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Four Mistakes To Avoid When Decluttering Your House This Holiday Season

It starts by pulling out the holiday decorations. As you’re getting boxes out of the storage closet, you realize that you could really free up some space if you reorganized just a bit. Then, as you are grabbing something out of the bedroom, you realize that a few tweaks would make the space so much more appealing. The next thing you know… BOOM… you’re in the middle of a full-scale decluttering project.

It’s ok, we’ve been there too. Here’s a few mistakes to avoid as you declutter your way to holiday home bliss:

FINISH EACH PROJECT. (COMPLETELY!)

Of course it makes sense to break your work up into boxes or buckets – trash, donate, recycle, pass on to a friend, take to the storage unit, etc. But here’s the key: once you make the call as to where something goes, take it there. Don’t all into the trap of stacking up boxes or bags for donations or friends and let them sit, promising yourself you’ll get to it later. You won’t… and it will eat away at your soul. (Ok, that may be a bit dramatic…) Do it now. Finish the process. Take the bags to the trash. Put the donations in your car right away and take them that same day. You’ve put in so much work already – go that extra step and get it out of your space (and subconscious) today!

RESIST THE URGE TO SHOP BEFORE YOU SORT

I know, I know – it’s the perfect time for a trip over to The Container Store near the Galleria. The home organization section at Target is calling your name! But DON’T DO IT. Resist the urge to go out and buy a bunch of baskets, boxes, and bins. But until you’ve sorted and figured out where things are going to go (under the bed, in the closet, on a specific shelf), you won’t really know what you need. Get a plan of attack first, THEN figure out what you may need to keep it all organized and in place.

YOUR EYES ARE BIGGER THAN YOUR ENERGY

You’re going to be tempted to block out an entire day to “just tackle the project and get it done.” But here’s the truth – very few people have the focus, stamina, and energy to spend 8+ hours organizing. (Plus, with all the holiday parties you’ve got going on, who’s got that kind of time right now?) You’ll end up frustrated, and the job won’t get done. It’s a much better plan to dedicate a few hours, 2 or 3 tops, and do one space at a time. Throw on Home Alone or The Christmas Story in the background and get to work. When they movie’s over, so are you. The shorter spurts will help you feel motivated and you’ll accomplish more… rather than burning out and feeling like a grinch at the end of the day.

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO BE REAL.

Listen, this is your home. You live here. It’s not a set for a magazine shoot. NOBODY has closets and drawers that look like those in the catalogs. NOBODY lives in a Pinterest-ready living room… even the people who posted the perfect picture on Pinterest. The goal is for your bedroom, living room, kitchen, or hall closet to look great and work properly… but remember that it’s a space used by actual human beings, not one that’s been carefully staged by an army of designers and marketers. Perfection can’t be the goal. Instead, set yourself up for success – set your sights on a space that works well for your needs, whatever they might be.

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