In this blog post, we’ll discuss the concept of mindfulness and how it relates to decluttering. We’ll also discuss why mindful decluttering is NOT always the best option.
Need decluttering ideas for every part of your home? My declutter tips will help inspire you to get it done!
This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through an affiliate link, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. This post is not to be taken as professional medical or mental health advice. All statements are strictly my personal life observations. You can see my full disclaimer here.
note: This article is NOT meant for people dealing with trauma-related clutter where you are working through specific counseling steps and methods. In that case, I always recommend following the advice of your counselor or doctor.
If your home is a little too messy and full of too much stuff, then you’ve probably been ‘trying to’ or ‘meaning to’ declutter for quite some time now.
You’ve read books, you’ve watched videos and television shows, and you’re convinced there’s a ‘perfect’ way to declutter the ‘right way.’
In fact, you’re pretty sure mindful decluttering is the best way to declutter. I mean, how could it NOT be when it has ‘mindful’ in the title?
Are there people it works for? Of course. ANY method will work for some people.
But the rest of us? Mmmm… not so much. I’ll tell you why…
What is Mindfulness?
You’ve probably heard of the term ‘mindfulness’ before. But what exactly is it?
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment. When you are mindful, you are thoroughly conscious of and focused on those thoughts and feelings.
And what does it have to do with decluttering?
What Is Mindful Decluttering?
Mindful decluttering is the process of decluttering with intention and attention. This means that you take the time to examine your thoughts and feelings about each item that you’re considering clearing out and decide whether or not it brings you joy or serves a purpose in your life. If an item doesn’t meet either of those criteria, then it’s time to let it go.
It’s the foundation of Marie Kondo’s decluttering method.
Basically, decluttering mindfully turns the process of decluttering each object into a standalone self-therapy session.
Most people take this a step further with regards to HOW they let go of items, taking great care to ensure each item goes to the ‘best’ place.
Sounds amazing in theory, right? Then why does mindful decluttering so often fail?
Why It’s Better To Declutter Without Involving Mindfulness
While mindful decluttering can be helpful for some people, it’s not always the best option – especially if you’re an overthinker living with the overwhelm of too much clutter.
For one thing, it can be time-consuming. If you’re someone who tends to get overwhelmed, then trying to declutter mindfully may only add to your stress levels.
Here’s the thing… I’m a huge fan of ‘slow decluttering.’ As in, decluttering about 10 minutes every day instead of physically and mentally exhausting yourself by trying to do everything in a few hours. It’s the way I decluttered my entire house in just a few months, so I know it works.
The difference is that decluttering within a short daily time limit teaches people to make decisions as quickly and easily as possible. This is a valuable life skill that overthinkers usually don’t possess, which is why we tend to end up with clutter in the first place.
Letting go of things — even if they’re no longer serving you — can be difficult. If you want to hone your instinctive decision-making skills, then skipping the idea of ‘mindful’ decluttering might be the best option for you and the easiest way to let things go with less stress.
Learning To Make Faster Decisions Through The Decluttering Process
One of the benefits of decluttering without involving mindfulness is that it can help you learn to make faster decisions.
This is because when you’re faced with a mound of stuff and a timer set for 10 minutes, you have no choice but to make quick decisions about what stays and what goes.
When you’re practicing mindful decluttering, you’re taking the time to weigh all.the.things before making a decision. However, when you remove the obligation of mindfully examining each object and the thoughts and feelings associated with it, you tend to make decisions more quickly — and this is a good thing!
In fact, pre-making decisions about things like what to do with clutter makes the entire process even faster and easier. Here’s why I recommend donating. This relieves any mental clutter, guilt, and waffling over whether you made the ‘right’ decision about what to do with EACH item.
If you often agonize over decisions or second-guess yourself, learning how to make faster decisions is extremely beneficial. Over time, this can help you become better at making decisions quickly and confidently in other areas of your life.
More Decluttering Help
Do These 3 Things When You’re Overwhelmed By Clutter
Clear Your Clutter: 10 Tiny Tasks to Get Big Results
Decluttering After 50: Tips For Dealing With A Lifetime of Stuff
Letting Go Of Clutter DOES Help You To Live Mindfully
Physical clutter can often get in the way of living mindfully because it takes up living space and emotional energy.
When you let go of clutter, you create space in your life for things that are truly important to you—the things that bring joy and happiness into your life. You just don’t have to agonize over those decluttering decisions in order to achieve the full potential of living an intentional and mindful life with less clutter!
Don’t forget to grab the printable list of 62 things you can declutter immediately — without having to overthink any of them.
You’ve got this!
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2 thoughts on “Why It’s Okay To NOT Practice Mindful Decluttering”
Another brilliant essay. You have pegged me to a T. Overthinking is my specialty and I’m a perfectionist. Have you written a book yet? I can’t wait.
Thank you so much for all of your suggestions & help regarding decluttering. Now that Spring is heading our way, I’m definitely in the mood to declutter. I will be using your suggestions!
Have a fantastic day!