Let’s face it: Becoming minimalist can be hard work—especially if you’re working through an entire home. A lot of times, we start the process excited about the potential of owning less. But soon, the enormity of the task begins to set in.
As a result, there are times when you may feel frustrated, disheartened, or want to quit altogether. If that is you, let me encourage you today. You can do it! You can make progress this weekend.
To help, here are seven strategies for when you feel stuck decluttering:
I have recorded a series of videos about minimalism. To watch more, subscribe to Becoming Minimalist on YouTube.
Hi Joshua…We are brand new Empty Nesters, but the Nest is not Empty by any means. There are lots of things here left behind by 4 grown children,, 3 of which are in Universities around California. I am overwhelmed with the job ahead..What to do? I don’t feel complete freedom to dispose of what they left..and they might be back at times for this and that, but I feel they will at this time not live again at home as in the past. I pacify my thinking with just concentrating on my own stuff and that of my husband where I do have the most decision making control. Thanks.
joshua becker says
I think you are probably right. It’s a difficult season to navigate, for sure. After I got married (early-20s) and established in my own home, my parents said to me, “This Christmas, each of you kids need to go through everything left at our house and decide once-and-for-all what you want and take it with you. We’ll feel better about removing what’s left after that.” I can see if your kids have not established their own home yet (married or not), it’s probably too early for something like that. But the time is coming…
When I was in college, my parents wanted to move my younger brother into my old bedroom (much larger than the one he had inhabited as a child) and asked me to go through and move all my things out of the room. they made me take most of it with me, with the exception of some larger furniture (a bedframe, bookshelves, and bedside table).
So, there may be a way to set a limit on how much space you are willing to give over to storage for your children’s things, even if it doesn’t all leave now. It might make it easier to set limits for the future removal of items as well, by starting a conversation about how much you are willing to store, and when they will be expected to remove what they want to keep. You may be surprised by the choices they would make about those items, and can feel better about getting rid of things knowing they’ve already had a chance to go through them.