There are many ways to stay organized, and decluttering your home is an important part of that. Using organization strategies that work for you and your household are always the best. You could, however, be slowing your own progress without realizing it. Rather than a to-do list, which is a great tool in staying on track, this not-to-do list will help make sure you aren’t getting in your own way when it comes to decluttering your home.

Don’t Buy Storage Supplies First

It’s easy to get excited when you’re thinking about organizing. That store aisle full of adorable containers and storage materials is very tempting. However, you should not be purchasing anything for organizing until after you’ve decluttered. You’ll be more tempted to keep things that you don’t need, now that you have a handy place to store everything, rather than minimize the unnecessary items in your home. You don’t need a stack of storage containers any more than you need a stack of newspapers.

Don’t Plan for More Than You’re Ready For

In the same eager fashion, it’s not uncommon to set aside an entire day that you have dedicated to decluttering your home. Very few people actually have the energy and motivation to clean and organize for several consecutive hours, and you’ll be exhausted by lunch time. This leads to feelings of defeat instead of progress if you haven’t reached a goal that was set too high. Rather than schedule a huge project, tackle a single area of the home that you’re more likely to accomplish in a reasonable amount of time.

Don’t Multitask

As you work on decluttering projects, you’ll come across items that will distract you or other projects that will appear on your to-do list. Focus on the current not-to-do list, and slot any pop-up ideas for another day. By not focusing on your initial task, you’ll get to the end of your day and realize bits and pieces of your household are in disarray, with no visible progress. The best way to declutter and organize is one project at a time.

Don’t Forget Regular Upkeep

Once you have decluttered and organized, it’s not going to maintain itself. You should adjust your daily habits. This could mean not stacking the mail on the counter or leaving your shoes in the hallway. Once you decide on a place for something, stick with it, and continue to put things where they belong.

Don’t Expect Picture Perfect

Even the most organized homes rarely look like the magazines. Your home is lived in, and your closets and cupboards will reflect that. Expect organization, not perfection, out of yourself. You’ll be much more satisfied with the result, and you won’t stress that every shirt isn’t folded perfectly.

Organizing habits are different for everyone, but this not-to-do list for decluttering your home can ring true for all. By not expecting too much of yourself, you’ll discover that it is easy to maintain a decluttered home.