Throughout my family I have definitely become known for my decluttering and my constant desire to minimize my possessions. That means that I have started being called in to help with the decluttering of their stuff, whether they want to or not (apologies to my husband!)
Now over the past few months of helping other people get rid of things I have learned about how best to work with people and stuff that isn’t mine.
Here are some of the things that you should keep in mind when helping people declutter:
- Work on their time. Getting rid of stuff can be hard and overwhelming and it can go south fast if you are forcing them to give up things left and right. You can take breaks and spread it out over multiple sessions or days.
- Let them drive. It can be tempting to want to rush and make them get rid of things, but you don’t know the stories behind those items. If an area is too hard, move to somewhere else and if you can’t decide on a certain item, put it in a maybe pile for now.
- Put yourself in their shoes. While getting rid of things might be easy for you, it isn’t going to be for everyone, especially not at once.
- Start somewhere easy. Don’t make the first place that you go through the family heirlooms or super sentimental things. While you can eventually get to those, start with something more simple or less emotional, like office supplies.
- Give opinions, but only if asked. It is not your decision to make whether or not they keep things, but as you are there for help and support if they ask what you think about a shirt, or a plate, give your honest opinion.
- Ask questions. If they are having problems getting rid of things you can ask questions to get them thinking about whether or not they really need it in their life.
Declutting with other people is a complete different beast than doing it yourself and you need to come to the table with a very different mindset and tools.
Have you ever helped someone else get rid of things? What are some of your tips?