My decluttering process is following a mixture of advice from several sources, plus my own instinct and needs. There are many different ways to approach a cleanup of your living space (or life); a search of "decluttering" or "minimalism" will probably retrieve more links than you'd ever have time to read.
At the moment I'm influenced largely by Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and as I put my own twist on things, I found myself feeling slightly guilty for not doing things exactly as
she recommends. And then I reminded myself that this is my living
space, and I can do things any way I want. If I don't achieve perfect
order, that's okay with me. The progress I've been making is amazing,
even though I've only tackled about a fifth of what I eventually hope to
do. The difference between where I started and where I am now is big
enough that even if I were to stop here, I could say that I've made
significant and satisfying improvements.
Sometimes I used to
watch a show in which people got surprise makeovers of rooms in their
houses. It always annoyed me when the designers on the show ignored the
clearly stated wishes and pet peeves of the homeowners. (Interestingly,
all the designers seemed to have a gut-level aversion to ceiling fans.
Any time I saw a ceiling fan on that show, I knew the designer was going
to yank it out, even if the homeowner wanted it to stay.)
designer had a vision, but the homeowner had to live there. A room is
not just something to look at: it's a place that needs to be comfortable
and functional. And even--gasp--reflect the preferences of its
inhabitants. Including the ability to feel the refreshing breeze from a
ceiling fan on a hot summer night.
It all reminds me of writing,
too. There's an abundance of writing advice out there, and we
tailor it to our own tastes and abilities. We have to be able to live
with the end result.