Why declutter before you organise?
It’s so important that you declutter before you organise. You might equate decluttering with wandering round the shops or browsing online. You try to find snazzy storage and organising solutions to solve problem areas in your home. It fills you with a sense of purpose, achievement, even pride. But when you get it into your home, guess what? The amazing solution you’ve bought doesn’t seem to be working. Hmmm, maybe you bought the wrong kind of storage, okay let’s try again….and so the cycle continues. The battle to contain your stuff is not being won this way.
Why? Because you have to declutter first. And when I say declutter, I don’t mean just taking a book off the shelf, sticking it in a bag for charity and then sitting back with a cup of tea ready to research beautiful storage solutions. I mean, a really thorough declutter of the problem area. I hate to be a party pooper but here are 5 reasons why it’s vital to do this first:
1. So you don’t waste your time
Spending time browsing websites and searching in-store for storage solutions can take a lot of time. There is no point doing this until you know exactly what you need. Your true organising needs will not become apparent until you have reduced your clutter. There may be items around the rest of the house that belong in that particular cupboard as well, or there may currently be things in the cup board that don’t need be there and belong elsewhere in your home or not in your home at all! Save your time and spend it on decluttering thoroughly instead.
2. So you don’t waste your money
You will find that once you start decluttering properly, space will start emerging (as if by magic!) and those glorious storage solutions you’ve found have become redundant. I always advise my clients to hold on to any spare boxes and containers they have until the end of the decluttering process because these tend to be all they need. A shoe box can act as a clothes divider in a drawer, an i-Phone box lid is perfect for stationery or smaller items etc. You will be amazed at what you already have in your home that you can use and how many containers fall empty after decluttering. These will save you money you would have otherwise spent on storage/organising products.
3. Containers only hide stuff and don’t address the underlying problem i.e. the amount of stuff
Organising is about finding homes for items i.e. moving them into the most suitable locations in your home. It is tempting to think you’ve decluttered when you’ve bought a storage product, stuffed items in it and shut the door but all that has really happened is you have moved things around. The same problems keep arising e.g. not being able to find things, mess, drawers being hard to open, stress. Your space appears decluttered but the problem is still there, just hidden. It is vital to declutter the space so you can effectively organise it and find easily accessible homes for your possessions.
4. You may fill your new storage products with stuff you don’t need
You may be tempted to use the new storage products you buy to store items which otherwise you would have discarded. We all have a natural urge to fill empty storage containers. That’s why at a greater scale, no matter what size of home people have, they fill it. In the worst case scenario, you may even buy more stuff to fill these containers (consciously or not!) Avoid this situation and hold your horses until you know for certain which items you will be keeping.
5. Organising products do not make you an organised person
Buying organising products can help but just as buying scales doesn’t automatically mean you lose weight, organising systems don’t automatically turn you into an organised person. You have to first put in the work to declutter your home so that the organising systems have a chance of working.
Are you now sold on why you need to declutter before you organise? I hope so! When you declutter properly first, you will only be left with what you truly need, in the right space in your home. At that point, you can buy pretty storage and organising products. The great thing is that you won’t have the frustration which comes with buying these products prematurely!
If you want to delve more into why you should declutter, check out my post: 5 LIFE-CHANGING BENEFITS OF DECLUTTERING