8 Motivation Rules To Get You Clearing The Clutter

As it’s Spring Clearing Week, it would make sense to write about the benefits of clearing your homes of unwanted items but it feels as though this has been talked about quite a lot.  What hasn’t been discussed quite so much is actually how to get yourself to do the actual clearing when life is so busy already, and the idea of doing it seems incredibly overwhelming?

When something seems hard, you are more likely to put it off and find any excuse not to have to do it. But with these handy rules to get you into optimal spring clearing mode, you will be raring to go in no time.

Rule #1: Train like you’ve never trained before

You might be thinking that this rule is absolutely crazy because how could it possible apply to clearing the clutter from you home?  There is actually scientific proof behind this idea so keep an open mind.  If, for example, you decide that the action you want to take is to declutter one of your kitchen cupboards.  Imagine you taking the items out one by one, imagine making a decision about each item as you take it out (donate, keep, sell, recycle, sell or toss), imagine this until the cupboard is empty and all of the items are in one of the above categories, imagine putting the keep items back into the cupboard, imagine posting items for sale on your preferred platform and imagine taking donations to the charity shops.  By simply thinking through this process, your brain has already started to build the connections and synapses so that when you actually do this task, your brain will feel like you’ve done it before, and it won’t seem quite so hard.  Science is amazing, right?

Rule #2: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

One of the biggest excuses that people find when it comes to clearing the clutter from their homes is that there just isn’t enough time.  And although there is some truth to how busy life is for most people, if something is important enough to you, then you will make time for it, even if it’s only 10 minutes. If you allow it, the excuses will just keep coming so instead you need to listen to Mel Robbins, and count backwards 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and then take action.  This little rule shifts your brain out of the negative mode of excuses, and propels you into doing the hard things.  Most times, once you’ve started, you keep going.

Rule #3: Do one thing every day that makes you proud about clearing the clutter from your home.

With this mindset swirling around your brain, it’s much easier to get out of the procrastination slump that you might be feeling that’s causing you to sit in the ‘sameness’ of your home.  It’s so easy to get distracted when a task that’s looming over you is bringing up all kinds of feelings of resistance.  But what if you flipped it?  Instead, you set yourself the rule that you will take one action a day that makes you feel proud in your decluttering journey.  Remember, it doesn’t need to be a huge action like clearing your whole loft or shed.  Maybe it looks as simple as taking some old batteries to the supermarket or putting an item on Facebook Marketplace for free.

Rule #4: Phone a friend

Before you start any clearing tasks, phone or message a friend to let them know what you’re planning on doing.  Give your friend a time frame that feels good to you so that they can check back in with you to see the progress you are making.  Accountability, knowing that someone else is going to be checking up on you, really does seem to get things moving in the right direction.  Sometimes, just holding yourself accountable isn’t enough to really get you motivated, and the bonus of telling your friend is that they might even offer to come and help!

Rule #5: Use someone else’s motivation

If you are really struggling to get started, if you’re just not feeling it in any way, then you can use someone’s decluttering motivation to help you get into action.  This could look like watching a video on someone clearing clutter from the area you’re thinking of tackling or it might be listening to a podcast about decluttering.  You can use the motivation from the people doing the things in the videos or podcasts to piggy back your way into being more motivated.  It’s not good just looking at the end result of someone else’s hard work after they have decluttered.  You actually need to hear their enthusiasm and ideas as they go through the process so that you can take that on board before tackling your own clutter-clearing job.

Rule #6: Use body doubling.

You might be thinking that this means that someone else comes and does the job for you, and while that would be great, it’s really not what this means.  Body doubling is a way of getting jobs done while having the silent support of someone else in the room.  This might sound a bit creepy but it really isn’t, and it’s super helpful.  You sign up for a Zoom session with a few other people that will also be getting on with things.  At the beginning of the call, everyone says what they are aiming to achieve, and then you have the option of turning off the video or sound or both, and only checking back in at the end of the session.  This is quite a new concept but it is proving to be really useful for helping people stay on task and see things through until the end.

Rule #7: Have a reward

When you pair an undesirable task with the idea of having a reward at the end, it suddenly makes that task seem a little bit more achievable.  The reward needs to be something that’s easy to access once you have finished but in this case, it’s probably best if the reward isn’t something physical that you are going to be brining into your home.  Maybe it’s a few extra minutes reading a book, watching your favourite TV show, going for a walk, meeting up with a friend or going for a coffee.  Knowing that you have something to look forward to after you’ve conquered the task really does wonders for our motivation.

Rule #8: Be kind to yourself

If clearing your home were such an easy thing to do, there would be no need for so many blog posts similar to this one.  Doing anything that feels overwhelming is hard for anyone so be kind to yourself.  You haven’t done anything wrong.  Clutter accumulates, and this is true for everyone.  The difference is that you have decided to do something about it.  And even if you get rid of one, teeny, tiny thing, that’s still a step in the right direction and should be celebrated.

Now you’ve got some rules to help you get on with using this spring to clear your home of the unwanted items that are taking up for time and your space.  So, what’s stopping you?  Let’s give it a try and see how what changes you can create in your house.

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