If you fed up with clutter but just feel like you can't let go of stuff in your house, this guide will walk you through 3 of the biggest clutter struggles.

Why Can’t I Let Go of Stuff? Three Thoughts Keeping You in the Clutter

There has been so much scientific evidence showing the link between clutter and stress. Well, maybe you know that you are feeling stressed because of the clutter but at the same time, you just can’t seem to get yourself out of it! Well, there are three main reasons why you can’t let go of stuff and you’re not alone. Let’s break down the three biggest struggles people face and how you can overcome them.

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The power of our thoughts

Our brains are an amazing things. There is so much scientific evidence that proves that the thoughts we think or the words we say have a drastic affect on how we live our lives. 

In fact, our brains are even determined to believe false beliefs that we’ve let seep in. Check out this post for more info.

What I want to dive into right now are the 3 most common things we let ourselves over-think about that are causing us to stay stuck in the chaos and clutter of our homes rather than living a more minimalist existence.

Thought #1: “Where do I even start?”

When clutter piles up over years and years, the feeling that you can conquer it slowly fades.

It’s hard to even know where to start when there is just so. much. stuff.

While facing a lot of damage done by clutter is definitely a struggle, more often than not, your brain is playing a bigger role than the clutter itself.

In situations like this, I am a big fan of the book, The Five Second Rule. Check out the YouTube video below where author Mel Robbins. She dives into the fact that when it comes to making major changes in your life, you are never going to want to do it. 

How to start:

Just do it. As soon as you think, “I have got to do something about all of this stuff.” Get up, get off your butt and just…start. Grab a garbage bag and start going through just the garbage. Anything that can be thrown away.

From there, grab another bag and begin putting in things to donate. 

It doesn’t matter how you start, where you start or how much you get done, but there are some strategies that are going to work better to help get you farther:

  • Stick to one room at a time – Don’t drift off into other areas of your house. Pick a room and see it through. 
  • Get several boxes to separate your things
    • Donate
    • Sell
    • Garbage
    • Put away
  • Have fun with it.
    • Turn on some music
    • Invite a friend over
    • Let yourself feel empowered
    • Celebrate when you’re done

The biggest thing that will stop you from success is if you start getting in your own head thinking that it’s just too much. I promise, if you get started there will be less and less to deal with!

Places you can sell your things:

If you fed up with clutter but just feel like you can't let go of stuff in your house, this guide will walk you through 3 of the biggest clutter struggles.

Thought #2: “What if I need this someday?”

Ahhh that good ‘ol “What if…” This is something we just all around don’t need in any part of our lives. 

Spending our time pondering what could have been or what might be is a good waste of the time we have right now.

The “what ifs” pop up a lot when it comes to downsizing and decluttering our things. They are a major struggle when it comes to why you can’t let go of stuff in your house.

  • “What if I need it someday?”
  • “I haven’t seen this movie in 8 years, but maybe one day I will want to…”
  • “What if my aunt comes and I don’t have her vase anymore?”
  • “Maybe I’ll decide to take up the banjo someday!”

The “what ifs” are probably the biggest struggle for most people.  What ifs can be an endless battle. 

How to battle the “What ifs”:

There are so many great decluttering methods that allow you to just “test out” what you need and what you don’t. A good majority of them focus on closets and clothing, but you can easily put the practice to work in many areas of your home.

Tips for “what ifs” in the closet:

  • Turn all of your hangers backward. After you have worn and washed an item, hang it back the correct way. In one year, notice which items were never worn.
  • Create a capsule wardrobe. Put several items in a bin (great idea for when seasons change) and store it away out of site. In 3 months go back to that bin and see how many items you can name that are inside it.
  • If you already know you haven’t used something in a year or more, donate or sell it.

With these methods, you aren’t letting go of your stuff right away. What it does is allow you to be intentional about paying attention to what you really use and what you don’t.

If you fed up with clutter but just feel like you can't let go of stuff in your house, this guide will walk you through 3 of the biggest clutter struggles.

Thought #3: “I need . . .” 

There are definitely things we need in life:

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Love
  • Purpose

The thing is, all these important things can easily be taken away because we wind up spending our money and time on things we think we need, but actually don’t. Even our life’s purpose can be snatched away from us without us even knowing it.

This strong desire of feeling like we need something, whether it be the latest technology, best fashion or a cheeseburger at midnight all come from a deeper feeling of not being complete.

Take it from a former shopaholic, consuming things eventually stops bringing joy. You are left with that same empty feeling and a little less money in the bank.

But a funny thing happens when you work through the clutter. You have more space to breathe, more time to prioritize your life and you start to figure out just who you really are.

Clean spaces can literally be life transforming.

How to stop needing

There are two foolproof methods for beginning to let go of that feeling that you need more in your life:

  1. Practice gratitude every day – Write down 5 things every morning that you are grateful for or get a great gratitude and goal setting journal. Doing this every day will help you to slowly appreciate what you have and lessen the desire for more. Check out these gratitude journals.
  2. Create a dream board – Get a clear focus on the things you actually want for your life. Remembering your big goals will help keep you focused when you get sidetracked with small pleasures.
If you fed up with clutter but just feel like you can't let go of stuff in your house, this guide will walk you through 3 of the biggest clutter struggles.

 Clutter-free is possible!

I know being surrounded by clutter and chaos can make you just want to pull the covers over your head and go back to sleep, but trust me, you won’t get anywhere if you do that.

We don’t always realize just how much damage clutter can do to our day to day lives, but I promise if you take it one step at a time, you will start to see and feel a positive change.

Get help with your clutter

If you still feel completely overwhelmed by your clutter piles, and you have no idea where to start, join my free training to help point you in the right direction. Tools like this can give you the knowledge and confidence to get started on a more organized life, no matter how far gone you might feel!

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Why Can't I Let Go of Stuff? Three Thoughts Keeping You in the Clutter
Why Can't I Let Go of Stuff? Three Thoughts Keeping You in the Clutter

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  1. This post has come at such a good time! I’ve recently decided to start clearing up at home and minimising – space, clothes, etc. It’s crazy how your mood is connected so closely to clutter… and working from home, this is really something I don’t need! Thanks for the tips!

    1. I agree (with the working from home) I feel like the entire house has got to be clutter free and cleaned up if I want to have a productive day! Happy decluttering!

  2. This was an interesting read.
    For me personally, I think I love stuff too much to be a minimalist, I love the odd pillow,some unwanted and unloved coffeetable.
    I`sure not a clutter fan but I know some people will consider me having too many unnessesary stuff.
    Still, a really interesting read, thanks for sharing.

    1. You can absolutely be a minimalist! It’s not about rejecting stuff, it’s about clearing the clutter and making room those those things that really speak to you!

  3. I really need to declutter this week and notice I’m currently at the ‘what if’ stage. I’m gonna push through as I know I’ll feel much better once it’s done.

    1. YAY! Good luck to you! I know you got this! I swear I declutter every week!

  4. This is so helpful! The what-ifs always get me – I always think that as soon as I get rid of something I’ll suddenly need it again.

    1. I went through that so much in my life! I started just closing my eyes and letting go. It is tough but so freeing!

  5. Great article! Inspiring! How long did it take you to get to where you wanted to be and where you are just maintaining?

    1. I kind of feel like it has been a whole life-long accumulation. When we moved into our big house it started catching up with me very quickly. Once we decided to downsize it was very quick and easy. We have been in our smaller house now for over a year and I honestly would not be surprised if at some point we started thinking even smaller.

  6. These are some great tips! What if’s are definately the main reason most people delay decluttering. Your post is great motivation for people to start organizing their house and, with that, their life.

    1. Thank you so much Irena! I couldn’t agree more. The “what ifs” are something I definitely struggled with since I was a kid!

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