A cluttered house makes for a cluttered mind. At least that’s the consensus. The truth is, if you want to start to declutter your home, motivation to do so is necessary.
While most people tend to have a little clutter somewhere in their homes, there are those that have rooms stuffed to the brim with things they think they might use someday, things they never use or stuff they are hesitant to discard. This leaves whole areas of their houses unusable for what they are intended for.
Clutter on any level can be extremely overwhelming, causing stress. While you may think this would be enough to get anyone motivated to start getting rid of the clutter, the truth is, many people don’t know how to get started, and end up discouraged.
How to Get Started Decluttering
Make a List
Making a list of all the things your need to do to get to your goal of decluttering your home, will help to put things in perspective. This will help to reduce how overwhelmed you feel when you get started. Take a quick walk around your home and write down all the things that need to be done. Make sure to compile a list of smaller jobs that need to be done, this will help to reduce the stress you feel and as you mark tasks off, you will feel accomplished and motivated to do more.
Have a Strategy
Before you start on your decluttering journey, make sure you have a strategy in place. Sometimes it helps to have separate boxes labeled for different purposes such as, keep, donate or trash. This will make sure that you have things organized before you get started. A good idea to keep in mind, if you haven’t used something in at least 6 months, it can be donated or trashed.
Realize Change is Necessary
Clutter can accumulate for several different reasons, especially in a household with children in it. The best thing that you can do before you get started on tackling the clutter is to realize that change is necessary.
You are going to have to make sure that you change the way you see things. I like to go to my front door and pretend I am a new person coming in and looking at my house. I notice things I normally don’t see like the box of old books that has been sitting in the corner for over a month.
Another reminder is to change yourself before demanding changes from others. If your family sees you decluttering and keeping things organized they are more likely to jump in and help versus when we stand in front of them and announce that we are all changing. The resistance is almost guaranteed with that sort of announcement. I notice that whenever I reorganize my side of the closet my husband gets motivated to do his within a day or two without me even asking.
Figure out what area of your home bothers you the most and then start there. Whether it’s the bedroom closet, the piles of paper on top of the fridge or an overflowing pantry, organizing the area that bothers you most will help you to get started. That first feeling of accomplishment starts a snowball effect.
Slow and Steady
Getting rid of clutter and keeping it gone, requires you to apply new methods of organization, building new habits and creating new routines. Cutting the clutter takes time and there are no short cuts. Just take it slow. After all, slow and steady wins the race.
Stick to One Room
When starting to declutter, take it one room at a time. Overwhelming yourself with tasks throughout several different rooms will only cause you to get frustrated and stressed. I do that to myself sometimes too. I will take something to another room to put it away and next thing I know I am working on something in that other room for 20 mins and forget to finish my first task. Make sure that whenever you get started in one room, you stick to it until you see it through.
A Little Each Day
Start with small steps. Each day only spend 15 minutes in one area. Just do what you can during that time, you can even set a timer. This calendar can help you move through your house. Just do 15 minutes and then the next month it will be 15 minutes more and trust me you can really make a big difference through out your home without exhausting yourself.
FREE 30 DAY DECLUTTERING CALENDAR
Print it out and get your house under control.
How to Stay Motivated While Decluttering
Take A Course/Join A Group
I know I always meet my goals faster when I have accountability. Joining a course or group like my friend Hilary’s The Organized Home course has the accountability and camaraderie that I need. She gives tips and lessons to get you to feeling accomplished and the motivation to get organized. Plus an amazing Facebook group. Check out what it includes at The Organized Home.
Keep a Journal/Take Photos
While decluttering it can be difficult to see how much we have accomplished because it’s only clear to us how much still needs to be completed. This is where keeping a decluttering journal can be beneficial. Write down your decluttering successes, allowing you to look back and see how much you have accomplished. This will help you from being discouraged and remind you how great it felt to follow through with your intention to declutter your home. Photos are an instant way to feel great too and can keep you on task. I like to take a picture of the before and send it to my sister or husband and then send an after photo. It’s nice to get the “Good Job” from someone.
Find Your Why
Simply wanting to be more organized is not enough to motivate you to progress in your decluttering journey. You must figure out what you really want to gain by eliminating the clutter from your home. Paint yourself a clear picture of how you want your home to look, how you want to utilize the space and how it will make you feel to have the task completed. This will help to keep you motivated to reach that goal.
The progress you make may be enough to keep you moving forward with your decluttering efforts, but for some it’s not enough. In fact, you have to keep in mind that when decluttering your home may get messier before it starts to get better, making it difficult to see the progress.
It may seem redundant but rewarding yourself for taking the right steps to decluttering your home, is a great way to motivate yourself to keep going. A dinner at your favorite restaurant or a movie can be enough to make you want to keep going.
When choosing a reward, you have to pick something that you don’t often allow yourself to have. Choose things that will help to motivate you to move forward.
Ask for Help
Make decluttering your home a team effort. Not only will decluttering as a family help to make the process go faster, but it can also be more fun. There is no shame in asking for help when it comes to decluttering, especially when the task is a large one. Having more hands-on deck will help to keep you motivated to get your decluttering done.
Just make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself when you are getting started. Remember to take it slow, make lists and be open to change. These things will help to make sure that you don’t feel discouraged with your decluttering tasks.
Motivation is also an important component to getting rid of the clutter, so find ways to keep yourself motivated, focused and on task. Reward yourself when you have made big strides and don’t be afraid to ask for help when necessary. In no time, you will be on your way to a clutter free home.
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