I’m usually all about taking advantage of resources and information when it comes to decluttering. Whether you’re on social media, reading blogs or books, or even taking a course, you can learn some great information about clutter and hoarding, and find solutions and strategies that work for you.
Not everything out there is helpful! I’ve been scrolling past ‘decluttering tips’ in my Pinterest feed for a long time now, and I just can’t take it anymore!!! Some of them are the most UNHELPFUL POSTS EVER!!! So, let’s take a few minutes to point them out (sort of—I won’t actually put the posts up here because I’m sure someone tried very hard to be helpful. But I will use their headlines) and show why they do not help people overwhelmed with clutter.
The key here is the phrase ‘overwhelmed with clutter’. If you’ve got a few things on your counter, and you need 10 minutes to tidy your spare room before guests come over, then these posts I’m about to mock will probably help you. However, if you have run out of counter space, have no idea what the color of the floor in your spare room is, and wouldn’t dream of having guests over right now, then it will help you to know which Pinterest posts to avoid:
“How to Declutter Your Entire House in One Weekend (or less)!”
Are you kidding me? If you’re overwhelmed with clutter, this is not the post for you! You cannot remove years of overwhelming clutter in one weekend, and certainly not in less than a weekend. So no bad feelings when the weekend passes and you haven’t decluttered everything. Because this Pinterest post is for a way different category of clutter—a very very small amount of clutter.
“35 Things You Should Always Buy At the Dollar Store and 10 Items You Should Avoid”
Let me try to get this right: You’re overwhelmed with clutter, you still have stuff in bags from the last time you went to the dollar store, and 35 MORE things from the dollar store will help?!? I don’t think so… For many clutterers, a visit to the dollar store is a huge shopping trigger that leads to more clutter. Skip the dollar store and take a friend out for coffee instead!
“When Clutter is Overwhelming”
The name of this post is just fine. It’s the image with it that drives me crazy. A young Mom is sitting on the edge of her couch with her head in her hands. She looks completely discouraged. On the floor is a laundry basket with a sock hanging out of it. There’s at least half a dozen unfolded clothes (gasp!) on her otherwise clear couch that sits on a clean floor without anything else around. Honey, if 7 items of clothing are considered overwhelming in your otherwise pristine house, you don’t realize how good you have it!
“250 Things You Will Feel Happier Without”
This post (there are lots of versions) has an image of a checklist with a lovely font. The idea is that you just run through this checklist, toss everything, and find happiness at the bottom. But here’s the thing: often it doesn’t make you feel happier to let things go. That’s part of the reason you have so much clutter—it sucks to let go and you’d rather not feel sucky! I’m not saying you should stop decluttering just because it’s hard. (You can learn a bit about why it makes you feel bad here.) Please don’t feel bad if you’re not thrilled with the idea of decluttering. This is a normal response for clutterers and hoarders, and something you can work through as you declutter.
“Declutter Your Garage Easily”
This is another one where the image and the title just don’t fit. It shows a garage with only a foot or two of space near the top, overflowing dramatically into the driveway. And it looks really really chaotic. Let’s be clear. If this is your garage, there is no ‘easy’ way to declutter it. It CAN be decluttered (I’ve helped it happen!) but it takes time, energy, and lots of loads of donations, recycling, and garbage.
After all those unhelpful posts, I know there are still a lot of really good, helpful pins out there! Look for things that are helpful, inspiring, and realistic. And when you see pins that make you feel guilty, hopeless, or anything else negative, scroll past quickly and don’t give them another thought.
Happy Decluttering (and Pinning!)