Join 6.7K+ Subscribers

Why you’re NOT seeing the results you want when decluttering

Apr 25, 2023

Read time: 3.5 minutes

I have been practicing minimalism for a long time.

And over the past seven years, I have learned and studied what works by observing those who have successfully decluttered.

Here's what I know to be true:

The people who successfully declutter their lives don't focus on organizing hacks, aesthetics, or counting possessions.

They focus on overcoming the disabling power of:

  • Decisions
  • Relationships
  • Expectations

Unfortunately, many people aren't exposed to this truth, leaving them frustrated and struggling to see the results they want.

But I don't want that for you.

This is why I feel encouraged to uncover this truth to help you make noticeable strides on your decluttering journey.

Overcoming the disabling power of decisions

I'm not saying avoid decision-making—as if true minimalism success is without decisions.

I'm just saying not all of our decisions carry a life sentence—a belief that lends itself to keeping us handcuffed to our clutter.

Here's the perfect example:

When I started decluttering my closet at the beginning of my journey, I had dozens of clothing items I had only worn once or never because the tags were still on them.

This reality was

  • Shocking
  • Paralyzing
  • Hindered my ability to let go

I cannot believe how much money I spent!

What was the point?

What was I thinking?

Why did I make this decision?

These frequent internal conversations resulted in me Stuff Shuffling (aka organizing clutter) rather than decluttering because I never took the time to overcome the disabling power of decisions.

Here's my point.

When it comes to the stuff that no longer meets our needs, it's ok to admit that some of our decisions were either bad to begin with, or are no longer applicable to our lives.

Doing this counteracts the beliefs we have about our decisions.

Although every decision has trade-offs or potential consequences, not every decision carries a life sentence—nor should we respond as if they do.

Overcoming the disabling power of relationships

Everything we own can be traced back to our decisions and relationships

We either decided to bring an item into our life, or someone gave an item to us. (Such as gifts, but inheritances and heirlooms can also be factored into this conversation).

Now, regarding items we receive from others, I certainly understand the difficulty this presents when talking about decluttering.

However, getting rid of something we have received in no way reflects on our relationship with the giver, only on our relationship with the item.

Understanding this truth helps us learn to let things go without guilt.

This is important because if all we focus on and talk about are:

  • Organizing hacks
  • Aesthetics
  • The total number of possessions we own

That does not clearly speak against the guilt that can govern our decluttering.

To conquer this guilt, we must break the habit of focusing too much on our relationship with people and start giving adequate attention to our relationship with the items themselves.

Overcoming the disabling power of expectations

Setting high, unattainable expectations for ourselves and our home is an easy thing to slip into because of how simple minimalism looks online.

This leads us to believe that we have to:

  • Declutter quickly
  • Embrace a colorless aesthetic
  • Become an overnight decluttering success


The items you declutter, the pace at which you move, and how your home looks, in the end, should be unique to you.

This requires acknowledging the season of life you're in and giving yourself the grace to declutter at a pace that fits.

And when you don't feel rushed or obligated to fit within a specific "minimalist look," what do you do?

You declutter. You get results.

But see, the disabling power of expectations expands beyond what we set for ourselves.

It's also linked to the expectations others have for us and how much value we place on that.

Here's my contrasting opinion:

"Most people" do what "most people" do or what "most people" want them to do.

Which leads to…

  • Lack of clarity
  • Minimal discipline
  • An often unfulfilled life

What "most people do" doesn't work at helping you declutter successfully, so you can create your life while doing work that excites you.

So do something else.

Choose to swim against the current.

Choose to overcome the disabling power of expectations.

I hope you'll give this a spin.

That's it for today!

Keep growing on your journey, and I'll see you next week.



Overcome the disabling power of:

  1. Decisions: It's ok to admit that some of your decisions were either bad to begin with, or are no longer applicable to your life.
  2. Relationships: Getting rid of something you have received in no way reflects on your relationship with the giver, only on your relationship with the item.
  3. Expectations: Avoid setting high, unattainable expectations for yourself and your home. Additionally, decide how much value you're willing to place on the expectations others have for you. My vote is; Swim against the current.

Whenever you're ready, here's how I can help you:

If you're looking for clarity and traction on your journey, I'd recommend starting with an affordable course:

The Decluttering Starter Kit: Skip the overwhelm and jumpstart your decluttering journey. This comprehensive course will teach and guide you through the system I used to transform my life from clutter to clarity. Get access here.


Create a life filled with less clutter & more clarity

Join 6.7k+ subscribers who get one actionable tip every Sunday.

I will never sell your information, for any reason.