Don’t Forget About Decluttering

Many of the bloggers I read have either completed their decluttering projects and moved on to writing about other things or they’re young suitcase-dwellers who never had anything to begin with.

But I suggest we not forget about decluttering our homes, our minds and our lives. There are at least four good reasons to keep decluttering in mind.

1. Remember decluttering so you don’t undo your efforts.

Whether you did it a few weeks ago or a few years ago, you emptied your cabinets for a reason, so don’t put much back into them. You completely cleared your kitchen counter tops for a reason, so put away or throw away anything that’s sitting on them now. Every step along your life’s journey up to this point was taken for a reason, so do your best not to undo your best efforts.

2. Remember decluttering so you can make even more progress.

Whether you live in a home like mine that’s junky but better than it ever has been, in a spartan, minimalist home or from a backpack containing only 41 things, you have too much stuff. You’re carrying the burden of useless items — and damaging emotions, for that matter. Work today on shedding the excess before you forget again about decluttering.

3. Remember decluttering so you can celebrate.

Whether you’ve never had clutter in your life or you’ve completed a lengthy decluttering project, you have something to celebrate. If you’re in the middle of decluttering your life, congratulations on that. You’re poised to reap more benefits than you ever imagined.

4. Remember decluttering so you can bring along others.

Whether you’re a blogger with an audience that respects you or just a good neighbor, keep the decluttering conversation alive. Every day, there’s a new chance to bring someone else along the path to a simpler life. But if you aren’t talking about decluttering, people will have no way of knowing how important it is to you.

Blog post about decluttering are so 2010, aren’t they?

But many people live lives of excess that weigh down their finances and their souls. If you’re one of them, remember that many of us carry around unnecessary weigh whether we’re fat or not. Some of us have found some relief from decluttering.

And if you’re one of the hundreds of bloggers who’ve stopped talking about decluttering, I hope you’ll revive the conversation for the benefit of those who come behind us. They are newcomers to this journey, but the deserve the benefit of your experience too.

(The Zero Waste Home has a nice post this week about whether decluttering helps the environment, by the way, so they’re doing their part to keep the conversation alive.)

No matter what weighs you down, getting rid of excess possessions, attitudes, emotions and baggage of all kinds can help you move farther down the road to a simple, deliberate life.


  1. Hey Gip! Other than the cash I’ve made by selling off some clutter, I haven’t mentioned much about the process of decluttering.

    Colleen from does a nice job assigning mini missions to her readers for decluttering every week. She takes a nice and slow approach to decluttering that would be helpful to anyone starting down the minimalist path.

    I’m really more interested in exploring why we’re decluttering. The how doesn’t hold my attention for long…ha, ha. I just want to get the decluttering over with so I can focus on more interesting (to me) things! πŸ™‚

    1. I suppose you have to start doing it — using the “how” — before you can start to understand the “why”. Doing it teaches lessons that I didn’t know I needed to learn — and I was never a very complicated person, but I did and do collect up things needlessly.

      In fact, I was so uncomplicated that there was really no money to be made decluttering. I have perhaps two or three things of small value I need to sell on eBay and I am otherwise totally without anything of financial value. That’s good, I guess.

  2. I am losing my steam for decluttering right now. But I’m not buying new stuff; I’m just tired of frantically finding something to get rid of every day. It’s like editing (well, it really IS like editing), I’ve looked over everything so many times I can’t see the errors any more. I’m also tired of reading about decluttering (books, not blogs). I’m just ready to work on something else for awhile.

    Which brings us to the obvious point of Balance. I’ve focused all of my energy on decluttering for about 3 months now, and I need to back off and evaluate the work I’ve done. I was feeling rather discouraged this week, wondering if I really do feel any different or not; if decluttering has actually made changes in my inner life (the changes in my outer life are noticeable).

    I think it’s time for me to move beyond the possessions and into decluttering “attitudes, emotions and baggage of all kinds”. Maybe that’s the ticket!

    1. I lost my way about halfway through my yearlong decluttering, but I still managed to accomplish a lot in the second half. Mindfulness and careful decisions are more the point that decluttering — and I think the process itself may be more beneficial than the results.

      Taking a break, however, might make you appreciate the process and the results more.


      1. That is a really good point, about mindfulness and careful decisions. I guess I have done the coarse-grain part of my work, and now comes the fine-grain work, and the maintenance.

    1. I like the new logo! Thanks for introducing my readers to your blog. It’s nice to see someone in the actively decluttering!

  3. Hey Gip,

    Great points about decluttering. Our move helped tremendously with that and still we find ourselves having been given things that need a second look; gift or not, do we really need that? thanks for the reminder to stay on task! πŸ™‚

    1. I have everyone pretty well trained not to give me gifts, but I still have plenty of junk to eliminate. I actually could benefit from a new round of decluttering, but my energy is elsewhere at the moment.

  4. I agree with this post. I burned out on decluttering for six months or so, but lately I’ve been feeling the urge to purge again. I find that decluttering in waves works well for me, things that seemed impossible to part with during my last round are now in the sell/donate pile.

    Plus my thinking has changed. I used to think that if I have storage space for the item I might as well keep it just in case, but more and more I crave empty space in all areas of my home, not just the visible ones.

    1. I’m feeling the urge to declutter a bit recently too. We still have lots of useless junk around our house, but we’re still eliminating a few things now and then. There’s no real rush, so I just tackle something when I feel like it. I have other things that need doing at the moment, so very little is getting done on decluttering.

  5. I think the minimalism blogging niche (as a whole) is recovering from “decluttering burnout” – and the reaction was to swing the pendulum as far the other way as possible.

    Now that less people are talking about it, we’re realizing (as you have) that we miss it.

    The solution isn’t either/or – the solution is balance. Some decluttering. Some intellectual stuff. Maybe some occasional fun stuff, just for the heck of it.

    Decluttering is, as it turns out, a very useful tool when you’re trying to create a simple, deliberate life. πŸ™‚

    1. I’ve just written a post about reactions in general for tomorrow. It’s not about this particular reaction, but it somehow fits.

      Decluttering has to be part of simplifying since it the most obvious outward sign of it. I hope we all still realize that.


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