Home » Blog » Striking Balance In Decluttering

Striking Balance In Decluttering

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

You don’t have to get rid of everything you own when you declutter. It doesn’t have to be about minimalism either. It’s okay to keep things that have meaning to you or things you use only occasionally. But keeping too much stuff results in a home that is kind of stressful to live in. Striking balance in decluttering results in a home that is calming, easily tidied and satisfying to live in. So how do you find the right balance? Here are three ideas for striking balance in your decluttering project – keep them handy as you get going!

Bit vs. Batch

Have you ever heard of Bit vs. Batch? It’s a concept that originated in lean manufacturing. Multiple industries including project management and software development have embraced it. I love using this helpful framework in my organizing work. It provides context when thinking about striking balance in decluttering.

At its core, the Bit vs. Batch concept revolves around the idea of consistently tackling smaller tasks (bits) rather than waiting to handle larger, accumulated projects (batches). A good example of this is something I talk about all the time: tackling small decluttering projects (bits) around your home vs. trying to do the whole thing at once (batch.) However, if you are reading this blog you likely have a lot of decluttering to do and so a bit-only approach isn’t realistic.

Find a balance by starting with smaller bits like a single drawer or box. Then you can get used to the feeling of decluttering and practice using mindset to help you make decisions quickly. Once you’ve gotten comfortable you’ll be ready to ‘batch’ a larger space like a closet full of memorabilia or a kitchen filled with decades of accumulated clutter. Finding a balance between bit and batch will help you declutter your home while navigating the demands of your regularly-scheduled life.

Seasonal Vs. Occasional

Seasonal items are used occasionally but consistently, like Christmas ornaments

When striking balance in decluttering, it’s important to understand the difference between seasonal and occasional-use items. Seasonal items are the ones you use occasionally but consistently. Occasional use items the ones you use rarely and inconsistently. Christmas decor is seasonal. Sure you only use it once a year but every year you use it. (BTW love this ornament organizer I found recently – stores a ton of ornaments, drawer style!) Contrast Christmas decor with the deep fat fryer you bought so your mother-in-law could make her famous fried chicken while staying at your house 10 years ago. You used it twice since and now it’s buried on a shelf, unused. It qualifies as an occasional-use item that should be decluttered – you are rarely using it and it is taking up space.

Here is another example from your bedroom closet. Actually, my bedroom closet. I have several dresses that I only wear when we are on vacation in Hawaii. I wear them occasionally but consistently since we go to Hawaii for vacation every year. Compare that with the sweater I paid  a lot of money for years ago but don’t really like that much. So I rarely choose it when deciding to wear a sweater. I should donate it because I don’t wear it but am dedicating space to it. The bottom line is that seasonal items are usually fine to keep but you should scrutinize occasional-use items and in most cases declutter them as they are costing space for little use.

Sentimental Discard vs. Display

Displaying something sentimental like a chess set is a good example of striking balance in decluttering

I could list a dozen reasons for letting go of sentimental items that are languishing in boxes. That said, there will be things that you really want to keep, and when you come across one you should ask yourself ‘do I love it enough to display it?’ Keeping items that are meant to be enjoyed visually, like art, will help you create a balanced home that is decluttered but also personalized. When you display something on the wall or on a shelf, you are freeing up storage space and you are expressing something personal to you.

I have a jade chess set that my grandfather made. The black pieces are green jade and the white pieces are pink jade. There are a lot of pieces and the acrylic chess board they sit on is bulky. I would have to dedicate a lot of space to store it, but instead I have chosen to honor it by dedicating a surface in our entry for display. When I look at it I think of my grandfather. And when people ask about it I love to tell them about my grandfather and his skill as an artist.

Striking balance in decluttering sentimental items is really about letting go of the stuff you don’t love and making space for the things that matter.

I hope these constructs help you find balance as you declutter your own home. The objective of decluttering is creating a balanced home that you love to live in!

Similar Posts

Method Seattle Comment Policy

We welcome relevant and respectful comments. Off-topic comments may be removed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *