That's right, I am going to play anti-organizer. That means I am going to let you in on a few secrets that can take the ugly out of getting organized.
In, this case, 'anti' doesn't mean don't organize. It just means that there are ways to address your clutter differently than what you may have been told by others.
The first secret is not to focus on throwing things away. If this is your motivation for getting organized it can be a threatening cause for not getting organized. Organizing is a benefit providing opportunities for positive change. If you know someone you think needs help or you are looking to start a project yourself, don't think of getting rid of things first. Rearranging can make a world of difference. Take away the threat and enjoy what you have in a brand new way. Relocate, rearrange and redistribute first and love the space you can create for yourself.
The next secret is to avoid the cliches. There is no time limit on what to keep and what to let go. Cliches are created to provide arbitrary guidelines when we can't think of any other way to move forward through our clutter. We own many things we don't use but they are necessary to have them around. Plungers, radios and seasonal clothing all have uses that we don't take advantage of often. But they are good investments for future use. If we don't use it or don't wear it, we don't have to live up to a specific time frame for dealing with it. Not everything that's old is worthless. It's a relief to know that we can sort through our things without having to beat the clock. Keeping things doesn't have to be bad and you don't need to get rid of it if you don't want to.
Secret three, is that it is painful to let things go. We become emotionally attached to what we own. It's ours or we bought it or it was a gift. There is actually scientific proof that we suffer the same physical pain as if we drink something too hot or prick our finger when faced with making the decision to part with our things. Reducing the stress of decluttering is important to our wellbeing so recognize that it's okay to give yourself permission to wait until you can make the decision to let go when it's the right time for you.
Now, all that said, it is good to have some structure. Reducing the volume and living with less is absolutely wonderful. But when we are not ready to take on a project and all the cliches or suggestions get us down and prevent us from making changes, then it's time to look at other points of view.
It's as simple as that!