will be helpful for your next move! If you’re interested, you can check out the YouTube video I made in conjunction with this post!

Swedish Death Cleaning, 3 Benefits & 7 Tips

I have heard a lot about Margareta Magnusson’s book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, but I wanted to read it for myself. From what I learned before reading it, it was definitely something that resonated with me as someone who has a habit of regularly decluttering. The basic idea of Swedish Death Cleaning is to declutter and minimize your things leading up to your death in order to not leave a burdensome amount of stuff behind for your children or family members to deal with after you pass.

While reading this book I discovered 3 benefits of death cleaning and 7 tips as you embark on the journey of death cleaning. If you’re young, well that’s a relative term since none of us really know when we will die, don’t stop reading! You might find some of the benefits and tips helpful!

The first benefit in death cleaning is just acknowledging your mortality. When you face your mortality, you realize that your children or other family members will one day have to deal with the stuff you leave behind. It’s already stressful to lose a parent or loved one, dealing with their belongings can be an emotional and time-consuming task. It is good to acknowledge that whatever you leave behind will be someone else’s burden.

The next benefit is having a death cleaning mindset, which is you think more about how you can reuse and recycle things rather than bringing new things in.

The final benefit, you learn to appreciate things at the store instead of always having to bring the items home with you. Recognizing that anything you bring home will need to be later decluttered or handled by your children or family members after you pass will slow the inflow of things coming into your home.

Next I wanted to share some tips I learned about Death Cleaning. The first tip I learned was to not start with sentimental items. These items can really slow down your progress in decluttering, making it discouraging to continue on. By starting with items that don’t have sentimental attachment and there is not an emotional connection, you can get the momentum you need to encourage you to move forward.

The next tip is that it is easier to Death Clean when your home is organized. It’s never too early to start decluttering and organizing your spaces. It will make the process so much easier later on down the road. I think it is so beneficial to have a practice of regularly decluttering. We constantly have items coming into our homes. It’s much less overwhelming to deal with items a little over time. In addition to that, as we age it gets more difficult to maintain and manage our belongings. The fewer items we own, the easier it is to manage.

Tip number three is to take your time. This is why knowing about death cleaning is so important. If we acknowledge that it’s a process that needs to be done, then we will have plenty of time to go through our things. There might be circumstances where we are forced to go through things quickly – whether it’s an unexpected move or the loss of a loved one, but it is ideal to go through things little by little. This way you can be thorough.

Another tip I found helpful was to declutter items that are private that family members may not want to find. I am sure you can use your imagination on this one! I will give you an example from my decluttering experience. One time while decluttering my closet I found some old journals from my middle and high school years. It was mostly filled with angst ridden feelings that I guess were easiest for me to process on paper. Skimming through them I realized I really didn’t want to read these journals again, and I certainly didn’t want my kids to one day come across them, so I decided to get rid of them.

The next tip is to not feel bad about decluttering gifts! We can’t be expected to hold onto every gift we ever get for the rest of our lives. That would be ridiculous. Most people would not want their gifts to become a burden to you. For those gifts that you are no longer using or loving, it is okay to let them go. I really appreciated a quote from the book which was: “I will never feel guilty for not keeping presents forever. To be grateful and happy for a present when you first receive it is something different, because that gratitude is not connected to the thing itself but to the giver who gave it to you.”

The sixth tip is that you should save photos for last. Photos fall into that sentimental category, but in addition to that if this project is left undone before you pass it’s not quite as burdensome to family and friends. It can be a positive experience for them to be able to go through all the photos. 

The last tip is to have a “throw away” box. This is a box that you would literally write “throw away” on the outside of it so family members know that the contents of the box are really only meaningful or sentimental to you. This may be childhood toys, special letters or notes from family or friends, or maybe journals you kept.

I hope this was helpful to you! I highly recommend this book! It is a quick and easy read and there were definitely parts that made me laugh!

The video I made in conjunction with this blog post.

10 Organizing Mistakes

In today’s post I wanted to share with you 10 organizing mistakes people commonly make when trying to complete an organization project. I hope knowing these mistakes prevent you from making them when working on future organizing projects!

The first mistake I wanted to share is not decluttering first. This is the first thing you need to do with any organizing project. There is no sense in organizing items that you no longer use or love. You should declutter before assessing what organizing tools you will need to complete the project.

The next mistake is not measuring your space before purchasing organization bins. It is really important to measure the space you will be organizing so you know what size of bins to purchase and what type of items will fit in the space. I know a lot of people like to pick up organizing bins when they see them, but for a more functional space it’s best to know what you need before purchasing anything.

The third mistake is getting over ambitious. I think it is best to start small when you are organizing a space. Start with one drawer or one shelf. Maybe you have time allotted to organize an entire closet or even room, but know that many people underestimate the amount of time it’s going to take to get a space organized. Many people are overambitious and end up leaving organization projects half done. You will more likely have success if you do a little at a time, or at least be aware that it will likely take more time than you think.

The next mistake is wanting a Pinterest looking space instead of a functional space. Many people turn to Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration to get a space organized. Oftentimes spaces that look perfect are not functional. You can still achieve an aesthetically pleasing look with function, but it is really important to focus on function so that the new organization system is sustainable. 

Speaking of being sustainable… the next mistake is not keeping up with the system you set up. There is a common misconception that getting a space organized is one and done. Most spaces need to be maintained in order for it to function properly. Many spaces around your home have rotating inventory – whether it’s the fridge, pantry, or closet. You need to keep up with the system set up and declutter and reorganize the space on a regular basis.

Another mistake people make when organizing a space is not leaving breathing room. This goes hand in hand with keeping up with your system. When you organize your space you will likely not have that exact same inventory all the time. Leaving “breathing room” will allow for space for new or extra items that might come in later.

The next mistake people might make is not labeling an organized space. The obvious things may not need to be labeled, but it is important to label organizing bins in order to quickly find what you need. This also helps other people who will be using the space to know where things belong.

The eighth organizing mistake is not getting other people on board with the system. It is important that everyone who is using the space understand the system and commit to using the system properly. It is the best way to ensure the space functions well and stays organized.

Another mistake is not recognizing your organizing style. I have referenced the four organizing styles on my channel before. Cass, from the Clutterbug (she has a blog and YouTube channel) has come up with four different types of organizational systems, which I have found to be great classifications. Each one is represented with a bug. 

The first is the ladybug. This type of person likes things to be put away out of site, but their cabinets and drawers can get easily cluttered because they want to quickly shove things in drawers, baskets, or cabinets. They need a macro-organizing system – where things are quick and easy to put away. 

The next type is a cricket. They also like a clutter free environment, but they like things to be organized in detail, so micro-organization works best for them. 

The next type is a butterfly. They prefer everything to be displayed. A butterfly also needs the fast macro-organizing solution, however they will want things to be visible. They often feel like they could never get things organized and feel messy, but the truth is they can have a place for everything fitting within the way they thrive. 

Lastly is the bee. These people are also visual people and want their things on display, however they want things to be organized in detail. Like the cricket, micro-organization works best for them. They are likely the type of people who are big into crafting or even have a home business with a lot of supplies that need to be organized in detail.

The final organizing mistake is not taking things immediately to the donation center. When you don’t get rid of your decluttered items immediately, you risk them trickling back into your home and organized spaces.

Well, I hope sharing these common organizing mistakes with you today will help you for future organizing projects around your home!

The YouTube video I made in conjunction with this blog post.

Quality Over Quantity

Today I wanted to share about quality over quantity. And I really think this could apply to almost anything in life. I’m sorry if you get tired of hearing about my journey towards minimalism, but it has helped me to realize that having quality items is more important than quantity. 

Quality doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money on something. I would much rather find one amazing vintage piece – that might not even cost much – over purchasing a cart full of items from the Target dollar spot. As I have been working on intentionally decluttering my home over the past several years, I have noticed that the things I declutter the most are things that are not high quality – whether it’s clothes, shoes, or home decor.

I have learned to really be cautious in the dollar section of stores, or in the clearance aisles. I used to be so tempted by the deal, but now I realize that oftentimes those things end up getting decluttered a few years later or even just months later, and it’s not really worth having to take care of those items – clean them, organize them, and store them. Not to mention that it is a waste of money!

But I’m not just talking about physical items. I think quality over quantity can translate to other things as well. 

I have learned that quality over quantity is valuable with relationships. Over the past couple of years, I have been more intentional with my time and energy with regards to relationships. I have started saying no to get togethers or other engagements because I find it much more meaningful to go deep with a few people than to have a bunch of relationships with people who only know me on the surface.

In addition to relationships, I have been learning to be intentional with where I spend my time and energy. I’m always evaluating if there is anything I need to do differently, as there is only so much time and energy to expend each day. I must be intentional with spending quality time in the areas of life that matter, rather than spreading myself thin in a lot of different areas. Finding out what is important and what brings you joy, and spending time doing more of that will bring so much meaning and purpose to life.

I’m certainly not perfect at any of this, and I’m still learning to constantly evaluate my investment into quality over quantity! I hope this post was inspiring!

Shopping Addiction

There is a topic I have been wanting to address, but I don’t like to talk about it. It’s embarrassing and tough to actually face when you have a problem area in life. Shopping addiction. I really dislike the word addiction, and honestly I want to back pedal and say it’s not really an addiction, it’s just a problem. But if I look at the definition of addiction, that is what it was. I say “was,” using past tense because I do feel like I’m recovering. I still struggle sometimes, but I am aware now and that’s half the battle. I’m taking the steps to break the habits that keep me in the cycle of shopping when I don’t need to.

So, the first step to dealing with any bad habit and creating healthier habits in life is to acknowledge that there is a problem. Sometimes we don’t even recognize that certain behaviors are problematic. We live in denial. Perhaps there is a small part of us that knows it’s a problem, but consciously we don’t want to acknowledge it because then we are admitting to a negative behavior pattern and then we have to deal with it.

Just acknowledging it doesn’t change anything though. In order to make changes, we need to come up with practical steps to address the issue. Once I realized I used shopping as a coping mechanism to deal with hardships in life, I came up with a plan to combat that. 

About 7 or 8 years ago I came across the concept of minimalism. This idea intrigued me as I have always felt overwhelmed by stuff, especially when things in my physical environment were out of order. I loved the idea of only living with what I loved or what was useful to me! This is when my intentional decluttering journey began. 

For several years I felt like I was working so hard at decluttering but I still had a lot of stuff! It was then that I realized in order to really make a difference in minimizing my things I couldn’t just declutter, I also had to curb the inflow! It was then that I decided to do no spend challenges. The first year I did a no spend month in January. I was specifically focused on not purchasing clothes, shoes, and accessories; and also home decor. These were the categories that I saw I had the most inflow. The next year I decided to push myself even further and did no spend January and February. That went fairly well and the following year I extended my no spend challenge through March! Realizing I could make it through a quarter of the year, in 2019 I decided to embark on a no spend year! I continued to specifically focus on clothes, shoes, accessories and home decor. I have this whole process documented here on my blog.

I did want to talk a little bit about the psychology behind shopping addiction. While I did mention that I didn’t really want to claim it as an addiction, but I believed it truly was – I recognize that some people may have much more severe problems with it than I did. As I read through information about shopping addiction, many people have financial problems which propel them into debt because of their shopping habits. Thankfully mine was controlled enough that we don’t have any sort of debt. In addition to this, oftentimes the resulting debt can cause anxiety or depression – causing a cycle of shopping as the person may try to alleviate the feelings with shopping, which causes even more debt. At its worst, it can also cause hoarding tendencies where the items are not even being used, but piling up in the person’s home. According to Donald Black from the University of Iowa, nearly two thirds of all shopaholics have mental health issues like anxiety or depression (source: psychguides.com) In order to really deal with the shopping issue, you must deal with the mental health issues – which are the deeper, root cause.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) does not officially recognize shopping addiction as a distinct disorder, and considerable debate surrounds the legitimacy of the disorder according to an article from healthline.com. It seems to fall under the category of compulsive behavior, which would be an anxiety disorder.  If you are wondering if you might have a shopping addiction, I did find some symptoms from that same article to determine if it is a problem for you.

  • obsess over making purchases on a daily or weekly basis
  • shop to cope with stress
  • max out credit cards or open new ones without paying off previous balances
  • feel intense euphoria or excitement after making purchases
  • buy unnecessary things or purchase items that go unused
  • steal or lie in order to continue shopping
  • feel regret or remorse over purchases, but continue to shop
  • be unable to pay off debt or manage money
  • fail in attempts to stop compulsive shopping

I’m learning that the best way for me personally to combat the negative spending behaviors is to replace those behaviors with positive behaviors which address my anxiety. For me, pursuing creative outlets has helped tremendously! I have enjoyed sharing creative content on YouTube, Instagram, and here on my blog. I have also been pursuing self growth through creating monthly challenges for myself (documented on my YouTube channel), learning new skills through taking Skillshare courses, and watching YouTube videos with self help and psychology content to learn more about why I do the things I do. Finding new behaviors to replace the old ones has helped me to be more intentional with the direction of my life.

Here is the video where I share the information from this blog.

I hope this post gave you some encouragement today if you are struggling with out of control shopping. I am by no means perfect yet, and still sometimes struggle with shopping for unhealthy reasons, but I’m aware and making changes!

10 Reasons Why It’s So Difficult To Declutter

Decluttering can be tough! Today I wanted to share 10 reasons why decluttering is so difficult and ideas and tips to combat those reasons.

{{ONE}} The first reason people may find it difficult to declutter is that they are OVERTHINKING. When decluttering, decisions should be made quickly. I would say within 5-10 seconds your gut instinct is likely right. Believe me, I know this is tough because I am probably the queen of overthinking! Not just with decluttering, but literally everything in life! This is something you need to just train yourself to do, and like anything else it gets easier with practice.

{{TWO}} The second reason is because THE ITEM IS SENTIMENTAL. Decluttering sentimental items can be very difficult. My encouragement on this one is actually to do the opposite of what I just suggested above and with sentimental items give yourself time. You need to be ready to let go of sentimental items. It can take time to get there, and that’s okay. There is no right or wrong amount of sentimental items to own because each person is different. One idea, which I got from the concept of Swedish Death Cleaning, is to think about if this is something your children or the younger generation would want to hold onto. Is this meaningful to just you, or would it be meaningful to your family members when you are gone?

{{THREE}} The third reason it is difficult to declutter is adjacent to sentimental items and that is it’s NOT EASY TO REPLACE. It can be difficult to let go of sentimental items because they cannot be replaced, but there are other reasons why items might be difficult to replace. Perhaps it is vintage or no longer in production so you can’t just go out and get the same thing. Or perhaps you don’t have the financial means to replace something readily. I am definitely sympathetic to these reasons and recognize sometimes you need to be intentional about the decluttering process.

{{FOUR}} Number four is that IT WAS A GIFT. This one is tough. I have talked about this in blog posts before. My take on gifts is that once the giver gives you the gift, the item belongs to you and you have a right to do with it as you please. You can appreciate the gesture behind the gift being given to you, and perhaps you used it or it was meaningful to you for a period of time. However, I think it is silly to be expected to keep every gift ever given to you. If an item is no longer being used or loved, it makes more sense to pass it along to someone who could get value from it. I am sure the gift giver would feel the same way, and would not want the gift to just clutter up your space or cause you stress.

{{FIVE}} The fifth reason decluttering might be difficult for you is because you are trying to do too much and EXPERIENCE DECISION FATIGUE. I recognize that there might be certain instances where you do need to go through a large amount of things in a short time – perhaps you are going through a deceased loved one’s home, you’re moving, or there are some other time frames put on you. If this is not the case, don’t feel like you need to declutter your entire home in one weekend! Or even an entire room. Know your limits on decision fatigue and come up with a plan based on that. I encourage people to set a timer or pick one space that is manageable – like one drawer – and then come back again at a later time. These things can help with preventing decision fatigue.

{{SIX}} The sixth reason is that you are PUTTING TOO MUCH VALUE OR IMPORTANCE ON YOUR STUFF. This one was a tough one for me to face in my own life. If you really think about what is important in life, none of it is stuff. For me the most important things are in the category of relationships or experiences. Most stuff can be replaced. If we have this perspective, decluttering becomes easier.

{{SEVEN}} The seventh reason is that you don’t have ENOUGH TIME. Like I mentioned previously, instead of thinking about decluttering your entire house, focus on one space at a time. Setting a timer for 15 minutes a day, or even a week, is better than not decluttering at all.

{{EIGHT}} Number eight is adjacent to number seven, and that is you FEEL OVERWHELMED. When you have a lot to declutter, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. You don’t know where to start. My advice is to just pick a place and start! I encourage people to start with an area of your home that gets the most traffic. When you see progress in a place where you are spending a lot of time it can give you the motivation to keep going. Another tip is to choose a place that the decisions are easier to make – like in the kitchen or bathroom. These places have a lot of items that can be easily replaced. There is usually no sentimental attachment to items in these spaces as well, making the decision making easier. As we make decluttering decisions, it gets easier over time!

{{NINE}} The ninth reason people find it difficult to declutter is that they DON’T HAVE MOTIVATION. This is a tough one and I’m sympathetic to this as there are other areas in my life which I struggle with motivation. If decluttering becomes part of your every day or every week routine, over time it gets easier. There are always going to be things in life that we don’t really want to do, but as long as items are coming into your home, decluttering should be a regular practice.

{{TEN}} Lastly, number ten is that IT’S NOT YOUR STUFF. I am also very sympathetic to this one! I have a husband and three kids, so I have had to learn to allow them to declutter their own items and to be patient and understanding when they keep things that I would get rid of! My best advice is to just be an example to them of letting go of your own items which no longer serve you. Over time, they will see the value in living with less. It is also an opportunity to grow as a person, because everyone has a certain level of external chaos they can handle and if a family member is not bothered by their stuff, we need to learn to live with it because the relationship is important to us!

Well, I hope these ideas were helpful to you. Decluttering is not always easy, but as we make it a regular part of our lives, it does get easier over time!

Here is the YouTube video I made in conjunction with this blog post.

Tips For An Organized Closet

I have a problem. Clothes. This is the one area where I really struggle to keep minimal. I actually wrote a blog post a while back about why I no longer strive to create a capsule wardrobe. Because of my love of fashion, and therefore my plethora of clothes, it’s imperative that I stay on top of keeping this space organized and tidy. Today I wanted to share with you 7 tips for keeping your closet organized.

Tip number one is to DECLUTTER! Are you surprised that this is my number one tip? If you know me well, then you are not surprised! I always encourage people who want to get a space organized to first declutter! Getting rid of anything that no longer fits you, or has stains or holes is a good place to start. Keep only the clothes that you feel amazing in!

Tip number two is to KEEP A DONATION BIN in your closet for any clothes you want to declutter. If you are bringing new items into your closet, throw the items you are decluttering directly into the bin. Also, when you put something on and you don’t feel amazing in it, and you take it back off… don’t hang it back up! Put it directly into the donation bin. When the bin gets full, you can drop it off at your local donation center.

Tip number three is to BUY UNIFORM HANGERS. Having uniform hangers automatically makes a closet look more tidy and organized. My favorite type of hanger for aesthetic reasons is wood hangers. I have never owned the thin velvet type hangers, but I have also heard that these work really well because they fit more clothes into a space because of their thin design. Having uniform hangers also gives us natural boundaries on how many clothes we own (unless of course you go out and purchase more!) I have a set number of hangers and this helps me to stick to the “one in, one out” rule where I need to declutter items if I bring new items in.

Tip number four is to LABEL BINS you have in your closet. This is not a must, as you may already know what is in each bin, however labeling the bins makes it easier to identify each bin when you need to get something out.

Tip number five is to CATEGORIZE CLOTHING BY TYPE. I know that it looks pretty to categorize clothing Home Edit style in rainbow order, however it is more practical to have different sections for different types of clothing. You can still organize each category in rainbow order, still making it look nice. In reality, we dress for activity or weather. It is easier to find what we need if all of our tank tops are together, all of the short sleeve shirts, all of the cardigans – you get the picture. It takes less time and brain space if we know what type of clothing item we need and then only look through that section to select something. I also like to keep my shoes organized by category and have each type of shoe grouped together. 

Tip number six is to HAVE A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING. This tip is helpful really for your entire home! If you have a place for everything, it is much easier to put things back away quickly. If it is quick and easy to put things away, we are more likely to actually put them away instead of creating a pile of clothes in the corner chair, on a workout machine, or on the floor. If everything has a place, we are also more likely to stay on top of decluttering as more things come into the closet.

Lastly, tip number seven is to ADD GOOD LIGHTING to your closet. It is surprising what good lighting can do for your closet! When we moved into our home, our closet had no real light fixture, just a single bulb. Although I did not add brighter lighting, it did level up my closet to add an actual light fixture. I am in the process of looking for additional lighting to add to our closet so we don’t always have to turn on the overhead light. There are so many options for battery powered lights to add to your closet space!

Well, I hope these tips were helpful for you. In my opinion, closets can be the most difficult space to keep organized as there seems to be items coming in and going out frequently! Although I did say I’m not interested in creating a capsule wardrobe, I have decided to challenge myself in the month of February 2022 to live 28 days with 28 articles of clothing (not including pajamas, workout clothes, or accessories.) I will update you in March to let you know how that goes! I thought maybe trying it out without totally decluttering most of my wardrobe would give me a good picture of how I feel with less clothing options!

This is the YouTube video I made in conjunction with this blog post if you want to check that out!