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Kick Excuses to the Curb {Confessions on Decluttering & Organizing}

by | Jan 8, 2015 | Decorating Inspiration, Organization

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Kick Excuses to the Curb {Confessions on Decluttering & Organizing}BHG

Decluttering isn’t easy. Even when we start out motivated, if we think too much about our clutter we’ll eventually have to make a decision. And that decision is what always used to derail me from decluttering! Gah.

I am a terrible decision maker. I can’t even decide what to make for dinner or what to eat if we go to a restaurant. I don’t know what to wear when I leave the house. I have issues.

So ask me to decide what to get rid of, what to keep and where to put ALL THE THINGS is like asking me to perform brain surgery. Honestly. It’s been hard for me.

The worst of it is I not only can derail the process by my indecision, but I’m inclined to go shopping instead of declutter! Seriously? That complicates things. More in and not enough out is, well, TOO MUCH.

I have issues. But actually, I just have too much stuff and too many excuses. That’s a lethal combination.

Kick Excuses to the Curb {Confessions on Decluttering & Organizing}BHG

But, I’m not a hoarder. My house is not dirty or disorderly. It’s not perfect, but we do like to keep it as orderly and clean as we can because it is important to us. We do have organizational systems. Most of our house is not even cluttered with anything but the everyday clutter of life being lived.

But I’m the first to admit our garage and closets still need help. We do have way too much stuff out there and I just haven’t had the time to deal with it, but that’s another story. And another excuse. A good one, perhaps, but they all seem like good excuses.

I think I’m pretty much like other people who just end up with too much stuff, we may not be hoarders, but just inadvertent collectors of things we should just get rid of or give to a worthy cause.

Here are excuses that I’ve uttered myself that I’m learning to kick to the curb:

Kick Excuses to the Curb {Confessions on Decluttering & Organizing}

Right? All the things. All the excuses.

But I’ve come a long way over the years. I’m better at kicking excuses to the curb. I know more about myself, my habits, my bad organizational habits, and what I need to work on improving.

I have found so many solutions that work for me and for our home. I can much more easily get rid of things knowing my history, such as the fact that I’m not likely to ever recover a chair so I shouldn’t collect them in my garage.

So even though I don’t have it all together, I’m definitely happier in my home than I’ve ever been. Not because of how it looks, but because of how it feels. And for remaining areas that still stress me out if I think about them, I have hope and a plan.

I’m continuing to work on the goal of a clutter-free home because I know clutter impacts me in negative ways. The are fewer areas of clutter in our life than ever before. It’s becoming easier to let go of all the things without thinking too much, because the alternative is keeping everything — and that is more stressful than deciding to let things go.

Kick Excuses to the Curb {Confessions on Decluttering & Organizing}BHG

I don’t want to spend my life making decisions about what to do with things. I have too much else that interests me in life. I just want to enjoy my home. I crave that sense of peace that comes from only having what you really need or use, those things that actually bring you happiness or serve a purpose in your home. There’s a peace when you have control over your things, rather than your things controlling you.

Kick Excuses to the Curb {Confessions on Decluttering & Organizing}BHG

I’ve written many organizing posts with tips I use and that have inspired me. Always start with decluttering, but being organized feels great too. Here’s a round-up of some of my favorites:

The Secret to Getting Organized

A Bag A Day Keeps the Clutter Away

How to Get Organized in a Small House

How to Organize your House with Baskets and Containers

A Plan for Papers You Don’t Want to Lose

My Kitchen Pantry and Tips for Pantry Organization

Pretty and Functional Bathroom Storage Ideas

7 Ideas for Creative Master Closet Storage

Small Space Office Organization

5 Simple Ways to Get Organized

Organizing Entertaining Supplies

Organize Your House: A 12 Month Plan

5 Takeaway Tips from a Small Office

Organizing Your Most-Used House Project Tools

11 Ways to Spring Into Organizing

6 Tips to Kick Start Your Garage Organization

Organizing Craft Rooms and Wrapping Supplies: Small Space Ideas

More Inspiration for Craft Closet Organization

5 Minute Baking Drawer Organization: Using What You Have

Kick Excuses to the Curb {Confessions on Decluttering & Organizing}

UPDATE IN 2017: I put all of my failures, excuses, secrets and successes in my new book on decluttering and simplifying called Make Room for What You Love.

Order my book Make Room for What You Love at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Kick Excuses to the Curb {Confessions on Decluttering & Organizing}

Pre-order my new book, releasing April 3!

Simple Organizing

Amazon // Barnes and Noble

Kick Excuses to the Curb {Confessions on Decluttering & Organizing}

Get free downloadable prints like the quote above here!


  1. Seana Turner

    Since I’m a Professional Organizer, I clearly agree with this post. I often remind clients that everything you own, owns a piece of you. Ownership = Maintenance, which takes time, space & money. Releasing clutter is freeing:)

  2. Stacey

    Clutter is not a big problem for me. I really don’t like clutter so “things” are always in danger of going in the trash or donation bin around me. I have a friend who goes and buys multiple bins every year in January to put things in the attic. That doesn’t make sense to me. Doesn’t that mean something needs to just go away?

    On the other hand, being truly organized is another story. It’s pretty easy to look the other way on some things so working on organization is ongoing in our house. :)

  3. Laura

    I have discovered through the years that “things” don’t love me back and they don’t feel sentimental or guilty about me, so maybe I don’t always have to feel that way about them! I have some kitchen things that will probably be moving out very soon!

  4. dawn@joyfulscribblings

    I was reading your post and thought, that’s me. Then I got toward the end and it gave me hope that the decision to get rid of things will get easier. My word for this year is release and I hope to release a lot of things in my home. I’m not a hoarder, but I love home decor and there is always something new to be found in the stores. However, when something comes in, something doesn’t always go out. I also have a real problem with paper clutter. and magazines and books. On a side note, I wish my linen closet looked like the one in your pictures :)

  5. gail

    I truly do not understand the “kids might want it someday” excuse so many, many people use. Usually, we don’t get nostalgic for our childhood until we’re in our 40s. Are you willing to hold onto massed produced items, made by Chinese slave labor for 30+ years just in case the kids “mght” want it? Let them buy it at the vintage store in 2050,

  6. Dawn Camp

    I wrote down a great quote from a speaker at Becoming a couple of years ago: “Clutter is postponed decisions.” – Barbara Hemphill

    I postpone too many decisions!

  7. Ginny Hoffman

    I aspire to your, ok, just the closet you show on your sight. Here is a picture of the state of my living room.

  8. Nancy

    I am still staying the course! A little decluttering every day! It is cold here in Nova Scotia so staying in is desirable but I still want to accomplish something every day. I love that organized feeling too! Thanks for the encouraging posts!

  9. Tara G.

    “I don’t want to spend my life making decisions about what to do with things.” Yes. And then there is so much more time to spend on people!

  10. Barbara (WA)

    When I recently met with my friend Joy of Joy Thomas Interiors we talked about this very issue (she does Interior Design, Staging and Organization). I decided that someone in the organizing business needs a minor in psychology and counseling. There are SO many emotional issues as you’ve pointed out! Having my life on hold for so long I am chomping at the bit to get back to sorting but am aware of the possiblity of being overwhelmed with everything I want to do at once. Thanks for your help!!

  11. Lisa

    I need to get organized…This is an inspiring list of posts, and thanks for sharing those photos…Wishin’ my home looked organized and beautiful like those.

  12. Erica

    Congrats on being the Reader’s Choice for Favorite Decorating Blog – what an honor! And I totally agree with you. I used to hoard things because I never knew if I *might* need them. I’ve gotten lots better at throwing things away or donating them, etc. and it feels SO good. My mind becomes more decluttered along with my house. If I don’t have a specific plan for it, then I don’t keep it or buy it or collect it.

  13. Pamela

    My home is 640 square feet with an additional full basement. I keep it clutter free using the system – decluttering 15 minutes a day. She addresses the attachment issues the keep us from decluttering.

  14. Laura

    I have to say…this is the MOST helpful article on de-cluttering I have read because it explains the root of my problem…indecisiveness. You nailed it! I appreciate the list you have provided and labeled “excuses”. It helps to realize these thoughts only contribute to more procrastination. I also love that you encourage us to extend ourselves grace regarding how our family lives! =0) Loved the part about going shopping instead of deciding what to do with the stuffed closets and such! Can so relate to that!! And last of all, I truly appreciate the tip on looking at our history…I love that thought, and can readily apply. This will hopefully keep me from ordering MORE pictures to scrapbook since I have yet to put one together, ever…and have all the materials and photos for at least 5!!! Thanks so much! Great article!!!!

  15. Joy

    I identify with every single one of your reasons for holding on to things, except that a husband wants to keep it. I have no husband, so unfortunately, the responsibility for too much stuff is all mine! If I could give away half of my books, as well as all the stuff I keep for crafting, my house would empty out in a hurry!


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