Decluttering your space requires not just time, but energy. And more than physical energy, it requires mental energy.
Do I need it? Do I want it? Can I afford to get rid of it?
Do I love it? Does it still serve me? Does it “spark joy”?
If I keep it where will it go? If I get rid of it, will I recycle it, dispose of it, give it away, try to sell it?
It’s beautiful, but I don’t have a use for it, should I keep it for the possibility of someday?
Just thinking about all the questions that arise when going through your possessions can wear you out. So expecting to make significant progress on any given day may just not be feasible. Especially if you have other decisions to make throughout your day and your decluttering takes place at day’s end when your brain is already tired.
And, as some of the decisions may be much harder than others, making a quick decision might be too hasty, causing you to make a decision you aren’t prepared to make, or aren’t prepared to live with.
If you’re going to regret letting something go because you made a rash decision when your brain was too fatigued to make an educated one, hold onto the item for a while.
If you get rid of something that is occasionally useful, and are likely to buy it again when you do need it, hold onto it for a while - at least until you know you’re making the best decision possible.
Decluttering videos and series don’t really touch on just how emotionally and mentally draining it can be to get rid of your things. They don’t talk about how tired you can get from making decision after decision, leading to bad decisions or no decisions.
“Extreme” purging is not for everyone. Especially for those who want to be more mindful of the choices they’re making about the things that have accumulated and the things they want to remain in their home.
So, for those who go through question after question after question for each object they possess, you should take into account decision fatigue and manage your expectations so that you don’t find yourself defeated by the process, lack of progress, or the fact that it’s not as easy as it seems for those who’ve recorded their epic transformations.
I have a list of things that I’ve been delaying making decisions on. I try to tackle this list every Sunday afternoon - but often find myself just too tired to commit. I tend to make my best decisions in the mornings, somewhere between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., on weekdays. Which is great for my employer, but not so great for my journey toward minimal. But I haven’t given up hope. Because I commit to making at least one decision from my list of long-delayed decisions each week - which often feels like I’ve climbed the biggest hill though in reality it was the size of a grain of sand. Still one decision made is one less decision to make. And if I make fewer wrong decisions about things that enter my home, that means there will be fewer and fewer decisions to become fatigued about in my future.