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Having difficulty decluttering can be caused by indecisiveness and attachment to possessions. These inclinations can originate from sentimental value or the belief that the items will be necessary in the future. It is imperative to address clutter since it can negatively impact our mental and physical well-being. In this article, I will discuss the reasons people struggle with indecision and attachment to clutter, how to recognize if you are a closet hoarder, and practical solutions to simplify decluttering.

Why do so many people struggle with indecision and attachment to clutter?

There are a few reasons why you might be struggling to clear clutter.

Sentimental value:

Numerous individuals assign emotional importance to their belongings, resulting in their reluctance to dispose of them despite their lack of usefulness or tendency to occupy physical space. Whether the item evokes memories or represents significant moments, bidding farewell to them can be an arduous task.

Fear of waste:

It is a common challenge for people to declutter because they fear discarding useful items. They hold onto things with the belief that they may need them someday, even if they haven't used them in years. If you catch yourself thinking, "This might come in handy in the future," you are not asking yourself the right question. Instead, consider when you last utilized the item. If you haven't used it for six months, there's a slim chance that you'll need it within the next six months, except for seasonal items like holiday decorations or skis.

The belief that it will be difficult or expensive to replace:

Individuals who struggle with decluttering often believe that replacing items in the future will be a challenging and costly task, indicating a scarcity mindset. If an item can be replaced for $20 or less and has not been used within a year, donating it is encouraged. If the item still has some utility, it is recommended to give it to someone who can benefit from it as soon as possible. If it has no value, it should be recycled or disposed of in a landfill. The likelihood of needing the item again is low.

Assigning value to one's space can be beneficial. Opting to open up space for new and better things to enter one's life is preferable to hanging onto an outdated item. Once the ease of attracting desired items is realized, letting go of unnecessary possessions becomes simpler. This is one of the fastest and most straightforward methods for activating the laws of attraction.

How to identify if you are a closet hoarder:

The act of hoarding can pose a significant threat to both an individual's physical and mental well-being. Several indicators may suggest that one is a hoarder.

  • You have trouble getting rid of items, even if you don’t need them or have not used them in years.

  • You feel overwhelmed and stressed when trying to sort through your possessions.

  • Your living spaces are cluttered, and finding what you need is difficult.

  • Your clutter has started to affect your daily life and relationships negatively.

Solutions to clear the clutter for those who struggle with indecision and attachment:

Take it one step at a time.

Beginning the decluttering process can seem daunting; however, it is crucial to make a start. Begin by selecting a small area, such as a wardrobe or a chest of drawers, and focus on clearing it out first. This will aid in building momentum, overcoming hesitation, and providing a sense of achievement. A good starting point could be to transform your bedroom into a peaceful sanctuary. Make the bed, tidy the nightstands, discard old magazines, and eliminate anything that does not belong in the bedroom to create a calm environment. Turn all of the clothes on hangers in the opposite direction to easily determine what you use and do not use after 30 days. Then, either place the unused items in storage or donate them.

Set a deadline

Frequently, individuals who wish to declutter their surroundings are also seeking more significant shifts in their lives. This represents the initial stage.

Ask for help

Sometimes, it can be difficult to let go of our belongings. However, having a trusted friend or professional organizer can make the process much easier. They can offer an objective perspective on what can be discarded or donated. Additionally, having someone to hold us accountable and provide support can help alleviate feelings of overwhelm. It's also helpful to have an extra pair of hands to bag and transport items. Finally, once the process is complete, celebrate with a nice lunch or dinner!

Donate your stuff unless it is truly valuable

If you're feeling overwhelmed, consider donating your belongings instead of trying to sell them. Of course, if they're worth the effort to sell (which is rare), then go ahead and sell them. Alternatively, take high-value items to a consignment or resale shop that will sell them for you. It's important to recognize that most people overestimate the value of their belongings. Just because you paid a lot for something doesn't mean it's still worth that much.

Save sentimental items in a memory box

If you have items that hold sentimental value, consider storing them in a memory box. This way, you can keep the items close, but they won’t clutter your living space. If it is a large item, could you take a photograph of it to keep the memory and free up valuable space? Consider using a professional service to digitize photographs you want to preserve.

Use the one-year rule

If you haven't utilized an item within the past year, it's improbable that you'll have any need for it in the future. It would be wise to donate items that fit into this category without hesitation.

Set numeric limits

If you find it difficult to make decisions, placing numeric limits can prove to be useful. For instance, you may choose to keep only 14 pairs of underwear and donate the rest. Similarly, one extra set of sheets per bed or three towels per person in the household may be sufficient. This simplifies the decision-making process as you retain the best and relinquish the rest. It is advisable to only hold onto what fits comfortably within the designated space. If your books are double-stacked on your bookshelf or your clothes cannot fit into your wardrobe, then it is time to declutter until everything fits effortlessly. The most crucial aspect is that you should have ample space for new items to enter your life.

Clearing out clutter can be challenging due to indecision and attachment to possessions. However, it's essential to keep in mind that clutter can negatively impact both mental and physical well-being. To create a comfortable and relaxing home environment, it's worth seeking assistance. By taking small steps, setting deadlines, seeking help, and storing sentimental items, you can make noticeable progress. I suggest enlisting the help of a friend, even if it means taking turns decluttering each other's homes. Sometimes, it's easier to clear someone else's clutter since you don't have an attachment to it, so don't hesitate to bring in your friends!

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