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The perfectionist's dilemma: Letting go of clutter.

Mar 30, 2024

Have you ever looked around your home and wondered how you ended up with so much stuff? You're not alone. A lot of us hold onto things we don't really need, and sometimes, it's all because we're trying to be perfect.

Yes, you heard me right. Trying to make everything just right can lead to more clutter. Let's look at why this happens and how we can break free.

Why Do We Hang On? Perfectionism isn't just about wanting things to be perfect; it's also about fearing to make the wrong decision. When it comes to decluttering, this fear can make us freeze up. "What if I need this later?" "What if this becomes valuable?" These questions haunt us. The thought of making a mistake by getting rid of something we might someday need feels overwhelming. So, we do nothing, and the piles of stuff keep growing.

This behaviour isn't just about physical items. It's deeply psychological. Perfectionists often equate making a mistake with failure, and if we hold onto everything, we can't make a mistake, right? Wrong.

The fundamental mistake here is letting our fear control our lives and spaces.

Four Ways to Break Free

1. Embrace "Good Enough." The first step is to challenge the perfectionist mindset. Understand that perfection is an impossible goal. Instead, aim for "good enough." When deciding whether to keep something, ask yourself, "Is it good enough for my needs right now?" If it's not, it might be time to say goodbye.

2. Set limits. Create physical and mental boundaries for your belongings. For example, decide you'll only keep enough books to fit on one shelf. This limit forces you to make decisions and prioritize what's essential, reducing the chance of accumulating clutter.

3. Practice decision-making. The more you practice making decisions, the easier it becomes. Start with small, low-stakes choices, like sorting through a junk drawer. Your decision builds your confidence and reduces the fear of making mistakes.

4. One in, one out rule. Adopt the "one in, one out" policy. Let go of another whenever you bring a new item into your home. This simple rule helps you maintain balance and ensures that every item in your home has value and a purpose.

The path to less clutter: letting go of the perfectionist mindset and the fear of making the wrong decision can free you from the weight of clutter. Remember, it's not about achieving a perfect home but creating a stress-free living space. By embracing imperfection, setting limits, practicing decision-making, and following the "one in, one out" rule, you'll find letting go of what you don't need much more manageable. Living with less clutter means less time spent managing stuff and more time enjoying life. So, take a deep breath and start this journey to a more straightforward, peaceful space together.


xo Meg

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