There’s something profoundly satisfying about completing a challenging task.
That feeling when you finish a race, accomplish a project at work, or even just finish cleaning up after a really successful party.
You get to stand back, take a deep breath, and savor the accomplishment. It’s an amazing feeling.
Yet, in our journey toward minimalism, I often hear a common refrain, “Decluttering is a process and I’m fine with that. There is no endpoint to decluttering anyway.” But, as with any task, isn’t there a moment of completion, a moment of pure satisfaction when the hard work is finally over?
Yes, of course there is! There is an endpoint to decluttering. And it’s wonderful!
Decluttering, like many worthy endeavors, requires dedication of course. And it’s easy to believe that this must be a never-ending cycle. And while it’s true that we need to stay vigilant against clutter returning, that doesn’t mean we never experience the moment of accomplishment.
Minimalism, as I’ve come to realize, does have an endpoint.
It’s not about achieving an entirely empty room or living with just a backpack. Instead, it’s about reaching a point where the things you own serve a purpose in your life. It’s the beautiful moment when you look around your space and think, “This environment frees me to pursue what’s important.”
Does it mean there are no unnecessary possessions remaining? Probably not. But there is a moment when the initial work feels completed.
Now, that doesn’t mean decluttering can’t still be a journey. It took us three months to declutter our main living spaces and nine months to address the entire home. Then, three years later, we moved into a smaller house. The process was not without its challenges, and it wasn’t overnight. But every step we took brought us closer to the endpoint.
Here’s why I think this is so important.
Believing that decluttering is an unending process can keep us from making progress. If there is “no end to this journey,” what’s the point of working hard to minimize our unneeded things? No matter what you do… there will always be more left.
But there’s a profound difference between living a decluttered life and always decluttering.
Living a decluttered life is possible, and you can achieve it!
Yes, there’s maintenance. New possessions enter our homes. Seasons of life change. Kids grow older. But once you’ve reached that initial milestone, the hardest work is over.
Maintaining a minimized space is way easier than getting there. And trust me, reaching that sweet spot is wonderful.
So, what does life look like when the decluttering is done?
More Time: You spend less time cleaning, organizing, and looking for things. And doing more of the things you love.
More Freedom: Without the weight of excess possessions, you are lighter, freer, and more in control of your life.
More Contentment: Once you realize you have everything you need, contentment comes easier.
More Financial Stability: Maintaining fewer things (and less impulse buying) mean more savings and more opportunity to finally get ahead.
More Intentionality: Every possession becomes a conscious choice. You begin to apply this intentionality in other aspects of your life as well.
Some of the greatest benefits of minimalism are discovered when you reach the finish line.
Does this mean you’ll never buy or acquire anything new again? Of course not. There may be times when things begin to accumulate a bit in your home. But removing a few things, every so often, is much easier than decluttering your entire home the first time.
I don’t want this article to discourage anyone who is struggling to make progress. Just the opposite!
I want to encourage you to not get lost in the belief that decluttering has no end. There is a finish line—and the harder you work to get there, the better!
So, if you’re still on a journey towards minimalism, keep going.
The endpoint is real, achievable, wonderful, and probably closer than you think.