When people find out that I help people declutter and get organized for a living, many will share with me that they love getting rid of stuff, and they are also stuck in the cycle of declutter and re-fill: “I’m always shopping to make up for it.”
It can be easy to think that the only challenge in decluttering is letting go. The cycle of declutter and re-fill illustrates the other side of the coin.
While it’s important to learn how to let go, and your freedom is worth fighting for - people often find themselves stuck in this pattern because they haven’t yet changed their shopping habits.
When we declutter with intention, we can become aware of unhelpful shopping habits and become empowered to shift them. Here are some tips for bringing more intentionality into your decluttering process.
♡ Get Centered and Grounded
Decluttering can provoke anxiety. Many of us have the impulse to just rip the bandaid off, so to speak. While we do want to make sure we’re efficient, we can accidentally traumatize ourselves when we haven’t addressed our anxiety first. What often happens is that we’ll let go of a bunch of stuff really quickly - and while it can feel good, there can be a hangover. That’s why I call this a decluttering bender. You wake up and you’re not really sure what just happened. Your nervous system isn’t used to the space you just created - and this is how we can get stuck in the cycle of declutter and re-fill.
♡ Become Curious and Collect Data
If you’re throwing stuff away without questioning why they’re there in the first place, you miss the opportunity to shift your habits and make a real change. It’s a worthwhile - and at times uncomfortable - process to take inventory of your clutter as you let it go. If we can examine our clutter with curiosity, as a process of data collection, we can detach from the intensity of our feelings. The data that we collect will inform the ways that we could shift our habits and make lasting change.
♡ Connect the Dots and Make a Plan
Most people acquire things haphazardly, without considering their place not only in their space but in their day. It’s easy to let emotions, compulsions, and old stories take over when we shop. We can use the data we collect while decluttering to connect the dots between our possessions and our lives. This will allow us to make a plan for changing our habits that will serve us on our journey to feeling secure, content, and in control of our material life.
When we declutter from a centered and grounded place, we can allow ourselves the emotional space to get curious about our habits. This will give us the data we need to connect the dots and create the habits we need to step into a new paradigm for our space and stuff.
With Love + Gratitude,