HOW TO FIND THE MOTIVATION TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME
Decluttering can be tough for many of us. To help you declutter your home with less stress and more ease, here are some tips on how to find the motivation to declutter your home.
DECLUTTERING ISN’T EASY
Like any changes, choosing to declutter your home will take a little time and effort before you feel the benefits and see the difference it can make to your time, space, freedom and stress levels. And, of course, depending on how much clutter you’ve got to deal with, the difference might be immediate, or it might take a while!
The trick is to stay motivated and positive even when things aren’t going quite right, you get slowed down, or when it’s all taking longer than you expected.
The main thing to remember if you’re struggling to find the motivation to declutter is that you’ve made that first all-important step towards experiencing the benefits of a decluttered home. You’ve decided enough is enough and are really taking action to make those changes.
You’re not just thinking about doing them, you’re actually doing them and that takes courage. So, cut yourself some slack, be kind to yourself and take courage!
TIPS ON HOW TO FIND THE MOTIVATION TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME
Here are some tips on how to find the motivation to declutter your home and keep it up!
1. Be kind to yourself
Remember that there’s no right way to declutter your home. You can declutter in stages, do a first big sweep to clear the obvious clutter and then do smaller rounds of decluttering, gradually clearing out more each time. Just because your home isn’t totally decluttered the first time you tackle it, is not a reason to give up or think you can’t do it!
2. Don’t get demoralised through lack of support
Don’t get demoralised because your partner can’t understand what you’re doing, or why. Or, perhaps the rest of your household, your kids or even your wider family don’t get what you’re trying to achieve. Don’t worry, they’ll either come around if you live your life by example so they too can see the benefits of a decluttered home.
For the time being, just focus on your stuff and the areas of your home which are in your control. Agree to disagree, agree to compromise or just declutter your own belongings and leave everyone else’s for the moment.
3. Make decluttering fun
Encourage the kids to help you. Choose a time when you’re all in a good mood and make it a fun experience by turning decluttering into a game. For example, who’s the quickest at bagging up 5 toys they no longer play with to give to charity?
Make it fun for yourself too and you’re more likely to have the motivation to declutter. Turn up the music or your favourite TV programme in the background, get some snacks, a coffee or glass of wine. Enjoy creating a lovely, clutter-free home for you and your family.
4. Be realistic
Don’t give up if it’s taking longer than you thought! If you’ve got a lot of stuff, or haven’t decluttered before, decluttering can take a long time, especially if you come across a particularly difficult room or, for example, a box of old family photos you’d forgotten about.
Be realistic about what you can achieve in the time you have available. It’s better to under-estimate what you can do and be pleasantly surprised instead of being too ambitious and getting frustrated because you don’t do what you set out to.
5. Go easy with the rules
Implement the one in/one out idea if you’re finding it difficult to part with your stuff, are fed up with feeling like you can’t go out shopping and buy anything new and you’re ready to throw in the towel thinking that decluttering isn’t for you.
If you buy something new, then swap it out for something old. If you like clothes shopping but still like the idea of a decluttered wardrobe then buy a new top, by all means, but maybe give one of your existing tops away to charity? That way you still get to go shopping and enjoy a new top, but your wardrobe doesn’t get bigger in the process.
6. Have a plan
Lack of motivation means we’re often not concentrating on what we’re doing and we don’t get it done in the most effective way possible. So, before you start decluttering, decide on your plan and stick to it, whether you feel like it or not! It may sound tough, but it’s tough love.
7. Avoid distractions
Effective decluttering is best done without distractions. Stay on task and don’t let your mind wander and you’ll be able to get through your decluttering project quicker. When we’re not feeling motivated to do something, it’s easy to get distracted and avoid the task at hand.
Put your phone out of the way, stop yourself from re-reading your child’s school reports from 10 years ago as you declutter the paperwork. If you want to do these things, allocate another time when you’re not meant to be decluttering.
8. Get rid of unwanted items as part of the process
Bag up your unwanted items and deal with them straightaway. Once you’ve decluttered and managed to put some items in bags, make sure that you deal with them, then and there, before you’ve finished. Don’t be tempted to sit back and think you’re done until the rubbish bag is in the bin, the donate and recycle bags have been donated and recycled.
Otherwise, you’ll find your family rooting through the bags looking for items which they want to keep and all your hard work will be undone. You’ll get demoralised and lose your motivation to declutter going forward. Don’t let this happen just because you haven’t moved those bags!
9. Declutter in short spurts
If you’re not feeling very motivated, the thought of spending a whole day decluttering your garage might sound totally off-putting – it would to me too! Try decluttering in small little chunks, 10 minutes here or there. Those 10 minutes, repeated often, is enough to clear your clutter pretty well but in manageable bite-sized chunks. Try this free 30-day Declutter Challenge for some simple, daily projects to clear your clutter.
10. Reward yourself
If you’ve decluttered successfully, no matter how much or how little, treat yourself to something nice. A cup of tea and a biscuit, a dance around the room, take-away pizza, a glass of wine, family film night. It doesn’t matter what you choose, as long as it’s a reward for a productive declutter session and you look forward to the treat to spur you on and keep you motivated for next time!
You can also create incentives for different stages of your decluttering progress. Declutter one room and do this, another room and get something else. It’s down to you what incentive you choose but we all work better when there’s something nice waiting for us at the end!
11. Seek support
Use every opportunity you can to help your family understand what you’re doing and why. They’re more likely to want to give it a try with you which will also help your motivation levels!
Tell a friend what you’re doing and promise to keep them up-to-date with your progress. Ask them to check in on you and see how you’re doing. Send pictures, share your successes and struggles and stay accountable!
12. Give yourself a deadline
Declutter the living room by the weekend and invite guests over so the room has to be decluttered by then. Advertise a garage sale or set a date to go to the car boot so you need to have some stuff to sell by then. Setting a realistic deadline focuses the mind.
13. Remember your why
Get clear on why you want to declutter and the benefits you hope it will bring for you. Perhaps more time, space, freedom, less to clear up and clean, easier to clean, a calmer home… When you lose motivation to declutter think back to why you wanted to declutter in the first place. Keep this reason first and foremost in your mind for those times when you want to give up.
It may take time to find what works for you. Go slow and be prepared that you might meet resistance or lose motivation from time to time. Be ready to persevere, be kind to yourself and don’t despair when it goes wrong.
If you lose your mojo, just take a break for today and carry on tomorrow.
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RESOURCES ON DECLUTTERING YOUR HOME
Here are some other helpful resources and articles on decluttering your home:
- 9 decluttering tips for hoarders
- 11 things to do before you start decluttering
- How to declutter fast
- Where to start decluttering
- 10 reasons to declutter your home
- Simplify Your Home – a step-by-step decluttering guide and workbook to help you declutter your home room-by-room. Decluttering checklists, actionable steps plus plenty of expert tips to declutter your home, overcome obstacles and keep that clutter away for good!