Decision Fatigue When Decluttering – 5 Tips That Help

Today I am going to discuss decision fatigue and share 5 helpful tips to avoid getting fatigued.

Decision Fatigue When Decluttering - 5 Tips That Help

Decision fatigue when decluttering can happen quickly.  This is when you are making so many decisions you become fatigued.  Once you are tired of contemplating what to keep and what to donate, you start making poor decisions.

When decluttering you are making hundreds of quick decisions.  Keep or toss?  Trash or Donate?  I think we have all been in the position when all of a sudden you can’t do anymore sorting!  This is decision fatigue, but worry not, I have 5 tips that will help.


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Today I am going to share 5 tips to avoid decision fatigue.  These tips will help you get through decluttering faster and more efficiently.  We can all agree that decluttering or even organizing can be overwhelming at times.


Let me share what I have learned over the last 2 years of decluttering my life.

1 – Declutter in SECTIONS

Break your home up into different sections.  A large project is easier to get done if it is broken up into bite-size pieces. 

It took me an entire year to declutter my whole house (also I don’t have a large home and I didn’t have a lot of stuff).   When decluttering the right way you are going to take your time.

I would declutter one area at a time, for instance, one closet or one bathroom.  You have to figure out what is best for you, but I found if I decluttered a lot in one day I would quickly burn out.

In the large cluttered filled areas of my home, I would break into subsections. 

In the kitchen, I decluttered all of the drawers one day and all of the cupboards another day.  By breaking up the work I found it very manageable.

When you are able to declutter one section successfully, that will motivate you to declutter more.  The smaller the sections the less fatigued I encountered.


Decision Fatigue When Decluttering - 5 Tips That Help



Start your project early in the day.  The earlier you start means the fewer decisions you have already made that day.  Have you ever said at the end of the night, ” I am going to deal with this in the morning?”  Maybe you had decision fatigue! 

By starting in the morning you haven’t made any previous decisions so it is a lot easier to decide.

I like to declutter in the morning, if possible because that is when I have the most energy and a fresh mind.  If you are a night owl, then go with that! 

As far as decision fatigue goes I have found that the earlier I am able to start the easier it is.



Try to avoid overwhelm by tapping into the way you are feeling.  If you are going through things and you find yourself saying, “that’s it I am just going to throw it all out” make sure you stop. 

This is a sign that you have decision fatigue and you need a break.

When I was decluttering my kid’s room I became really overwhelmed at one point and I had to stop.  I made the decision that I would just finish decluttering the clothes and come back the next day to start on the toys. 

It is so easy to get overwhelmed and make the wrong decisions.

This also happened when I was going through my childhood items.  I realized I wouldn’t have the energy to go through all of my photos so I put them all in one box and set it aside for another day. 

Just knowing I could take my time and go through the photos another day helped ensure that I wouldn’t accidentally throw out something important.



When decluttering I make three piles; trash, save and donate piles.  Sometimes if I find myself becoming overwhelmed it’s because I am seeing all of this visual clutter around me. 

One thing that can help is to remove the items you have already gone through.

If you have sorted a bunch of trash into a pile then take it outside. 

Take the items you have already gone through out of your line of vision.  If you see a lot of items, even if you have already sorted them, this can cause decision fatigue. 

Just seeing the items can make me question again if I want to keep them.

As soon as I fill a box to donate I either put it in my car or in a closet, that way I don’t have to see it. 

I also find myself getting more inspired to declutter when I see my home looking a lot more clutter-free and open.  This helps make my decision-making easier and quicker.



There are a few things I have found to help with decision fatigue in my daily life.  A capsule wardrobe has helped with my daily decisions on what to wear. 

Now that I have fewer items of clothing to choose from that cuts down on the amount of decisions that are possible.

Even Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg wear the same outfit every day!  “And they do it for the same reason: decisions. As in, they have to make tons of decisions all the time. And there’s only so much mental energy in a given day, even if you’re the leader of the free world or a wunderkind Harvard dropout.” – says Business Insider

I also tend to wear what I call a “mom uniform”, for me this is jeans and a t-shirt. 

This is not for everyone, but it has really helped me cut down on the amount of time I spend looking through my clothes.

I know this may seem a little weird for some people, but I find the fewer decisions I have to make the more I can get done in a day.  So when I go to the school or the store I usually park in a similar place. 

When I drive somewhere I usually take the same route.

Most days I actually eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch.  I know this might be boring for some people, but I find it allows me to spend all my decision-making time on creative things that I am working on.


Let me know in the comments if you have ever felt decision fatigue and share any tips you may have.


If you are spending a ton of time continually organizing the same area, check out The Declutter Your Home Minicourse.  I created this course for anyone who is sick of all the time wasted tidying their home.  This course is easy to follow and helps you figure out a decluttering schedule so you can declutter your entire home.


This is the perfect course for you if:

  • You worry about your home before having people over (aka shoving things in closets).
  • Things are always “missing” in your home.
  • You wonder why your home never looks clean or tidy, no matter how much cleaning you do.


If you need direction on how and where to start on your decluttering journey check out The Declutter Your Home Minicourse!


READ MORE decluttering tips HERE:

Decluttering Tips for Kids

Second-Hand Clothes for Kids


Capsule Wardrobe for Kids

How to do a Seasonal Declutter

Swedish Death Cleaning?

Closet Declutter Before and After


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Decision Fatigue When Decluttering - 5 Tips That Help

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