Here’s the thing: The vast majority of us have Too. Much. Stuff. Myself included! I’m not a minimalist by any stretch of the imagination, nor can I honestly say that I use or love every single item in my house. But I’m so much farther than the days where I believed that decluttering was unnecessary as long as I could physically fit everything…somewhere. Usability and accessibility be damned! And when I brought in more stuff, I shoved and I shoved until I could shove no more. Then I would buy yet another hideous plastic drawer set. Rinse and repeat.
Were my things organized? Technically, yes. Did I waste a ton of time, money, and energy to accommodate things I never used or even forgot I had? Abso-freakin-lutely. And I don’t want that for you! Constant possession-management is not my idea of a happy, relaxing home. And if you’re still reading, it’s probably not yours either.
Learning the importance of decluttering has been the key to the long term success of the organizational systems I’ve established in my own home. I’m a firm believer that if you don’t declutter before you organize, whatever organizational system you implement is very likely to fail, because you simply own more things than you can consistently maintain, and/or because you continue to bring new things into your house without removing any first.
The process of decluttering truly changes your relationship with things, and this mindset shift is what enables you to figure out your priorities for your home and your life. This clarity in turn is what enables you (or anyone you enlist to help you) establish truly effective and effortlessly maintainable organizing systems to support your best life.
Is decluttering hard? Yes. It sucks. It is, in fact, so sucky that you will learn never to put off a major declutter again! And after the big initial effort, maintaining your new uncluttered space is so much easier and more manageable. And that frees you up to spend your time and energy on less-sucky endeavors!