Mental Declutter: 8 Misguided Ideas to Give Up to Be Happier at Home

Mental Declutter: 8 Misguided Ideas to Give Up to Be Happier at Home

Adrienne Breaux
Aug 1, 2015

We always encourage the de-cluttering of physical things from the home. It's just not useful to hold on to "stuff" — old magazines, clothes that no longer fit, stuff you bought impulsively — you don't need. This weekend, as you relax, work on DIY projects or just enjoy your time off from work, it might be useful to consider eliminating some mental clutter — ideas and views about your home — so you can fit in more of the things you love (say perhaps contemplating more leisure activities?).

1. Talking down about your home or yourself to others (or yourself)
I'm the author of this post, Practice Positive: 3 Things to Stop Saying to Your Home's Visitors. And I meant every word...and I'm still struggling with it. The worst is trying to accept compliments about my space. But though it's tough to take this kind of advice, it's the sort of challenge worth accepting (and toppling).

2. Focusing on the negative things you can't fix
You don't need to get delusional — if there are things that aren't working about your home — the way it looks or functions — and you can do something about it, do it! But if you're in a situation where you just can't do anything, don't keep going over and over the things you don't like about it. You could actively ignore, choose to camouflage or continuously turn your attention to the things you do like.

3. Home decor perfectionism
So you haven't finished that DIY project, don't have the sofa you really want and just feel like your home will never be finished. Spoiler alert: It will probably never feel "finished." But that shouldn't prevent you from enjoying your home. Love it for it is. Love it for what it isn't. Aim for lofty goals; be happy with perfectly acceptable results.

4. Wanting to impress others with your home
Of course you want your guests — who are usually either friends or family — to feel welcome and comfortable in your home. And you should consider how your furniture is arranged to maximize conversation. But worrying about what people think about your home? Or trying to please someone else's personality with your home? Forget that. It's your place and the only person you should be worrying about impressing is yourself.

5. Making excuses/putting stuff off
We all know this: waiting, putting things off and making excuses just makes things worse. And you probably know what it is you're always putting off. So stop. The next time you get that feeling of wanting to procrastinate on something, just don't. Take a deep breath, dive in, and get that unwanted task over with.

6. Waiting for ... until you can ...
Feel like you can't hold a dinner party because you don't have a giant dining room? Whatever you're holding off on because of some limitation you've discovered (or imagined) well, stop. Life's too short! Do that thing you want to do now.

7. Always being in front of a screen instead of enjoying your home
It's a special sort of waste to spend a lot of time making a home you love...and then spending most of your time at home in front of a computer or TV screen. Taking breaks from technology to enjoy your home by doing favorite hobbies in it will boost the appreciation you feel for your home.

8. Valuing the accumulation of stuff over genuine connection
As folks who love decorating our homes and fixing up our houses, it can be easy to spend a lot of time, energy and money on accumulating stuff to fill our homes with. And that's fine, as long as you also have time for inviting friends over for tea or taking the dog for a walk.

- Re-edited from a post originally published 8.17.2014 - CM

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