Why is Decluttering So Hard?

Every year I come up with the same resolution. I want to declutter my home and simplify my life. I’ve had some successes over the years plus some failures – at least with that resolution.

Why is Decluttering so Hard?

I’m sure you’ve asked yourself the above question as many times as I’ve asked myself this question.  I wish I knew the answer.

Each year I tell myself this is going to be the year I go through all my papers, the storage room things, my stash of sewing fabrics and notions, all the photos in boxes under the beds, plus all the other misc laying around the house. There is so much I don’t need, don’t use, don’t want.

Yet, the year goes by and so many of those projects never seem to get done!

Finding Out Why.

I may have found a clue in the past year that has changed my thinking. I believe that maybe it’s been my “why” or reason for decluttering that has held me back.

Here are some of my old ways of answering the following questions.

  • Why do I want to declutter my papers?
    • Because I want it easier to find a paper I’m looking for. Because I want to make it easier to file the old papers.
  • Why do I want to declutter my storage room?
    • Because it will be easier to find the things I want when I want them.
  • Why do I want to declutter my sewing fabrics and notions?
    • Because it will be easier to find the things I need when I’m doing a sewing project.
  • Why do I want to declutter and organize all the photos in the boxes under the bed?
    • So it is easier to look at the photos and enjoy them.
  • Why do I want to declutter all the miscellaneous stuff laying around the house?
    • So I can find things when I want and everything has a home.

Do you see a pattern there? I want it to be easier and less frustrating to find things when I need or want them. But if you noticed my answers are general, not specific. Without a specific reason it’s easy to keep putting off the actions needed to accomplish any of the goals above. In other words, it’s hard to prioritize them.

What Changed My Thinking.

My husband is planning on retiring in April of 2019. We are considering the possibility of moving closer to at least one of our sons. We live in St. Louis, MO. One son lives near Washington, DC and the other one lives in Los Angeles, CA. Since I hate the cold weather, the West Coast is my first choice.

This past year we visited several area’s outside of Los Angeles and San Diego. We prefer a less congested area. I knew homes out there would cost more than the Midwest. I also knew we would be downsizing the square footage to find a home we could afford. I just wasn’t prepared for how much downsizing we would have to do.

We are currently re-evaluating the decision to move. However, we are considering other possibilities which still give me a specific “why” for decluttering.

One possibility is we would travel to a location on the west coast for a month at a time. Then go to the east coast for a month. We would stay at a vacation rental home plus rent a car. Doing this kind of traveling has it’s own challenges.  Since I’ll have to learn to travel “light” I might as well learn to live “light” while at home. If the house is decluttered and organized, it will be easier to pick up and travel to these places without months of planning.

Downsizing my belongings before or without moving.

Whether I move or stay put I have a more specific “why” for letting go of the clutter. If I move I will be downsizing square footage so I won’t have room for all the things I’ve accumulated over the past 25 years in this house. If I don’t move and want the freedom to pick up and travel when I want, I’ll have to change my current way of living in this house so I can take advantage of that freedom. Plus the less I have, the less I’ll have to worry about while I’m away from home.

2018 Goals

If you’ve been following me over these past 10 years (Thank you), you’ve probably noticed I haven’t been blogging much the past few years.  I didn’t know what to write about anymore.  Back in August 2016 I wrote this blog post about why.

Although I promised to write more blog posts, I failed to do so. I wanted to change direction of the blog posts but just couldn’t figure out how.

Now I’ve decided I’ll write about my journey on finding out why it is so hard to let go of things and how to change that kind of thinking.

Over these next twelve months I will focus on finding specific reasons that will help me focus on ways to finally declutter this house. I’ll be more accountable to myself by blogging about this journey and what I learn along the way.

As the Beatles sang, “Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends”.

I’m asking you, the reader, for a little help.  I would love to hear from you with encouraging comments to help keep me motivated and on track. In return I would love help you with any questions you have or any other support I can give you. I’ll respond to the comments or if you prefer you can email me at janice@cutclutterwithscissors.com.

Thank you,

To a lighter load along the way,

Janice Scissors


2 thoughts on “Why is Decluttering So Hard?”

  1. One thing I do regularly is donate. Every time I get an email notice or a card in the mail telling me there will be a truck in my area, I force myself (and my husband) to go through closets, drawers, and storage areas to gather clothing and household items to be donated. It’s never easy to give away that cute dress that I will never fit in again, or the souvenir trinket or small appliance that I never use, because I always think that someday I’ll need/want/use it again. But the reality is that will never happen. Let it go!!!

    1. Lisa, I use to do that also. It’s a great way to have a deadline and force yourself/family to go through things. It helped a lot with clothes, the kids’ things when they were growing up, and household items. Many of the things I still have won’t work for charity resale shopes. Most need to be recycled, trashed, or given away for free. I’ve started putting some things on my local “freecycle” site. Taking a photo of the beloved item is a good way to remember the good things about it. Having the items around can bring negative feelings if they reminds us that the dress doesn’t fit (we gained weight?), or we aren’t using it (wasted money buying it?), or we keep thinking “why did I buy that dumb souvenir?”. You’re right about facing reality. Time to let go of the negative vibes around the house.

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