Last week, I was in Bed Bath and Beyond when I came across a spice organizing shelf. I was about to declutter my spice cabinet anyway, so it caught my attention. The shelf was very customizable. You can make it narrower, wider, taller, shorter, etc. It looked great, and I was about to buy it when I realized something.
Buying products to help me declutter is counterproductive!
If I only wanted to organize the spices, this would have been perfect, but that wasn't my intention at all.
How many times have I fallen into this trap? How many times have I bought products to "help" me declutter?
Embarrassingly, I have done this more than once. Buying storage containers are great for organizing and terrible for decluttering. A few years ago, I bought several clear plastic cylindrical containers that are great for storing pasta. I used them for a little while. Now they sit on a shelf in my pantry. At another point, I bought storage boxes, lots of storage boxes, for things that I pack away and may never take out again. Storage boxes are great for things we want to keep, but not so great when we are looking to keep less.
There is a big difference between decluttering and organizing. Decluttering means throwing out or donating things you no longer need. Organizing is straightening up what you own.
Decluttering always includes some organizing, but organizing doesn't always involve decluttering. It is important to distinguish between the two.
Lesson learned. So now I think of it this way - I have decluttered if I have:
✔️ bags of trash or donations
✔️ more space in the closet, cabinet, drawer, or wherever
✔️ fewer duplicates
✔️ didn’t keep things "just in case."
Otherwise, I have organized the space, not decluttered it.
Photo credits: Pixabay