How To Get Motivated? (to declutter)

Hint: It’s not that you are lazy or unmotivated.

Motivation is a tricky thing and it can be hard to figure out what is going on and what holds us back.  Group members say they are not motivated or wish they were more motivated (to declutter). We are motivated to do other things that we want to do or maybe that we have to do.  So, really it’s not that we are lazy or unmotivated.

BUT How do we get motivated to declutter???…….. 

Here are some of the responses to this question from the members of the Declutter Your Life and Mind Group

“Knowing that I will eventually be moving from this house and wanting to lighten the load before I actually have to pack”

“Praying and smudging help me to both clear out the negative and to bring in divine spiritual help” 

“Making a list. Once I’ve written something down, it’s concrete – not just an idea I’m kicking around. I feel great accomplishment when I can cross things off of a list!”

“If I’m having trouble I do a task that makes me happy or isn’t too bad. It helps me to jumpstart to not START with a dreaded task”

“Having a goal in mind really helps – having a plan for a space which could mean activities in that room or having people over, cooking a healthy meal. Personally, I love changing up my space and trying to improve it. The end result gives you a different feeling and it can really feel great”

So, how do we really get motivated (to declutter)

Why do you want to declutter?

Internal or External Reasons?

An internal reason could be something like “I want to clean up this room because my son/friend is coming to visit for awhile” or “I want to use my garage for its intended purpose” or “my goal is to declutter in order to live in a less chaotic environment, have friends over without feeling embarrassment or to find clothes to wear or to sleep in my bed”.  

Having internal reasons for wanting to make changes will determine whether you will be more successful and will have longer lasting effects because you have more of a personal desire for change and a buy in.

External reasons would be things like  “My landlord wants me to clean up or I could lose my apartment, my daughter has decided to “help” me to clean up because she thinks I have a problem or I know I need to clean up and declutter but I feel so overwhelmed that I wouldn’t even know where to start or what to do so why bother. Other people have a problem with it, but I really think it’s not that bad.”  

External reasons could be successful but once the crisis has passed things will likely go back to the way things were. Threats of punishment usually don’t work.  It is much harder to engage in the task if it wasn’t your idea to start with and you were not committed to the process. 

Are you avoiding uncomfortable feelings?

Decluttering and or organizing bring up uncomfortable feelings. They just do so, of course, who wouldn’t want to avoid anything that is uncomfortable. Avoidance of these feelings protects us from depression, sadness and anxiety.  If we are working on our belongings and our home, we want to be in a good space and often need encouragement and support. Check out this post for more info and support

Do you feel like you are just waiting for something? 

Especially during this time of Covid 19, it can really feel like we are waiting……waiting for something to change, waiting until we can donate our belongings, waiting until we can have visits again.  It can really feel like we are stuck and cannot do anything until…….something else happens or changes.  

Is there something difficult that you need to do?

If this is the case, this is actually a form of emotional clutter and can really keep you stuck and not able to actualize your goals. Procrastinating about this even makes it worse.  I was in this place recently where I needed to have a difficult conversation with someone and it was taking all of my energy.  I finally had the conversation and what a lift this was off my shoulders.  This could be a reason that it is hard to get started but once you do the hard thing, it just opens up possibility for you.  

Would you like some accountability?

Accountability can make the world of difference. Having someone to check in with or to talk to at the end of the day can really help you to make progress and to be successful with your decluttering goals. Accountability to yourself is really great, but sometimes accountability to someone else can be the jumpstart you need to be successful. I can help you to get started on your decluttering goals. Hop on a free discovery call with me here to see if we are a good fit to work together.

What helps you to be motivated? (to declutter) Let us know in the comments below:

About Kim

Kim Tremblay is a Master Organizer and a Clutter Coach. She has worked with individuals helping them clear the physical and emotional clutter from their lives since 2008. Kim founded and co-facilitated a Clearing Clutter Support Group which has helped hundreds of individuals to make positive changes in their lives. Kim is currently working virtually with clients helping them to clear the emotional and/or physical clutter from their lives. Kim is available to speak to your group about all things organizing.
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9 Responses to How To Get Motivated? (to declutter)

  1. Seana Turner says:

    I can really relate to the person who said that writing it down is motivating. I am very true to my “list,” so once it gets on the list, I am quite likely to work on it. The secret for me has to make whatever I write down specific enough that I can complete it and cross it off. I find when I put down too broad a goal, I will avoid it, because I know I won’t be able to mark it off… which I guess I really love doing!

    • Kim says:

      Thank you Seana for always commenting 🙂 Making lists are helpful to me too and you are so right they need to be specific and doable. I love that feeling of scratching that item off my list. Ta Da!!

  2. April says:

    Ever since my husband started talking about moving Years ago I feel like I am waiting. Because any kind of Reno would be to encourage a sale, not for us. I think this is why I don’t get inspired to change. Does that make sense?

    • Kim says:

      Hi April,
      I agree that it can be hard to get motivated when you know that your goal is to move someday. I can relate to this because I am always thinking about how to fix up my house so that it will be more sellable in the future. I think its important to enjoy your home now and to think about what you can do in your home to make it work for you today. Even if they are small improvements.Thanks so much for commenting 🙂

  3. I’ve noticed that, especially during this pandemic, there seem to be two opposite reactions. The uncertainty we are experiencing can cause us to stop and do nothing. Motivation is gone because we aren’t sure what today or the future will be. Others have the opposite reaction. Because of the uncertainty, they are motivated to manage the things they DO have control over, like decluttering their spaces. Very often, it’s the overriding perspective we are experiencing that influences what we chose to do or NOT do.

    • Kim says:

      Hi Linda,
      Yes, I have noticed that everyone is different as to how they are dealing with their clutter ie: motivation right now. Not knowing what is happening today or in the future can really keep us stuck and not able to move forward. It is such a challenging time. Thank you for your comment 🙂

    • That’s a great point, Linda – I hadn’t noticed that but I think I have to agree!

  4. Personally, I find that listening to music while I work gives me all the motivation I need. Having the right song or a great playlist can make all the difference. Check out Utterly Organized for more decluttering tips.

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