I’m guessing if you’re reading this, then you’re ready to get your home in order. If I’m being honest, we’ve all been there: overwhelmed by clutter and wanting nothing more than to go through it all and throw out what we don’t need or want anymore.
That’s the dream, right?
Sometimes, however, just getting started seems like a daunting task that is almost impossible to overcome. I mean how do you even start? Which room do you start with? Do you do the living room, the kitchen, your bedroom… all of them at once?
Clutter is one of the biggest obstacles to living a productive and peaceful life and it can be difficult to find the motivation to declutter. But with these 9 tips, you’ll be able to find the motivation needed to get started.
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Table of Contents
- Every object you own has a weight on your mind.
- Why is it so hard to find motivation to declutter?
- 9 ways to find the motivation to declutter
Every object you own has a weight on your mind.
There’s a reason why it feels good to get rid of things. It’s because every single possession you keep in your home has a weight on your mind. Even if an item is seemingly insignificant, it takes up space in your head and occupies some part of what could be productive thinking time.
When you keep clutter in your home, you’re also inviting more clutter into your life. When there’s no room for new things to be put away, new things will start to accumulate. You’ll fall back on the habit of just putting them wherever is most convenient at the time – often on top of existing piles of stuff already laying around.
Why is it so hard to find motivation to declutter?
It’s hard to find the motivation to declutter when there are so many other things pulling at your attention. There could be bills that need to be paid, kids that need help with their homework, pets that need cleaning up after, phones beeping with notifications.
It can seem like there isn’t enough time in the day to even start with decluttering your entire house. Let’s face it, sometimes the process of decluttering is more of a chore than getting rid of all of your excess possessions. It can be tedious and strenuous. One room at a time, one box at a time… even if you get to the end of decluttering your entire home it may feel like nothing has been accomplished because there is still so much left to do and so little time.
These things can seem like good reasons not to even start decluttering in the first place, but regardless of your circumstances, you’ll always be able to make progress with decluttering if you follow these 9 ways on how to find motivation to declutter your home.
Decluttering is one of those things that seems incredibly overwhelming, but once you get started then it will be easier to keep the decluttering motivation momentum going.
9 ways to find the motivation to declutter
1. Define your reasons
Without knowing what your reasons for decluttering are, of course it would be difficult to find motivation to do it.
For example, when you want to start going to the gym, it’s usually because you have a vision for the future, a goal you want to achieve. Perhaps you want to run a 10k or hike a mountain. When you can see the goal ahead of you, it makes those workout sessions a lot easier because you have something to strive for.
What are your reasons for wanting a clutter-free home? Do you want to simplify your digital life and reduce the amount of technological distractions in your life? Are there some parts of your home that seem chaotic and out-of-control? Or maybe you finally want to turn your living room into a place you can actually sit down and relax in.
No matter what your reasons to declutter may be, having a clear purpose will make it much easier to find the motivation to actually start.
2. Re-assess your mindset
It may seem strange that you actually need to assess your mindset when it comes to decluttering, but the truth is that there are some mental barriers that can stop you in your tracks before you even start decluttering if you’re not aware of them.
There’s a huge difference between “I want to declutter” and “I need to declutter.” You can want to declutter all you want, but if a large part of your identity is invested in the things you own then it will be incredibly difficult to get rid of them.
What makes you attached to your possessions? Is it simply that they’re convenient? That they make life easier somehow even though the clutter they create actually makes it difficult to function? Do you want to inspire your kids, inspire yourself, or show off in front of your friends by having the newest, shiniest gadgets on the market?
Reassessing your mindset about what it is that you own can help you find motivation to declutter all of that stuff that’s just taking up extra space in your life.
3. Get rid of all distractions
Without realising it, you may have allowed decluttering to become an obstacle in itself when it really shouldn’t be.
Sure, if you’re living in a tiny apartment then there’s not much room for excess items, but if you find yourself spending hours browsing the internet or watching TV instead of decluttering then it’s time to reassess what your priorities really are.
When you’re trying to find motivation to declutter, the absolute last thing you want is all of these distractions getting in the way of your efforts. It can be difficult enough to keep yourself focused for a few hours at a time with nothing but piles of junk surrounding you, but distractions can make it so much worse.
4. Plan a party
More often than not, we either pull motivation from what we’ve already achieved, or what we hope to achieve. If you plan a party and have people over to your home, you’ll be more inclined to want to make sure you’ve got a clear space to entertain.
Having a party is a great way to help yourself find motivation because you will have external goals to reach. You can’t exactly have people over if your home looks like a hoarder lives there, so it’s an easy way to achieve two things at once: having more of a desire to clear up the clutter, and planning a party you can look forward to!
5. Have an accountability buddy
It can be hard work reaching your decluttering goals when you have no motivation and when there’s no consequence for not doing it. You may neglect your responsibilities by putting them off until the last minute because you know nobody is expecting anything from you.
An accountability buddy is someone who holds you accountable for your actions, similar to the way a trainer holds an athlete accountable for their performance. Accountability buddies provide social pressure which encourages you to stay on track.
Having someone who can help motivate you is very important when it comes to decluttering because sometimes it’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel or find motivation on your own.
6. Do something small
Finding the motivation to declutter doesn’t have to come in the big bursts that we tend to expect. It can be something that you do every day, even if it’s just little things like putting away your shoes when you get home or hanging up your coat after work.
If you begin doing these small things every day, then they will add up to something big. Once you’ve accumulated enough small tasks it will be much easier to find the motivation because you’ll have already achieved so many of your smaller goals.
7. Let go of the past
Often, the reason why it’s so hard to to declutter is because you have some kind of emotional attachment to your possessions. Perhaps you feel like it’s impossible to find motivation because all of your memories are tied up in these items that you want to keep forever.
Every single object has a story behind it, and every item holds the potential for recollection of past memories. But if those memories hurt you or make you unhappy how likely do you think it is that you’ll be able to enjoy them?
Remind yourself that the past is in the past. It’s important not to dwell on it. Let go of your attachment to material items and you’ll find you can declutter more easily.
8. Pretend you’re moving house
I’ve moved house a LOT in the past. And each time I moved, I cleared a whole load of clutter. It’s amazing how much easier it can be to declutter if you tell yourself all of the items you’re keeping need to fit into your new house or apartment.
If you pretend that you’re moving house then it suddenly becomes a lot easier to find motivation because every single item has a use. Maybe things are just taking up space now, but when you make a decision to keep only things that you need in your ‘new house’, it’ll be easier to get rid of what you don’t need.
9. Read and watch success stories
Knowing how other people have overcome their fears and succeeded is incredibly helpful, especially if you’re struggling with something difficult. Reading about other people’s experiences can help you find the motivation that may have disappeared because it makes you realise that feelings of inadequacy are arbitrary and not truths.
This isn’t a way to ‘trick’ yourself into finding motivation, but rather a way to reinforce your current motivations and remind yourself about why you’re working towards your goal. Watching success videos and reading about people’s journeys will make it easier to find the motivation you need because you’ll be reminded that you can do it too.
Some of my favourite shows to watch are:
You can also find inspiration from decluttering and simple living books.
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Are you feeling motivated to declutter your home yet? Don’t worry if you’re not. Take it slow while you give yourself time to work your way through the decluttering process.
For more decluttering tips, read the following posts:
- Why Is Decluttering So Hard: 9 Reasons You Can’t Clear The Clutter
- Overwhelmed by Clutter? Getting to the Root of Your Clutter Problem
- What is Clutter Blindness and How to Overcome it
- How To Declutter Sentimental Items Without The Overwhelming Guilt
- Minimalist Kitchen Essentials: My Go To Cooking Tools
- How to Declutter Your Garage in 4 Simple Steps