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Decluttering is Not a Competitive Sport

Forget all the breathless posts on Facebook and Instagram.

“Just dropped off 144 bags at my favorite charity on the way to volunteer at the soup kitchen. #blessed!!! [15 emojis]”

Throwing yourself in a mad frenzy of decluttering feels productive but your brain doesn’t have time to work through the change. It’s like a part of you dissociates – you get into “decluttering mode” and purge all kinds of things, but the buying and acquiring behavior hasn’t been addressed and so the clutter soon returns.

Changing a habit takes a long time and it’s hard. That doesn’t sell magazines or get clicks but it’s true. We’re so resistant to change, even change we say we want. Willpower takes us a ways but it runs out. To truly build a habit, forget baby steps. We want teeny tiny steps that make baby steps look like giant strides. That’s why I ask you to send away one thing once a week – Send it away Saturday.¬† Just one and then we’re done.

When you look around for that one thing, you consider. You ponder. You start to see patterns. You might notice you’ve been buying things in threes, or printing two copies of everything. Keep up the habit and you’ll start to ask yourself why you need three of everything and you’ll just buy one or two. You’ll change the setting on your printer so you only print one copy.

But that comes later. At first you build the habit by looking around for one thing to let go of each Saturday. If it helps you, tell me what it is, either in the comments or by emailing me at Get the Send it away Saturday habit and a year from now, your decluttering muscle will be strong and powerful.


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