5 Excuses Not to Declutter & How To Change Your Mindset

I went downstairs to my basement the other day to work on decluttering our toy closet. I have a really hard time decluttering toys, I have so many excuses why I don’t declutter. So I’ve been putting decluttering off but we are being swallowed whole by clutter.  As I started to declutter I noticed five excuses why I struggled to declutter an item.  Do these 5 excuses why you keep clutter sound familiar?


1. “I spent good money on it.”

You used your hard-earned cash to buy this item and by golly, you don’t want to waste money so there it sits collecting dust.  Even though you spent money on it, you are not using it, you need to let it go.  This is not reason enough to keep it.

Is the only reason you are keeping it because you spent good money on it?  Then get rid of it.


2. “It was a gift!”

Your Dear Aunt Sally made you another afghan or your grandmother bought you a candle holder.   Even though these items are not your taste or you don’t use it, it’s going to sit there because it was gifted to you and you feel bad getting rid of it. What if she walks into goodwill and sees it?  If you are holding on to something because of guilt, that’s not a good excuse.  

Do you need the item to retain the memory of that special person? Do you love it?  If the answer is no, get rid of it.


3.  “I might use this someday”

This excuse is the most common excuse there is to keep clutter.   Often times, people might have gotten rid of something in the past they needed later.  

If you really aren’t sure if you will need it someday, put it in a labeled box in a storage closet.  If you haven’t used it in 6 months, get rid of it.



4.  “It holds sentimental value.”

We all have those things that bring back a memory of a season of life or maybe someone special.  Baby clothes, picture books or a favorite toy.  Those items served your family well for a season but now it’s sitting on a shelf taking away room from items you need for this season.  

Are you displaying it as if it’s special?  If the answer is no, get rid of it. 


5.  Everyone Else Says It’s Amazing.

One word – Instapot. Everyone says it’s amazing but I just did not use it.  I thought maybe I will figure out why everyone loves it so there it sat for months.  Just because everyone else says it’s amazing or a “classic” you need doesn’t mean you should keep it.

Do you think it’s useful and amazing regardless of what others say?  If the answer is no, get rid of it.



How do you get your kids on board with decluttering?

As a parent, we need to teach our kids how to declutter.  It’s an important life skill.  So, when it’s time to declutter, first start by modeling what it looks like. Don’t be afraid to talk out loud about why you are getting rid of an item.   At

They might push back but as the parent continue to model the behavior you desire your child to see.  They are watching!

 Communicate why you are decluttering. You aren’t just throwing away their toys but that you are making space for them to see the toys they love and you are donating toys for others to enjoy.  

As they age, they will be able to participate and declutter with your help and then ultimately independently.   For example, they have way too many stuffed animals.  Grab a basket and tell them they can keep what’s in the basket.   Don’t forget to praise their hard work.

Remember, our goal is to teach kids how to declutter so that when they’re adults, and they run into these five reasons, they’ll be able to power through as well.


Just Remember…

Visual clutter keeps us from enjoying the things we really love and value.  Our toy closet was so full my kids couldn’t even get inside.  Once I cleared the clutter, they rediscovered all the toys they loved and got busy playing.  

If you’re struggling with decluttering because you paid good money on it, it was a gift, it holds sentimental value, you might use it someday or everybody else thinks it’s super cool to power through. The reason you are decluttering is to make space for the things that you love and use the most.  


You Might Also Like…

How to Declutter Your Child’s School Papers

How to Deep Clean Your Closet

How to Make More Money at Your Garage Sale


Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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