Figuring out how to declutter and following the decluttering process is all about removing anything that isn’t absolutely necessary. However, while some people wonder if you can declutter too much, experts often argue it’s not possible to declutter too much.
That said, there’s a fine line between minimalism and compulsive decluttering.
If you are decluttering an entire room, for example, there is a certain point where the “too much” threshold has been reached, and the only thing left in the room should be the furniture.
But other than the obvious furniture threshold, how can you determine your decluttering tolerance?
Are there any downsides to decluttering?
Decluttering means taking the time to find out what you have and then getting rid of stuff that you don’t really need.
We often declutter to make room for new things, or to give away our possessions to others.
However, there is often a lot of sentimental clutter that comes with our physical clutter, and there’s a chance that we may feel anxious about the removal of items from our life.
Decluttering can cause people to feel anxious and upset because they are removing items from their life that they have strong connections with.
When you’re letting go of your belongings, you should also try to be more mindful of your feelings. The more we remove, the better we’ll feel emotionally.
That said, compulsive decluttering is a form of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and it’s considered a mental illness.
Homes of people with compulsive decluttering disorder are often empty (well beyond the point of minimalism).
Why doesn’t decluttering work?
One of the most popular techniques that people use to declutter their space is to ‘go through’ their possessions, take out what they don’t need, and then discard it.
While this can be an effective strategy for many people, this decluttering strategy may not work for everyone.
Decluttering is not always an effective technique because it does nothing to change your clutter mindset, which means that the person who is trying to declutter will still have a cluttered space in the end or they will quickly replace the clutter.
Another problem with decluttering is that it requires a lot of time and effort from the person who wants to declutter.
A lot of people find themselves in a situation where they have a cluttered home because they don’t have enough time or energy when they come home from work or school.
In this case, you should check out the Impactful Habits, Organized Home course, which gives you simple challenges to declutter your home at your own pace. Many students focus on an entire room for a month, doing a different challenge each week.
Doing small challenges each day will help you work through your entire home without spending too much time on any project.
Another option is to do a 30-Day Decluttering Challenge, or even a Weekend Warrior Decluttering Challenge.
You can get both the 30-Day Decluttering Challenge and the Weekend Warrior Challenge as part of the Conquer Your Chaos Decluttering Bundle.
When should you stop decluttering?
Decluttering can be a great way to get rid of clutter and free up physical space in your home.
Everyone has that one drawer or closet that is overflowing with a bunch of junk. The problem is, when do you stop decluttering? When does enough become enough?
There are a few steps you can take in order to effectively declutter.
First, prevent more clutter from entering your home. Stop buying so many products, and stop the flow of clutter. If you have a closet full of clothes and shoes and yet still continue to buy more, then it’s time to reevaluate your purchases.
Second, take the time to really look through your belongings and think about which items are most important to you.
Third, start slowly paring down the items in the area that needs decluttering by donating what doesn’t fit anymore or what is no longer needed.
It can take a lot of time and effort to go through all the items in your home and decide what to keep and what to toss. There are many factors that determine when you should stop decluttering, such as how much space you have, what your lifestyle is like, or how much time you have.
However, there are three main points at which you should stop decluttering. These times are:
- When you find items that bring joy and value to your life.
- When you feel that the benefits no longer outweigh the cost of decluttering.
- When there is nothing left to be decluttered.
Is there a point at which decluttering becomes excessive?
Decluttering is a tricky thing because it’s hard to know when one has gone too far. The goal is to strike the right balance between getting rid of what you don’t need and having enough storage space for what you want to keep.
The key is to declutter only when you feel the need.
For example, declutter your closet if you find that you are not wearing any of your clothes anymore. Or, declutter the bookshelf if there are lots of books that no one reads.
Once everything that you no longer need or want is removed, you can stop decluttering. At this point, everything in your home should bring you joy, you should be able to quickly clean your home, and you should still have foundational pieces, like furniture, in your home.
After decluttering, all remaining items should serve a purpose.
If you suspect that you have compulsive decluttering disorder or another form of OCD, seek professional help.
It is possible to declutter too much.
However, if you feel the need to declutter but want to remove clutter within boundaries, follow a strict decluttering program, like a 30 day decluttering challenge or a slower, guided course like Impactful Habits, Organized Home, which will help you overhaul your clutter mindset and create better routines to prevent clutter from entering your home.