Have you ever scurried around quickly decluttering an area before someone comes over? Why am I asking this? Don’t I already know the answer? Of course! I know you do. Everyone does this, myself included. Yes. Even professional organizers toss things in a drawer, a cupboard, a bag, or a closet from time to time. Doing a quick fix. I think it’s not human to always have everything in place. We do this because we don’t want to be embarrassed by the stuff we have out and about. When I do this, I make a mental (or physical) note to go back and deal with the things I have quickly tossed somewhere to make my home look neat, tidy, and organized. There are many reasons to declutter read on to find out what they are as well as the best reason to declutter and organize your home.
Reasons to Declutter and Organize Your Home
Avoid Shame and Embarrassment
The most obvious reason, and the one I already hinted at, is to avoid feeling ashamed or embarrassed by the way your home looks.
Why is this? Well, we all (and I do mean everyone) have a mental picture of how we want our homes to appear to anyone who happens to walk through our front door. We want them to like what they see or at least not be gasping in horror at the piles of laundry, stacks of dirty dishes, and overflowing trash cans.
Sometimes before we let someone in we say something like ‘please excuse the way my home looks. I wasn’t expecting anyone.’ We do this to let the person know this isn’t the way we want them to think about our home.
If our homes are truly filled and overflowing, we don’t want the person to report us to the local authorities. There is always that chance.
So, we make excuses and provide the visitor with reasons for things not looking the way we think they think it should.
(By the way, the visitor is most likely not thinking about the way your home looks. They are probably just happy to see you or to do their job.)
Better Health and Safety
Another reason to declutter and organize your home is that everyone wants to feel safe when they are at home. Decluttering and organizing the entry, hallways, and rooms to avoid tripping hazards and to provide space for a gurney to come through is also a great reason.
When things are left piled here and there the piles sometimes spill over. It’s an unavoidable consequence. If someone is walking quickly past where the pile has spilled over there is a likelihood they will slip or trip over something that is in the way.
Another unavoidable consequence of having too much stuff is that it is impossible to clean. Some may say that’s one less thing for them to do but the reality is that a clean environment is a healthier environment.
The very nature of accumulated piles is that they are dusty. It’s a fact.
Use the mantra ‘don’t put it down, put it away’ to have a healthier and safer home. At least if you can’t put it away now decide on a time (or block of time) when you will do it.
Two other good reasons to declutter and organize your home are often repeated. They are to save money and to know what you have and how to find it.
Declutter and Organize to Save Money
You save money when you know what you have and where it is because you don’t go out and buy a duplicate item. The logic is undisputable.
The trick is to create places for your things to belong so you know where to put them away. The second trick is to put them away after using them.
Create an Organizing System that Makes Sense to You
Create a system of putting things away that makes sense to you. Things can be put away in plain sight or they can be put away out of sight. The choice is yours.
I said above (and it bears repeating) that a reason to declutter and organize is to know what you have and how to find it.
The importance of this cannot be overstated. When you worry about finding things like your keys, wallet, eyeglasses, or an important document you create stress in your body.
Avoid stress by creating systems to put things away that make sense to you. When you know where things are and how to find them life is easier and less stressful.
The Best Reason to Declutter and Organize Your Home
The very best reason to declutter and organize your home is so that it looks the way you want it to.
I’m not talking about making your home magazine photo-shoot ready. You know the way you want your home to look. Accept that it will get messy from time to time. After-all you live in your home. But, don’t you just love walking into your kitchen in the morning and facing an empty sink and tidy counters?
When you put the laundry away, you open space in your family room to sit and relax. It’s difficult to truly relax when you share the couch with a pile of laundry. The clothes are there waiting for you to do something about them.
If you work at home, walking into your office in the morning and seeing a reasonably tidy desk lets you know you can get right to work.
You take time and make the effort to declutter before guests come over. Why not declutter and organize for yourself?
Show yourself some love and respect by decluttering and organizing your home just for you. Avoid the temptation to let things slide because no one is coming over. You are someone. Do it for you and then sit back and enjoy being in your home.
Create some new habits of decluttering and organizing a little bit each day so it doesn’t become an overwhelming task. Would you like help figuring this out? Do you live in Atlanta? If you do, we can work in-person. If you live elsewhere, we can work together virtually, or you can join the Clear Space for You virtual clutter support group. Contact me to schedule time to talk about the best option for you.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia.
I especially like the idea “You take time and make the effort to declutter before guests come over. Why not declutter and organize for yourself?” We should keep our homes our refuge.
Thank you, Jonda!
This says it all: “You take time and make the effort to declutter before guests come over. Why not declutter and organize for yourself?”
For me, there is peace in order. And there is also satisfaction in decluttering and organizing. It’s visceral. Not only do I appreciate the calming aesthetic, but the act of organizing is also soothing. I recognize that not everyone feels that way. But as you wrote about the compelling reasons to organize and declutter, I realized how grounding a process it is for me.
I understand what you mean, Linda. I truly love knowing that I keep my home organized for me. Because that’s the way I like it.
I just totally agree that organizing is a way to show yourself some love. It can be hard to carve out the time or summon the energy, but there are few things that make us feel as good as an organized space; good about ourselves, good about our belongings, and good about the space in which we are living.
I often think of the phrase “sanctuary” when I think of home. I want my home to be a place where I am happy to be. Ideally, home should provide a respite from stress, not add to it. We may not have the resources to have the home we want, but it doesn’t cost much (or anything) to care for whatever space we do have!
That’s a great point, Seana. No matter the size or state of our home when we maintain it, it is a peaceful place for us to be.
“Show yourself some love and respect by decluttering and organizing your home just for you.” This is the secret sauce. The concern over what other people may think probably isn’t, but should be, WAY behind the issues of health, safety, financial strength, and joy. It’s kind of like running into someone on a day you didn’t bother making your hair look fancy. It’s clean, it’s comfortable in a ponytail off your neck, and it may be a little longer than usually because you’re stretching out the period between salon visits, but you feel fabulous. And the truth is, nobody else knows what your hair is “supposed” to look like, so stop worrying about what others think of it. Our home spaces are the same. You make excellent points — and organizing for yourself is so much more fulfilling than doing it for others.
Thank you, Julie. I love it when you really get what I’m saying.
Yes! That is definitely the best reason to declutter and organize our homes!
Yes, the best reason is to have a home that is the way YOU want it. Great post with a nice focus on doing the work for yourself and focusing on what you want from your space.
Thank you, Janet