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Can You Declutter Too Much?

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April 30, 2020

As Baby Boomers age and Generation X begins to consider retirement, more and more Americans are downsizing their belongings. And, one of the easiest ways to downsize is by decluttering and getting rid of things that you no longer need.

So, what is decluttering? Decluttering is simply the process of removing unneeded things from your life. It has gained popularity as people begin to follow minimalist lifestyles and concepts like Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up process become more popular.

Removing things you no longer need should be a good thing, but can you declutter too much? This will be highly subjective and will really depend on the individual. The final result should be something that both you and your family can live with happily. But, here are a few things that you should keep in mind.

When you are decluttering, declutter only your things. You cannot make decisions for other people in your home about what is and is not necessary. So, while you may not find any need for your husband’s bowling trophies, they might hold quite a bit of meaning for him. Don’t get rid of things that aren’t yours without permission.

Consider whether or not you will need that item again soon. You may not need the gardening tools in February. But, when you head outdoors in June, you may wish you had kept them. Consider whether or not you will need things again in the near future. That doesn’t mean you need to hold onto things you only use once every ten years. You may be able to rent those items you need only infrequently.

Are these items heirlooms? While you don’t need to hold onto something simply because it belonged to a parent or grandparent, these items may hold value for someone else in your family. Don’t get rid of things with value to other people. Check with family members first.

Decluttering can be cathartic for many people. The final result of a perfectly organized closet or spotless plant stand can be very rewarding. But, the purpose of decluttering isn’t to get rid of things. The purpose is keeping only the things that you need or consider to have value. So, if you find yourself wishing that you kept an item you got rid of, take a look at your decluttering process. Are you decluttering just to get rid of things? Or, are you decluttering to keep only the things that truly have a purpose in your life?

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