Inside: Don’t fall for the articles that tell you to declutter house in 30 days. Read to learn why you shouldn’t declutter quickly and the benefits to going slow.
The kitchen counter is piled high with dirty dishes, appliances you sometimes use and whatever was dumped in the corner when you came home.
In the living room, the couch has a pile of clean laundry waiting to be folded, kids toys cover the floor and the coffee table is smothered by magazines you’ll never get around to reading.
If you’re struggling with clutter, I know it’s tempting to read articles that promise you can declutter house in 30 days (or even less).
But I’m here to tell you, if you truly struggle with clutter, you’re not going to declutter your entire home in a short amount of time. Sorry.
I once saw a blog post about how to declutter your home in an afternoon. Listen up: if you can declutter your entire home in one afternoon, you don’t have a cluttered home! 😂
While we would all love to wave a magic wand and have all our clutter disappear, that’s not real life.
I’m here to tell you why you shouldn’t declutter house in 30 days…and the benefits of taking your time decluttering.
Why You Shouldn’t Declutter House in 30 Days
I’ve been a messy person my whole life. I remember going over to a friend’s house in high school and seeing hundreds of hair clips neatly organized alongside her mirror.
I was impressed.
My high school room was so messy, there was only a clear path from the doorway to the bed. I often slept next to a pile of clean clothes because I forgot about them until I was too exhausted to care.
Suffice to say, when I started my decluttering journey in 2015, I had a lot to learn.
It might be tempting to look for the easy way out of clutter. But there are a few major reasons you shouldn’t do that.
Decluttering Fast is a Bandage for a Bigger Problem
When you attempt to declutter house in 30 days, you often are rushing through it so fast, you aren’t addressing the root cause.
Think about it, if you treat decluttering as a project to do once and never do again, do you think it will stay that way?
Because as humans, we don’t work like that. I’d wager to guess that there is almost nothing in your life that you’ve had a complete pivot.
Sure, sometimes we can have what Tony Robbins calls a “Never again” moment —
- “Never again will I use drugs”
- “Never will I let you treat me that way”
- “Never again will I lose it in front of my kids”
There are times when we hit rock bottom so hard, it shakes us to the core.
But for every other thing in life, it’s a series of habits. It took you tiny little steps to get into the mess you’re in.
By treating the symptom (your messy house) and not the problem (your habits), you’re not changing the future.
I have a huge issue with professional organizers because they go in and fix the symptoms, not the problem. People spend thousands of dollars having someone come into their home and clean it up…only to be in the same situation a few years later.
You know why? Because their habits didn’t change.
Decluttering Slow Allows for Habits to Change
Decluttering your house is a long, slow — and sometimes painful — process. That’s the bad news.
The good news is when you go slow, you completely change your habits. You allow your mind time to adjust to the new lifestyle before moving onto the next thing.
You learn to love your new space. And you learn the maintenance habits necessary to keep it that way.
I’m going to be honest. I got into my mess because of years of telling myself I hated to clean and I was too exhausted or too busy to care.
But as I decluttered my house, I started to develop the habits needed to keep it that way.
I still wouldn’t consider myself someone who enjoys cleaning. But you know what I do enjoy? Having a clean home.
Every time we decluttered and got rid of what felt like half the house, our standards changed. We developed an appreciation for the activities that were so much easier with less clutter.
Back when our home was cluttered, it took well over an hour to cook a simple dinner like spaghetti. Why? Because first we had pull dirty dishes out of the sink so we’d have room to wash the spaghetti pot.
Except that by the time we got around to washing the pot, it had crusted on food from the last time we used it. So, it had to soak before I scrubbed it vigorously.
We attempted to cut veggies or bread with a 10” square of space we acquired by pushing dirty dishes aside.
While I don’t bound out of bed each morning, eager to clean the kitchen, I am excited by how easy it is to cook dinner when there’s clean dishes and free counter space.
Decluttering Slow Allows for Your Mind to Change
When we were in the thick of our clutter, worse than the state of my home was how I felt and the thoughts that ran through my head.
I constantly told myself that my house was messy because there was something wrong with me.
I couldn’t figure out why everyone else seemed to excel in this area, all while raising kids and working full time jobs. Meanwhile, I struggled to remember to put the wet laundry in the dryer before it started to stink.
Friend, if you are living in a chaotic and messy house, I’m here to tell you:
A messy house doesn’t mean that you’re lazy or that you don’t care. A messy house is just that: a house that is messy.
It has no correlation to who you are as a human being. You are worthy because you are worthy. You don’t need to do anything to earn your worth.
Can you imagine how devastating it would be to declutter house in 30 days, but let it get messy again? Because when you try to declutter fast, you’re not giving yourself time for your mind or your habits to change.
Decluttering house in 30 days sets you up for failure.
And that’s a problem. Because it’s stinkin’ hard work to declutter your entire house and if you weren’t successful the first time, you know how much motivation you’ll have to do it again?
Not because you’re lazy…but because you’re going to think “It didn’t work before. What’s the point?”
And asking “what’s the point” is a dangerous place to be, my friend. Because that’s you giving up. That’s you saying you’re not worth it and your family is not worth it.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. You deserve to live in a home that gives you the space to be the freakin’ amazing human being you are called to be.
Set yourself up for success. Instead of decluttering all at once, do it bit by bit, allowing time for your mind and habits to change.
You’d be surprised at how much you can accomplish by working a short amount of time every day (or most days).
I hope I have convinced you of three things:
- A messy house is not a reflection of your worth.
- You are worthy because you are worthy.
- Decluttering slow is the best way to drastically change your life.
If that’s the case, be sure to read these other posts to help you on your journey:
- Where to start decluttering when you’re overwhelmed
- 5 awesome tips to help you declutter your life
- Why it’s impossible to be clutterfree with kids