My definition of clutter is whatever I can’t handle.
Clutter is anything that consistently gets out of control in my home.
Decluttering isn’t about deciding what I do or don’t need. It’s not even about knowing what I should or shouldn’t keep. It’s about understanding what I can handle.
Even if I believe in my heart of wanna-be-an-ultra-creative-mama hearts that every home should have a big stash of craft supplies. . . if I can’t keep that stash under control, it’s clutter.
If I hit three jackpot garage sales in a row and find six coats for six levels of cold for fifty cents apiece . . . but I’m forever finding five of them on the floor . . . those coats are clutter.
If I love to cook, but I can’t fit all my cookbooks into the space I have . . . those cookbooks are clutter.
Many people can handle more stuff than I can. I used to look at their homes and think “I need to get organized!” But the truth was . . .
I needed to figure out how much stuff I could handle. I needed to declutter.
Once I accepted that my brain works differently and that each home and personality is unique, I started to make real progress.
Defining clutter in this way gave me permission to stop analyzing each item in my home according to its value, and start getting rid of it simply because it was making life in my home harder to manage.
If you are completely overwhelmed by the clutter in your home, you need my book: Decluttering at the Speed of Life. In it, I explain the mindset changes that will help you make real progress and teach my non-emotion-based five step process for making decluttering progress (and only progress, never a bigger mess) in any amount of time you have.