It is my pleasure to share a guest post with you today from fellow blogger and minimalist, Melissa Russell. Melissa and I have connected recently on our many similarities and have quickly become friends. ☺
Melissa writes about simple living and minimalism on her blog, Simple Lionheart Life. There you will find so much inspiration, encouragement, and practical advice to simplify and declutter your home! I am so excited to feature her on Practigal Blog so you can learn from her expertise in decluttering.
I recently shared with you how to declutter any area of your home. But did you know that your home isn’t the only thing that gets cluttered? Clutter holds us back from living the life we want to live, so it’s important that we get rid of anything extra.
Today, Melissa is sharing with us how to get (and stay) motivated to declutter! There have been times when I had grand plans to declutter, but I felt frozen when I thought about the magnitude of the job. Or I would start, but then not finish everything I had set out to do. Melissa gives us fabulous advice for pushing through these types of hurdles.
I hope you find Melissa’s advice as helpful as I did! Be sure to leave a comment letting Melissa and I know what you think!
The start of a new year is a time when many of us (myself included!) get the urge to purge. There’s something about starting a new year that makes you want to get rid of the clutter and start fresh. I love the excitement and enthusiasm for decluttering the start of a new year brings. But sometimes, as time goes on, we lose that excitement and enthusiasm to continue decluttering. Today I want to share a few simple tips to help you get (and stay) motivated to declutter!
Why we lose our motivation to declutter
When we begin decluttering, we often feel excited to dig in and get started, ready to get clutter-free and organized. The only problem is, decluttering your whole house, and potentially years worth of “stuff”, can be a lot of work. Decluttering goes from something you’re excited about, to a daunting task you start to dread.
But the good news is decluttering doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task you want to avoid at all costs. I’ll share a few simple ways you can get, and stay, motivated to declutter. Use these tips to keep your momentum and motivation to declutter going and achieve your decluttering goals. And remember, the benefits of decluttering and simplifying your home are well worth the time and effort to get there!
11 Simple ways to get (and stay) motivated to declutter
1. Set a decluttering goal
Anytime you want to make a change in your life, having a specific goal you’re working towards is important. It’s hard to reach a goal if you don’t know what you want to achieve.
Before you begin decluttering, ask yourself what you want to achieve by decluttering your home. Maybe you want to spend less time cleaning up “stuff” in your house. Or maybe you want a home you’re proud to invite friends to, instead of worrying about how messy your home is when a friend stops by. Whatever it is, get clear about the reason, or reasons, you want to declutter your home in the first place.
Write this goal down and keep it in mind as you’re decluttering. If you find yourself feeling less than motivated to declutter, remind yourself of the goal you want to achieve.
2. Make a decluttering plan
The best way to take on a big project, like decluttering your entire home, is creating a solid plan to help you along the way. A decluttering plan can help you break the job into do-able steps, keep you organized along the way, and help you follow through to reach your decluttering goal.
As you’re making your decluttering plan, it’s a great time to decide things like:
- Which areas of your home do you want to declutter?
- Which areas of your home are your highest priority to declutter?
- When will you work on decluttering?
- What will you do with the stuff you’re getting rid of?
I’ve put together a printable decluttering workbook you can use to create your own decluttering plan. You can find it here.
3. Find inspiration pictures
Pinterest is an awesome resource when you’re looking for inspiration. A great way to get motivated to declutter is to make a board on Pinterest of rooms that inspire you. A quick search for “minimalist living rooms/bedrooms/kitchens/etc.” will give you plenty of inspiration to choose from.
Pin rooms that you love. Then whenever you find yourself losing your motivation to declutter, look through your inspiration pictures. Let them reignite your enthusiasm to create your own clutter-free oasis in your home!
4. Plan a reward for yourself
As I said, decluttering can be hard work. The benefits of getting rid of the clutter and creating a simpler home and life are a reward in themselves for all of your hard work. But sometimes having something extra to keep you motivated to declutter can go a long way.
Think of something you’d really enjoy as a reward for putting in the time and effort to declutter your home. It could be a weekend away at your favourite spot, a dinner out at your favourite restaurant, a massage, etc. Pick a treat to reward yourself with when you finish decluttering, using it to get and stay motivated to declutter.
Experiences and consumable items are great ways to reward yourself without adding any more “stuff” to your home. Especially after you’ve put in so much time and effort removing the excess from your home. However, if there is a certain item you’ve been wanting and decide to use as your reward, that’s ok too. Simplifying and decluttering doesn’t mean you can never add new things to your home. It just means you are more thoughtful and intentional when you do.
5. Find a decluttering buddy
Having someone you’re accountable to is a great way to get and stay motivated to reach any goal, including decluttering your home. Not only can a decluttering buddy hold you accountable to your decluttering goals, but they can also inspire and encourage you when you’re feeling unmotivated.
Find a friend (in real life or online) who is working on decluttering their home and team up to help keep each other motivated to declutter.
6. Schedule your decluttering times
One of the best ways to maintain your motivation while you’re decluttering is to schedule your decluttering times. Put them on your calendar, add them to your phone with reminders, write them down in your planner, etc. Then treat those times like any other appointment you have. Commit to them and follow through.
When you make your decluttering plan, decide when you’ll do your decluttering. Maybe you’ll declutter for 15 minutes every day. Or declutter on Saturday mornings for 2 hours. Or maybe you’ll set aside a weekend or two to declutter your whole house at once. Figure out what will work for you and your life, schedule those times and stick to them!
7. Start small
If you’re losing your motivation to declutter, it’s probably not the best time to tackle a difficult area to declutter. Decluttering somewhere quick and easy will let you start seeing the results of your decluttering efforts right away. Which will help bolster your motivation to continue.
For example, instead of tackling your sentimental items or your packed-to-the-rafters storage room, work on somewhere smaller and easier. Maybe a couple of cabinets in your kitchen, a small closet, or the bathroom. It doesn’t matter where you start. The point is to pick somewhere that you can declutter quickly and easily, so you see immediate results to keep you motivated to continue.
8. Find ways to make it fun
Another great way to gain decluttering motivation is shifting the task from something you’re dreading to something you can enjoy. There are many simple ways to make decluttering more fun.
It can be as easy as turning decluttering into a challenge. Maybe you race the clock to see how many items you can find to get rid of in a set amount of time. Or challenging your family to see who can find the most to get rid of during your decluttering session. Even making a decluttering playlist filled with your favourite songs can make decluttering more fun.
Get creative and find ways to bring out the fun in getting rid of the clutter!
9. Set realistic expectations
When you’re setting your decluttering goals and making your decluttering plan, remember to keep your expectations realistic. It took years to accumulate all the “stuff” in your home. You can’t expect to get rid of the clutter overnight. While it doesn’t have to take years to get rid of the stuff, it will take time to declutter your home.
If you’re feeling discouraged or unmotivated with your decluttering progress, remind yourself that any progress is progress! Even if you don’t have hours to commit to decluttering, we can all find a few minutes a day. Remind yourself that each small action you take to declutter your home will add up to big results over time.
10. Track your progress
If you are working on decluttering your home a little bit at a time, it’s easy to lose sight of the progress you’re making. Even if you’re decluttering in larger chunks of time, sometimes you just don’t realize what a difference your hard work is making.
Taking before and after pictures of your home as you declutter is a great way to track your progress and stay motivated. Sometimes we don’t even realize the change until we see a picture of how our home used to look. Take before and after pictures to remind yourself of the difference your decluttering efforts are making and keep you motivated to continue.
11. Just start!
As with many big projects, sometimes the hardest part is taking the first step and getting started. If you’re struggling to get motivated to declutter, simply diving in and doing anything to declutter (no matter how big or small) can be a great way to find your motivation.
Whenever you need a boost of motivation to declutter, instead of over thinking it or putting it off, get up right then and find 10 things to get rid of. Or set a timer and declutter for 10 minutes. Often once you get started, it’s easier to keep going.
I hope these 11 tips will help you find and keep your motivation to declutter your home so you can begin experiencing the benefits of a simplified home. The time and effort you put into removing the clutter from your home will have a hugely positive impact on your life. I’d love to see you reach your decluttering goals, and I hope these tips will help get you there!
Are you working on decluttering your home? Do you ever find yourself losing motivation when you’re decluttering? What are your favourite ways to stay motivated while you’re decluttering?
Melissa is a tea drinking, yoga loving, minimalist mama and her favourite place to be is at home. She writes about creating a simpler, more intentional life by decluttering and embracing minimalism at Simple Lionheart Life. Simplifying her home and life has given her so much more time, space and freedom. She loves sharing tips to help people get rid of the clutter and create a life with less stuff and more living! You can also connect with Melissa on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.