10 Mindsets that Keep Your Home Messy
10 Mindsets that Keep Your Home Messy
Have you ever thought your mindset might be keeping your home messy? Are you trying to declutter, but find something is holding you back? Like no matter what you try, your home ends up messy again?
If that sounds like you, it’s probably one of these 10 mindsets that keeps your home messy. That’s right. Decluttering is no easy task. And it can be made even more difficult by our mindsets and the thoughts we tell ourselves.
FYI, this is a bit of a long post. If you don’t have time to read it now, pin it for reference later.
Top 10 Mindsets Keeping Your Home Messy
The following are the top 10 mindsets that will hold you back from decluttering and getting the organized home you want.
1. This item brings back memories
If you have not looked at your belongings in a long time, you will often find the process to be a trip down memory lane. Some memories will not be so good. For these items you should show yourself some grace, forgive yourself or the person that caused you pain, and remove the item from your home. You do not need that negative energy living with you!
Other items will come with good memories and it is difficult to get rid of things that remind you of good times. When handling these items you need to ask yourself if the item is beautiful, useful, or if it brings you happiness. If so, you should find a way to display it in your home and not pack it away. If the answer was no, find the courage to thank the item (and person) for the great memory and remove the item from your home.
The memory of a happy time lives in your heart, not in the thing that sparked the idea.
2. It still has tags on it
I’m sad to say that I have been guilty of this in the past. When cleaning out your closet you may come across clothes that still have the tags on them. It can be really hard to look at something you’ve spent hard-earned money on, that is still brand new, and part with it.
But, when you look at the item, you need to ask yourself if it brings you joy and if you feel amazing wearing it. You can also ask yourself if you would buy it again if you were shopping today. If the answer is no to either question, it should be donated.
3. I feel so wasteful throwing this away
This was the hardest mindset for me to overcome when decluttering. When faced with the piles of things you have accumulated, you may feel guilty and wasteful. The best thing to do is to donate or sell as much of it as you can. This will minimize the negative environmental impact of decluttering.
Another way to fight this mindset is to make a commitment to value the items you choose to let into your home and promise to never own items that do not truly bring you happiness. This will help you not become so wasteful again in the future.
4. It was a gift
Gifts are wonderful to receive. They make us feel loved and special and thus they hold a lot of emotional energy. But, what do you do with a gift that doesn’t really fill you with joy and happiness.
Are you supposed to keep something just because a loved one gifted it to you? Actually no, you are not. A gift is just a physical representation of the love someone has for you. The gift itself does not hold the love. As long as you appreciate the person who gave you the gift and showed your appreciation, there is no required “holding time” that you need to keep the gift.
This can sound a bit harsh, but you deserve to surround yourself with positivity, joy, beauty and things that make you feel happy and inspired.
5. I might need it
Another tough mindset to overcome is the one of possibly needing something in the future. It ties into the third mindset of being wasteful and the ninth mindset (which deals with scarcity, but we’ll get there in a minute) because you don’t want to have to buy something again.
The best way to overcome this mindset is to think of the kind of life you want to live and then use this new life to measure your items against.
For instance, let’s say cooking is not something that brings you joy. Sure you make dinner most nights, but you’re not channeling your inner Giada De Laurentiis or day-dreaming of having your own cooking show on the Food Network. So, when you are decluttering your kitchen feel free to say goodbye to the pots, pans, gadgets, and extra serving ware pieces that never sees the light of day. You will be fine and cooking will be easier when you are not fighting to get the one pot you use on a daily basis out of the cabinet.
6. I’m keeping it as motivation
Do you have a pair of “skinny” jeans in your closet? How about a dress you’re saving for when you lose weight? Sure, you may fit in these items again, but when you do, will they really still be in style?
Try this instead: Instead of holding onto those “skinny clothes”, which makes you feel negatively about yourself and your body every time you see them anyway(!), reward yourself with something awesome if and when you do reach your goal weight. You totally deserve it!
7. Things make me happy
The western world has been sold this idea that in order to be happy we need more, more, more. However, as the sayings go, “you can’t buy happiness” and “the best things in life are free”.
And scientists agree. Yes, you do need some money to be happy, but once your basic needs of housing, food, clothing, and health are covered adding more things to the mix doesn’t actually make you happier (for the long-term at least).
If shopping is your therapy, consider asking a friend to join you for a coffee date or just to walk around the mall and window shop. Having a friend to spend time with is a great way to boost your spirits and you can ask them to be your accountability partner.
8. I plan to sell it on (insert internet site here).
Yes, you can sell your decluttered items and make a decent amount of money. In fact, the first time my family traveled Europe for an extended period we sold 90% of our belongings and made just over $28,000. Yep. Selling your items can be amazing.
The issue with this mindset is when you hold on to items that you plan to sell “someday”. An easy way to overcome this is to set a “sell by date”. If an item has not been listed or sold by this date, you should then donate it in order to free up the space in your home and mind.
9. These things make me feel secure
I briefly touched on this mindset in #5 so let’s take a minute to talk more about how things can make one feel secure. This, at its core, is a scarcity mindset. It’s the feeling we have when we worry we won’t have enough or won’t have the things we need in the future.
We believe that having things gives us more and makes us feel prosperous. Unfortunately, holding onto things in an attempt to feel satisfied, makes our homes cluttered and messy. This is the opposite of what we want and sadly has us living a life of fear – not one of prosperity.
It can seem strange at first, but once we start to live with less, we begin to realize still have everything we need. Instead of living in fear of the unknown future, we can choose to have more time, space, energy and freedom now.
10. It belonged to a loved one who is now deceased
This is the hardest mindset to overcome because there is a sense of permanence when you have something that belonged to or was gifted to you by someone who is no longer living. When you start your decluttering journey, it is best to put any of these items to the side and to have them be the last things you decide on. By then you will have honed your decluttering skills and be better at knowing how you want to live your true life.
It might go without saying, but I feel I should remind everyone – only keep items that remind you of good times with your loved one. Also remember that even if you discard a thing of theirs you are not discarding the person or your memories.
Here is an example of this in my own life. We lost my father-in-law to a battle with melanoma almost 8 years ago. He was a big collector of t-shirts. Instead of keeping these shirts (that didn’t fit anyone else in the family) my mother-in-law turned them into quilts for her two sons. They are very special because, not only do the t-shirts remind them of their father, the shirts were matched with special times times they each had with him. Our quilt has a t-shirt from our college graduation, our wedding in Mexico, visits from when we lived in Colorado and more. Now it’s like we get a big hug from him when we cuddle in the blanket and is something that truly brings us joy.
Think about how you can use these items in a special or creative way that you can really cherish.
Any of these mindsets sound true for you? If so, great because now you can start working through them.
Mindsets can be difficult to overcome because they seem so ingrained in who we are. But, when we take a step back to examine why we really believe something we often learn it is just a mindset we chose to believe long ago. We can let these thoughts go and start living our best life.
If you would like help on your decluttering journey, I have a FREE 7-day decluttering email series that will help you work through the process. This is not a promise to have a fully decluttered home in 7 days, but you will have a solid roadmap in place to get you there. Not only that, but you will have a deeper understanding of yourself and why you want to declutter in the first place. The series will help you uncover the awesome life you want to live and show you how to get there – starting with your home.
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