The whole point of decluttering is to have enough, but not too much.
It's why I won't ever give a list of what you should have, or how much. It's different for everyone, and it changes based on your season of life, home size, and more. I believe that rather than looking for lists of things we should have, diving into your home and decluttering is the only way to learn how to declutter and have enough, but not too much.
Here's the thing, I can say the first thing you need to do is declutter your kids clothes and only have five pair of pants. To which you say, but we live in a rural area so that doesn't work.
And then we have done a couple things all wrong.
First, we entered this interaction thinking giving away our power to the other. You thought I could tell you what you need, and I thought I would know what you need.
Second, the focus is on thinking, not doing. You won't ever be able to think your clutter away, or figure out your personal threshold without action.
Eventually, you just need to declutter and see what happens.
Decluttering all comes down to YOU, and your family and home and needs. You know your family best. Not me.
The only way you will figure out what this balance is for you is to actually declutter! Dive in and get started with Decluttering Simplified if you want high level support from me teaching you exactly how to declutter, and in what order.
Having this guidance gives you the freedom to decide how much, and what to keep. I do the brain work for you so all you have to do is implement it in your home.
It requires action, and introspection. Asking yourself questions and thinking critically about what you have, need, and use.
How do you tell if you have enough, but not too much?
Generally, the guideline is that it is easy to maintain. This doesn't mean it's perfect. It means that you can easily recover from your messed.
But let's talk specifics…
I know that we have a manageable amount of toys when we can have all toys cleaned up at the end of the day in about five to ten minutes.
Now, some days are crazier than others. When the weather is awful, or moods just are generally more to manage, the messes might take longer.
Overall though, most days, we can have our daily play messes fully recovered in a short amount of time.
If it consistently becomes a source of frustration, and battle of wills, I know we need to declutter.
With five kids it is never going to be perfect here, and that is not the goal. We always have things coming in, which means we always have to declutter again.
But the in-flow, and out-flow slows way down and we always settle back into what's manageable for us.
The funny thing, the more kids we have the less toys we can handle! People require our time and energy, which means we have less time and energy to give to our stuff.
I know we have a manageable amount of clothes when I don't fall behind on laundry, and everyone has clothes to wear. You can find more about the specifics of this in the blogs below!
But when I start to fall behind on laundry and live out of laundry baskets, I know we need to declutter the clothes.
An important note about why we need less, and know we have enough
Parkinson's law says if you have more, you're going to use more and then you get stuck in this cycle of being too far behind to actually catch up.
So, when you have 30 pair of pants to wear, you will likely wear all 30 before you start washing laundry. And by that point it's way too much and very overwhelming.
So you wash just enough to have the clean clothes you need. While simultaneously surrounded by clothes you don't wear, don't need and you do have enough of.
The same is true with dishes.
If your family has the opportunity to pull out a new cup every time they get a drink, they will.
When they have one water bottle for daily drinks, they will just use one. And that is enough.
I know it can be a weird and maybe scary change to make in your home, but I promise you need WAY less than you have in your home right now.
Especially if you are overwhelmed by it all.
Clear Your Clutter, my free decluttering plan is the perfect place to start and learn how to find your personal threshold of enough stuff, but not too much!
- How To Stop Having Laundry Piled To The Sky When You're A Mom
- How to switch out kids' wardrobes
- How To Trick Your Husband Into Thinking You Keep A Clean Home, But Really You Take A Nap
- Join the Motherhood Simplified Facebook group!