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Start, Even Though it’s Hard

I don’t know where you’re coming from. Life experiences like poverty, unemployment, great loss – all of these things shape your perspective on stuff. I believe my house burning down as a child actually helped me in the decluttering process. I’m not sure if it was that exact experience that made me this way, but I am the extreme opposite of sentimental. As opposed to my daughter who cries for twenty minutes about something we threw away a year ago, I willingly toss anything not tied down. I’ve actually had to rein in my purging tendencies with four little kids in the house. That being said, if you’ve lived through multiple cycles of unemployment, you might view the stuff in your home as your only asset. It might be extremely hard to part with some of it. I get that.

So, start small. It’s for this very reason that I recommend starting in the bathroom. It’s the easiest room to declutter and will give you the momentum you need to keep going. Just start! [1]

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

This is probably the biggest mistake we make when decluttering. I know because I also committed this mistake when I thought that I should be able to declutter and organize my room in just a day or a half, like my Mom. Turns out that I can declutter and organize too, but I need a few minutes everyday, for a couple of days. So in the same way, don’t compare yourself with others in terms of the items that you need, how you declutter, and how long it takes for your home to be clutter-free. Because you’re different. You may find some similarities with others, like the way you fold your clothes, and that’s great! But when things are already different, like how many clothes you need, it’s very much okay to be completely different. So don’t try to be uber-minimalist like me when it comes to your shoes. Evaluate what you really need given your current situation. Declutter from there. [2]


Organize your stuff and know what you own. This will prevent you from buying things unnecessarily and help open up some of your budget for other needs.

Organization doesn’t have to be expensive. I love using plastic food storage bags to organize small items, repurposed baskets, and repurposed storage containers (especially after I declutter). [3]


[1] This Simple Balance Editorial Staff. "8 Tips for Decluttering on a Low Income." This Simple Balance, 28 October 2021,

[2] Mendoza, Em. "How to Declutter on a Low Income." Simple Life of a Lady, 28 October 2021,

[3] Brooke. "9 Crucial Strategies for Decluttering on a Low Income." Happy Simple Mom, 28 October 2021,


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