Boost Your Decluttering Motivation

Dated: November 22 2023

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Do you feel in control of the clutter in your home or does your clutter have control of you? The problem with clutter is that it will taunt you, calling out demands every time you walk past it. It reminds you there is one more task yet to take care of and puts unnecessary pressure on you. Clutter can steal your sense of calm.

Does that happen to you? If so, perhaps it’s time to develop a new habit that will set you on your way to conquering clutter.

Why Declutter?

Ten people might give you 10 different reasons for decluttering their homes. Some like to keep up with what’s current, which means parting with the old in favor of the new and modern. Others will tell you they fear leaving too much for their children to manage after they pass. Most will admit that living with less clutter just feels better all around. And, there is some truth to that. Having extra space in closets, cleared countertops, and a place to put every item you own can bring a sense of calm organization. On the other hand, items left lying around unattended can have the opposite effect. Because your home is an extension of you, how it looks and its efficiency or inefficiency can affect your mood and how well you process life.

Nevertheless, life doles out losses and triumphs, forced changes, and setbacks for most. Don’t get discouraged if you feel a tad behind in your home organization. For example, the family with the college student who moves back home with all their gear knows the chaos that comes with having to rehome several items until the child leaves again. The son or daughter who inherits mom or dad’s belongings after they have passed away or downsized knows well the emotional price tag that comes with dividing up the inherited possessions brought into their home.

Develop a Decluttering Mindset

So, how do you get motivated to declutter your home? You start with developing a decluttering mindset. You can practice and grow that mindset by dealing first with the items that come into your home on a regular basis. Doing so will help you learn to make quick decisions and to get into the habit of putting items where they belong sooner rather than later. When you get that process down, you will feel rewarded by the less cluttered look and the satisfying feeling that results.

Deal with Clutter as It Arrives

The secret habit to get into that will help boost your decluttering process is so easy, all you need is a nudge to get started. You see, every homeowner has the same challenge. All deal with this same basic type of clutter. What is it? You might call it spontaneous clutter. Spontaneous clutter includes things that come into your home often by mail or shopping. Spontaneous clutter includes parcel delivery boxes, plastic shopping bags, junk mail, received greeting cards, children’s school notes, party decor, and the like.

Yes, a cardboard box may look like a good box to be reused, but you can’t keep every box you receive. Plastic shopping bags are handy to line trash bins or litter boxes, but chances are you’ll have more than you need. Most can be put into recycling. Deciding it’s better to let them go is a good mindset to have.

Deal with Temporary Storage Habits

It can be tempting to put spontaneous clutter somewhere temporarily, planning to deal with it later. This is where most get into trouble, though. Too often, later becomes never. You forget why you kept certain things, and your motivation to deal with them fizzles out. Soon enough, your home looks messy, and you can’t find what you need. Often, these “someday” piles shout condemning thoughts and dole out unnecessary pressure.

Here are a few tips to help you deal with spontaneous clutter:
Have a recycling box with easy access for junk mail. How often do you really use those coupons anyhow?
Create a mental system that first includes being a good decision-maker. Create rules for what you will do with challenging items.
Decide not to leave things on hotspots (countertops, in the garage, etc.) even if you think it will be temporary. If a holding spot is needed, create a system for it.

Create Storage

Sometimes there is a reason to keep certain items like tax receipts, medical papers, school permission slips, and so on. In these cases, choose a location for them to be stored – a storage tray, shallow drawer, file folder, or binder.

As nice as greeting cards or magazines are, you can’t keep everything if you hope to stay organized. Recognize that the giving and receiving of greeting cards was the important part. Try not to become sentimentally attached to them. Cherish the memory of the friend or relative who gave it to you and let it go. If you must, keep special cards in a box or photo album. Enjoy magazines but have a deadline in mind for how long they’re allowed to stay. Unsubscribe to ones you never read.

Practice the Decluttering Habit

Your home should be your haven – a place of peace, comfort, and restoration. It makes sense to tend to your home on a regular basis as you might weed a garden. Get into the practice of weeding out clutter as soon as it arrives. Once you’ve established that habit, you can dive into bigger decluttering projects around your home.

Feeling in control of your clutter will have terrific payoffs both in the appearance of your home and in your ability to locate items as necessary. Once you have developed good habits in dealing with what comes into your home regularly, you will find it easier to make decisions on other types of clutter. In no time, you’ll enjoy the enhanced peace and calm that a clutter-free home brings.

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