Need Motivation to Declutter? 14 Simple Tips to Get Going!

Photo Credit: Rachel Claire

So you’re ready to start getting rid of stuff, but can’t quite find motivation to declutter? I get it!

When you feel overwhelmed by clutter in your own home, sometimes it feels easier to just ignore all the extra stuff sitting around. Even if it’s stressing you out and you know you need to take care of it! Decluttering motivation doesn’t come easy. But sometimes you can find ways to get motivated and push yourself in the right direction.

So if you know you’re ready to declutter and simplify your space, keep reading because I’m going to give you some simple tips to get you motivated to declutter your home so you can finally enjoy it again.

Why is it so hard to find motivation to declutter?

There are so many different reasons that people have trouble finding motivation to declutter. The first one is that it can feel super overwhelming to think about all the stuff you have and where to start. It takes a lot of time and enegery (mentally and physically) to declutter, no matter how much stuff you have to go through.

Of course, there’s also the emotional or sentimental attachment we have to things and the people who we may associate with those things. We tend to remember where we got something, who we got it from, and/or how much we paid and then we feel guilt about getting rid of it.

But if you’re on this page, you’re already taking the first step toward decluttering. Congrats! You understand that you need to get it done, and you’re ready to do what it takes to find the motivation to get started!

14 Tips to Find Motivation to Declutter

Ask yourself important questions

Why do you want to declutter in the first place?

Is it the piles of stuff sitting around driving you nuts? Is it because you want to be able to have family over? Maybe it’s just the peace of mind of knowing that you can clean your home quickly if you have less.

What are your priorities?

If you’re in a position where there’s so much stuff that it’s impacting your life, what are you choosing that stuff over? Are there areas (or people or experiences) that could be suffering or neglected because of the excess time and space the clutter is occupying?

How would my life improve if my environment was less cluttered?

It seems silly that a bunch of stuff would have so much control over someones life, but how would yours truly change if you freed yourself of it?

Is there a way this stuff (that I don’t need/use) can benefit someone else?

Some people have trouble getting rid of items for sentimental value or just because they think about the retail value when they bough it. If it’s sitting around, is it really benefitting you? Or is it negatively impacting you? Is there a way someone else can benefit from it? Could you donate to a charity or give to someone in need?

Photo Credit: Chait Goli

Imagine a clutter-free home

The first step to a clutter-free home? Imagining a clutter-free home! I know this seems silly, but I’m so serious. Close your eyes and take a minute to picture it. How does it feel to live in that home instead of the one you’re currently in? What do you see? What don’t you see? You don’t have to be overly detailed, just get the sense of how it would look and feel to motivate yourself to finally get there!

Create decluttering goals

If you’re a goal setter, one of the best ways to get motivated is to create some clear decluttering goals. Outline exactly what you want to get done and when. Whether it’s your entire home, or a specific decluttering project, make an achievable goal to strive for and plan it out.

Think about your decluttering process

Decluttering can be a daunting task for anyone. It’s hard work, but you can simplify it by taking a moment to think about your decluttering process. How do you want to go about it? Would you do better working on a small area or small tasks a little at a time or spending an entire day doing a big declutter?

One thing that you can do is ask yourself is “if this were easy, what would it look like?” and then use that to guide you in creating a process that is easy for you to follow through with.

Take before (and after) photos

I’m a sucker for before and after photos, but it’s even better when they’re YOUR before and after photos! Before starting a small space or a room, take some before photos and then take some photos when you’re done. Since you’re the one decluttering, it can be hard to see the change. But when you have a before photo to compare to, it usually becomes very obvious how much you’ve actually done!

Break up your to-do list

A big to do list is too much for most people. Don’t just think “I’m going to declutter the entire house in a month” and start. Give yourself some guideance with small steps and specific tasks. By coming up with simple steps to add to your to do list that make up a bigger project, it can help you feel like the project isn’t so big and overwhelming.

For example, if you want to declutter your bedroom and it feels extremely cluttered, start with one area. Like “Declutter dresser”. If that even feels like a lot you can go even smaller, “declutter top of dresser”, “declutter top drawer(s)”, etc. Breaking it up this way makes it totally doable!

Photo Credit: Towfiqu barbhuiya

Set milestones or an end date

If you can give yourself a time limit and stick to it, it can help you stay motivated until you reach the end. You can do this in different ways such as setting milestones (example: living room, bedroom, closet, etc) or you can set and end date for your whole house.

Pro tip: Nothing motivates me more than having company over. Try scheduling an event or party at your house in the future and use that as your end date! Just make sure you give yourself enough time to complete your decluttering project.

Try it for just 15 minutes

When you feel completely overwhelmed and unmotivated, try telling yourself you’ll only do it for 15 minutes. If possible, pick something you know you can do quickly. That’s usually enough time to get started on one task (possibly even complete it), and snowball the motivation of getting something done into working a little bit longer.

Ask a friend or family member to help

The last thing most of us want to do is to ask for help, or to admit to ourselves that we need it. But why not look at it a different way and make it fun? Ask a few friends or family members if they want to help you out with your decluttering project. Add some fun music and maybe some snacks, and I bet your crew will not just help, but hype you up too!

Share your progress

This one isn’t for everyone, but if you like sharing online, you could totally share your progress on social media! Whether you want to share with your own friends and family, or you want to join Facebook groups or other similar “decluttering” groups, it’s a great way to stay motivated and get feedback from others who are on the decluttering journey with you!

Avoid re-cluttering

Decluttering isn’t going to help much if you’re constantly bringing more in. Don’t ask me how I know this 😉 Sometimes the best way to start the decluttering process is to simply stop adding more. Creating good habits where you avoid bringing new things into the house can be a huge step to having less stuff.

Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska

Have a yard sale

I don’t know about you, but making a little extra money is great motivation for me! Once you’re done decluttering, or once you’ve completed a good chunk of it and have enough, have a yard sale and see if you can make a little money. Just remember, you are going to sell most items for much less than you paid. Sometimes it stings, but letting go creates space for you and your family to live and you can let that be a lesson for any future purchases.

Reward yourself regularly

Everyone loves a good reward! It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Unless you want it to be! It could simply be treating yourself to your favorite lunch spot after you hit a decluttering milestone. Or even something as simple as “I can sit down an watch my favorite show as soon as I spend 20 minutes decluttering my linen closet”. Quick and easy tasks and rewards can be the most effective.

Remind yourself of the Benefits of decluttering

What better way to motivate yourself than to think of all of the benefits of decluttering your home? The good news is, there are a TON of benefits to clearing clutter from your house. Here are just a few:

  • Clean house
  • A more simple life
  • Less clutter (obviously)
  • Better mental health
  • Less time cleaning/tidying
  • More time/space for enjoy your favorite things
  • A sense of accomplishment
  • Finally being able to really enjoy your living space
  • Less guilt every time you spot a pile or stash of stuff

Whatever your motivation to declutter, finding the motivation to actually get up and get going can be tough! Hopefully the tips above have resonated with you so you can take that first step and get decluttering so you can enjoy a much simpler, less cluttered living space for you and your family.

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