Do you want to declutter, but don’t know where to begin? Do the endless piles of laundry overwhelm you? Is the toy clutter making you unhappy and stressed?
If you’re overwhelmed by the mess in your home, you’re not alone.
I know exactly how you feel.
We have two little boys, and if I don’t keep it down, the stacks of clutter, toys and laundry quickly add up. I know how it feels to be stressed, exhausted and paralyzed by the mess. But I also know how you can tackle it.
That’s what we’re doing today!
In this post I’m going to share my best decluttering motivation tips to help you kick the clutter to the curb. We’re going to look at the benefits of decluttering and the practical steps you can take.
Let’s get started.
Decluttering motivation tips
If just the thought of decluttering paralyzes you, don’t worry. It’s perfectly common to be overwhelmed and feel no motivation at all.
But you’re here, and that’s a start!
To find the motivation that works for YOU, you need to ask yourself why:
Why do you want to declutter?
Is it because you want to stay organized for unexpected guests? Do you want to reduce family tension and stress? Or have you read the KonMari method and want to be more intentional about the things you own?
Get really clear with yourself why you want to do this and what you want to achieve by simplifying your home.
Whatever your reason, know your why and use it as motivation when you get started. This is your goal and a way to get you back on track when motivation fails.
Personally, I’ve noticed that clutter drains my energy. When I declutter my house, I feel rejuvenated and energized because I can now spend less time tidying up on a daily basis. So, my personal motivation as a minimalist mom is to spend less time tidying up from day-to-day to get more time for my hobbies and my family.
Benefits of decluttering
Before we dive into the decluttering motivation tips, let’s take a look at the benefits of all this. After all, that’s why we’re doing it in the first place, right?
If you keep these in mind, it might be easier to get started.
You’ll be more relaxed
A messy, cluttered home can keep you from truly relaxing. When you want to lie down and relax, the thought (or sight) of the laundry that needs folding might distract you. While decluttering won’t make the ongoing tasks of laundry and cleaning disappear, it WILL lessen them.
Less things = less chores.
No more guilt
We all know that we should be clearing clutter from our homes, but we keep postponing it. This makes us frustrated with ourselves, and we feel guilty for not being able to “just get started”.
Clearing the clutter will help you get rid of the guilt and nagging feeling that you should be decluttering.
Less anxiety and stress
A lot of clutter and mess can make us feel anxious and stressed. Especially as parents, because there’s more mess and less time to clean. The good news is that clearing out your clutter can reduce anxiety and stress. I’m not saying that decluttering is a cure for anxiety or stress – but it can be helpful.
One of my favorite benefits of decluttering is all the TIME you suddenly get. No more spending an hour a day cleaning, picking up toys and tidying up. Less stuff means less stuff to clean. And that gives you time to read a good book, visit friends, take a walk, spend time with your family and everything else you want to spend your day on.
Yes, decluttering is good for your bank account, too. That’s because there’s more to decluttering than just cleaning up and throwing out.
You can sell some of your clutter, and you’re not spending money on storage either. Plus, if you’re getting into a minimalist lifestyle, you will ultimately buy less things, which will help you save more.
It’s not embarrassing to have unexpected guests
We’ve all been there. Doorbell rings, we open the door and “SURPRISE”, we’re faced with totally unexpected guests. And while you stand there with a goofy smile, inviting them in, your mind races to the living room that looks like a disaster and the dirty dishes in the kitchen.
Just imagine how liberating it feels to be organized so you’re always ready for guests.
7 decluttering motivation tips
1. Have a decluttering plan
The best way to tackle a big project like decluttering is to have a plan. Having a plan for which rooms you’re going to tackle (and when) helps you combat demotivation and overwhelm. A decluttering plan will help you break the job in smaller steps and keep you on track.
Write this down in your plan:
- Which rooms or categories (clothes, toys, books, etc.) need decluttering?
- When will you declutter? (set a time)
- What will you do with the clutter? (resell, donate, toss out?)
2. Follow a decluttering method
When it seems overwhelming, it’s a good idea to follow an established method that works. I’ve mentioned these popular decluttering methods before, but they bear repetition:
- KonMari (Declutter by category – not by room – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, etc.)
- Reverse clothes-hanger method (Turn all the clothes hanging in your closet so that the hangers face the wrong way round. When you wear something, put it back with the hook the normal way. After six months, any hanger that’s still the opposite way is clothes you don’t need).
- Minimalism Game (Challenge a friend. Each person gets rid of one thing on the first day of the month. Two things on the second and so on.)
You can pick one method and stick with it until you’ve got the hang of it.
3. Invite people over
I’m generally more motivated by the carrot than the stick method. But this one is actually pretty good:
Invite people over.
Yes, even if your home is a mess. Ask them over. ESPECIALLY someone you don’t want to show your messy home. You know, like your mother-in-law, your boss, a new friend, your husband’s friends. Few things motivate a clean-up better than inviting the in-laws for dinner.
4. Give yourself a win
Sometimes when you look at eeeeeverything all at once, you get overwhelmed by the sheer volume. To see the results of your work quickly, it’s better to do a little decluttering than none at all.
The trick is to declutter somewhere small and easy; like a drawer, a shelf or a kitchen cabinet. Pick ONE small place and accomplish it. You’ll feel the weight lifting from your shoulders as you do it ♥
5. Put on some happy music
And make it loud!
Listening to the catchy rhythm or lyrics of up-tempo music is super motivating and inspires you to work longer and harder. You can create your own playlist or listen to this playlist on Spotify (you need an account, but it’s free to join and you get access to lots of music).
While you’re at it, dance or sing. It’s good for getting the endorphins flowing.
6. Make it a game and include the family
At our house, everyone joins in. To make it fun (and motivating for everyone), make it into a game.
Tell every family member to find 80-100 items that they don’t use any more. It might sound like a lot, but when you include socks with holes, worn-out clothes, linen or towels and broken hair elastics, it quickly adds up.
7. Give yourself a reward
If you’re struggling to find the motivation to declutter, give yourself a reward for finishing.
Treat yourself to something you’ll enjoy, like a delicious dinner at your favorite restaurant, a massage, or have a glass of wine. Just make it something you’ll enjoy and look forward to. And choose an experience or something consumable instead of a thing. We don’t want to be adding more stuff to your home after you’ve been working so hard to declutter.
Have any more decluttering motivation tips? Share them in the comments!