7 Home Organization Roadblocks Holding You Back and How to Get Past Them

Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Updated April 18, 2022
woman gathering clothes in box
Photo: kate_sept2004 / Getty Images


  • Don’t let excuses prevent you from organizing your home. 

  • Even if something was a gift, that doesn’t mean you have to keep it forever. 

  • Set a time limit on those planned DIY projects.

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Whether you’re admiring photos of perfectly organized spaces on social media or trying to fit your newest sweater into your already packed closet, you probably have some big home organizing dreams. However, it seems like every time you try to get your space in order, you feel a little bit stuck. There always seems to be a reason why you can’t go through your piles of stuff today or why you just can’t part with those scuffed-up pairs of sneakers.

Never fear: We’ll show you how to overcome those excuses that are holding you back from the clean, clutter-free space of your daydreams.

1. “I Don’t Have Time.”

When your day-to-day gets hectic, it’s easy to ignore optional tasks like decluttering and home organization—but these important projects don’t have to eat up your entire weekend. Consider bringing in a local professional organizer or asking friends and outside family members to help in exchange for drinks, snacks, and free goodies. If all else fails, set aside a few minutes per day to throw rarely used items in a bag for donating. 

And all of this hard work can actually set you up to be less busy in the future. Creating a clutter-free space can quiet that busy mind, putting you in a better headspace to take on your other tasks—not to mention the sweet, sweet feeling of accomplishment once you’re finished. 

2. “I’ll Fix It Someday.”

woman doing diy project
Photo: Justin Lambert / Digital Vision / Getty Images

Dedicated DIY-ers know the struggle of holding onto items because they’re technically fixable. Just because you can fix it, does that mean you will? If so, dedicate a spot in your schedule to finish the task. If you can’t commit to a date, you’re better off curbing the item. Who knows—maybe a passerby will pick it up, fix it, and give it a new home.

3. “I Can Repurpose This Somehow.”

Don’t let your creative drive clutter up your living space. Unless you’ve got a solid plan to see a repurposing project to fruition, don’t let the pieces pile up. Those containers you’ve been saving for DIY planters? Ask yourself if you have the paint and tools to do it, let alone the plants. The bits and bobs you hope to transform into a wind chime? How do you plan to pull it off, and when? 

Be realistic and declutter mercilessly to allow room for the projects you can and will accomplish in a reasonable timeline.

4. “Why Let It Go to Waste?”

mother and daughter packing up clothes to donate
Photo: bojanstory / Getty Images

It’s difficult to let go of perfectly good gadgets, clothing items, toys, tools, or pieces of furniture. Maybe you’re concerned with wasting money by tossing something that you will later discover to be useful. But the truth is, if you haven’t used or worn it in a year, you should probably free up that extra space. Recycle the items or donate them to avoid feeling like you’ve wasted them.

5. “I’m Sentimentally Attached.”

Souvenirs, toys, and other mementos can carry treasured memories, but there’s only so much that your home can reasonably hold. Remember that you’ll still have the memory, whether or not you have the item. Consider snapping a photo of your memorabilia before parting ways, so you’ll have a visual reminder without reserving a physical spot in your home.

6. “Someone Gifted It to Me.”

woman receiving a gift from a friend
Photo: AndreyPopov / Getty Images

The guilt of tossing a present often outweighs your desire to free up space around the house. Sure, your in-laws mean well, but you don’t ever see yourself using that panini maker. What if they come over and expect one of the delicious hot sandwiches you’ve surely become a pro at making? 

At that point, the item becomes a burden, which was never the gift giver’s intention. Instead of keeping it, honor the giver with a thank-you note, then give the item to someone else who will enjoy it.

7. “I’ll Tackle It Tomorrow.”

Procrastination is the enemy of productivity, yet it’s still so hard to silence that innate instinct. It’s even harder when you finish your other work, and all you want to do is chill out and relax. Meanwhile, those cluttered kitchen cabinets are making meal prep harder than it needs to be, and that messy linen closet is giving you anxiety every time you go to grab a towel. 

Think of home organization as a form of self-care: It might be hard at first, but the rewards far outweigh the effort. If you’re having trouble committing to a timeline, try writing it down as a to-do list—it sounds simple, but there’s great power in putting pen to paper.

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