Decluttering Questions & Forgiving Ourselves

We often think decluttering should be cut and dry.

Easy peasy.

But then these feelings and emotions start to sneak in. Guilt. Shame. Remorse. Regret. How did I let things go this far? Get this bad? WHY did I buy that? Why do I always do this? Why, why, why.

Which then leads to  negative thoughts about ourselves.

“WAIT!! I was just going to declutter this room, why am I left feeling like crap about myself???”

So what do we do when we can’t move forward because we’re overwhelmed by GUILT and FEARFUL of making a wrong decision?

I’m glad you asked!

Dealing with Guilt

Often when our mind is swirling with these emotions of guilt, remorse & shame we are caught up in the right side of our brain.

However, action takes place from the left side of our brain. This leaves us feeling stuck, unable to do the simple tasks we know we need to.

Try these to get moving again:

1) Just. Do. Something. You could literally get two things off of your kitchen counter and put them away. Start a load of laundry. Put shoes away in the entry way. It DOES NOT need to be a large task, it just needs to require movement.

This movement engages the left side of our brain and helps us to balance our thoughts. From here it’s usually easier to do another action and then another.

2) Forgive yourself. Easier said than done, right!?! Oprah has this to say about forgiveness — it’s “giving up the hope that the past could be any different.”

We can’t change the past, we can’t undo our purchases or go back in time to prevent our house from getting cluttered up. But we CAN acknowledge that it can’t be any different. However, the future is wide open.

3) Take a break from social media. We all know that social media can (and often does) increase feelings of anxiety and depression. Mindlessly scrolling on our phone causes us to stay caught up in the right side of our brain, stuck in comparison and feelings of self-loathing.


If you feel overwhelmed by your decluttering projects, try taking two full days off of all social media and try to limit other screen time as well. Does this help you feel more grounded? More present? And more capable?

Dealing with Fear

The second common emotion when we start to declutter is fear: What if I make a wrong decision? What if I need that item in the future? What if I have to buy it again?

So how do we combat these concerns?

1) Recruit the help of a friend or loved one. Sometimes we need someone else to help ground us. They can help ask these decluttering questions.
It could be a friend, a spouse or a child. Even our 10-year-old can be helpful with this process. We just need someone to talk these decisions through with.
The good news? It gets easier as you go and you gain more confidence, so you won’t always need a partner in crime to get decluttering done!

2) Think about what is most important to you RIGHT NOW. What has more value, the item in front of you or a peaceful home?

If you donate that item right now you NEVER have to handle it again!! How great would that feel? It is no longer part of your mental load!

On the other hand, if you keep it, it is guaranteed that you will be right back in this same situation down the road. Why do that to yourself? :)

These are big emotions we’re talking about and I don’t want to brush past them or oversimplify this process, but the best thing you can do when you’re feeling stuck with decluttering is to just. do. something.

Even the smallest task can be a catalyst for the big changes you’re hoping to make in your home!

Again, you can find the Printable Decluttering Guide HERE!

I believe in you! It is difficult at first, but it does get EASIER!! You can do it!!!

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For more tips on decluttering, check out these recent posts!

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