Organizing and decluttering, if you’re like me one probably brings to mind the other.

And there’s a reason for this, whenever we search Pinterest for organization ideas (along with all those immaculate baskets and boxes) there are decluttering tips strewn about.

But they aren’t the same thing.

Yes, they are both essential to a well-run home, but they are separate. Learning that really changed the way I looked at my home, so I wanted to share this with you.

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Organizing vs Decluttering
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Ah-ha Moment

Let me start by saying that I did not think my home was cluttered. At all.

But I had been trying to get my house under control since I got married (2.5 years) and failing miserably. I could speed clean before we had guests and even deep clean the whole house with Hubby’s help before we had a large dinner party, thinking all along that this time would be different.

This time I would stay on top of laundry, keep the furniture free of cat hair, keep the dishes from piling up, and keep the clutter picked up and organized—except I didn’t.

Ever.

The mess would slowly creep in and overwhelm me and, before I knew it, I was back at square one. Drowning in mess.

I’d search Pinterest for help on keeping my home organized, tidy and clutter-free. I’d use different cleaning schedules thinking this one might stick or that one, but none of them did.

Then one day I started to read a book I’d picked up from the Amazon Prime Lending Library. Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana K. White.

I’ve read half-way through so far and it really is an excellent book. One thing she said stuck with me and helped me change my cleaning game.

Decluttering and Organizing are not the same thing.

Organizing vs. Decluttering—Why they are different:

I’m not sure why I never realized it, but if you have perpetual trouble keeping things put away it’s likely because you have too many things.

Do you have those friends whose home always looks so organized and put together? (Even when you show up unannounced.)

Hubby and I do too. We’ve talked many times about how their houses are so clean and how they just don’t have tons of stuff laying around.

And it clicked. All the organizing I was trying to do was only going so far.

Because:

Organized clutter is still clutter.
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Organized clutter is still clutter. Arrange it any way you want, that’s what it will be.

But What if You Like Stuff?

I like stuff too.

I am not a minimalist in any way. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I like things. I like lots of books on a bookshelf and a cozy warm feeling that stuff can give a room.

But I love how I feel in a clean and tidy home.

You don’t have to get rid of everything, just start small with your problem areas:

  • Do you have throw pillows that end up on the floor because there’s no room on the couch?
  • Do you really need so many more blankets than there are people in your home? (Especially if they don’t coordinate with your décor.)
  • Maybe you actually need fewer dishes so that you’ll wash them more often.
  • Those shoes that get piled in the bottom of the closet and by the door could be weeded out too.

The point is, that when you get rid of clutter, you’re making more room for things you love. And you’ll take better care of things you really love.

You’ll also cut down on your cleaning time because less clutter = less to clean. Yay!

If this was second nature to you than you rock girl! Keep doing what you’re doing and give the rest of us some tips. But if this was as big of an ah-ha moment for you as it was me, I’d love to hear from you below.

Now that we know the big difference, let the decluttering and organizing begin!