How To Find The Motivation To Declutter Your Home

get motivated to declutter your home


One of the first things I learned in my minimalism journey is that it’s not always easy to find the motivation to declutter. After being a minimalist for 10 years, I’ve collected a few tips on how to stay motivated to declutter and keep that momentum going.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

As an always-evolving minimalist, I value simplicity and declutter often to keep a stress-free home. I believe decluttering is an ongoing process and, over time, have identified methods that work well to help me stay motivated and organized.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

How To Get Motivated To Declutter When You Don’t Want To

How To Get Motivated To Declutter When You Don’t Feel Like It

If you struggle to find the motivation to declutter your house, a room, or even your nightstand, you’re not alone. For most people, it’s not uncommon to look around their homes and see stuff everywhere. But when there is a lot of visual clutter, relaxing or focusing on even the smallest of tasks may seem impossible.

More often than not, it’s tough to find the motivation to declutter. The thought of sorting through all your belongings can be daunting, but you’ll end up having to clean around less stuff and needing to tidy up less often, resulting in fewer chores and more freedom.

Many people have a hard time finding decluttering motivation, and I was no exception at first. But after a decade of minimalist experience, I’ve found my groove and know how to get the decluttering process flowing, so my space starts feeling more peaceful right away.

start small by decluttering your wardrobe

declutter your home room by room

Finding Inspiration To Get Motivated To Declutter

Finding Your Source of Inspiration To Get Motivated To Declutter

Living a simple life with less mess is attractive for a lot of reasons, but I stick with it because it’s so much less stressful than living with clutter.

Even if minimalism seems out of reach, you can still live a simpler life with less stuff and less clutter. All you have to do is take that first step and begin decluttering. If you want to know how to get motivated to organize and declutter your house but the mere thought of getting started overwhelms you, sometimes all you need is a little self-encouragement.

how to declutter when youre overwhelmed

Nail Down Your Motive To Declutter

Nail Down Your Motive To Declutter

It may help to shift away from understanding how to declutter and instead analyze the why behind your decluttering project. What is your motive for decluttering? How will your life improve when you have less?

Try to picture how you would feel once your decluttering journey is complete. For me, it generates feelings of tranquility and satisfaction. Record those joyous feelings in a way that helps you return to that happy place whenever you feel uninspired. Reflect on them often and use them as propellers to help you take your first step toward decluttering your home.

decluttering leads to tranquility and satisfaction

Start Small When You Declutter

Start Small When You Declutter

It’s always important to start small. Rome wasn’t built in a day. By taking it one step at a time instead of attempting to tackle your entire home at once, you can stay motivated.

organized small office deskSet small, achievable goals. Start someplace where you’ll immediately feel the benefits of decluttering, like a drawer, work desk, wardrobe, or even a shelf. When you start small, making the time to declutter is easy.

Next, set a timer for 10 minutes. Tackling clutter in spurts can keep you from getting burnt out and help you make steady progress toward your goal.

When you’re done, revel in that sense of accomplishment and reflect on how decluttering your home (or maybe just your makeup drawer) makes you feel. Repeat this cycle. Whenever you complete a task, set another small, achievable goal. Remember to keep it simple and congratulate yourself when you achieve your goals — you’ve earned it!

Look For Outside Decluttering Motivation

Look For Outside Decluttering Motivation

Sometimes, it helps to look for outside sources of inspiration. Witnessing the success stories and space-saving glow-ups of others can help you visualize the benefits and results you’re after.

If you have a specific YouTuber or influencer that inspires you, indulge in a few of their videos before you start. The queen of minimalism, Marie Kondo, is one of my favorite fellow decluttering enthusiasts. Marie Kondo’s KonMari method is particularly well known and can encourage you to declutter the things that don’t spark joy in your life.

marie kondo konmari method

Of course, you haven’t landed here accidentally, and I’ve been known to provide a word or two of insight on decluttering. I’ve been where you are, and I can tell you it’s easy to become overwhelmed at first. I know I did and have made many mistakes along the way.

how to declutter

Keeping Your Momentum And Motivation To Declutter

Keeping Your Momentum And Motivation To Declutter

Even after you understand your motives and begin to get rid of the clutter, you could still hit a wall. That’s okay — I’ve been there, too. The thought of continuing might seem daunting at times, but that doesn’t mean it’s game over. Now is the time to keep your momentum going. Revisit your intentions and remember that removing excess can yield an incredible amount of freedom.

The best way to keep yourself going is by using your momentum in your favor. Continue building on all the progress you’ve made so far and celebrate small wins.

Make sure you are making the experience a positive one. You can listen to some music or turn it into a game. Use these tips to keep your momentum and motivation to declutter and before you know it, your home will be clutter-free, just like you dreamed.

30 day declutter challenge

Reward Yourself As You Declutter

Reward Yourself As You Declutter

Rewarding yourself for your small wins is essential for you to keep your momentum and motivation to declutter. Small wins are minor accomplishments that align with your intentions and lead to your ultimate goal.

Rewarding your small victories makes your brain want to keep going. Your reward doesn’t have to cost money — you can take some much-deserved me time, play outside with your dog, go for a nature walk, you name it. You can also adopt this practice in other areas of your life, such as your personal relationships, work, or habits you would like to change.

play outside with your dog

Avoid Decluttering Distractions

Avoid Decluttering Distractions

Decluttering can be a lot of work and you may inadvertently get distracted, flushing your momentum down the drain. Now that you’ve found your decluttering inspiration, your job is to stay focused. Before you even start, set yourself up for success by having the necessary things to do the work handy. This includes items like trash bags, boxes, labels, etc.

write down decluttering tasksIt also helps to have a pen and a piece of paper within reach. You can use them to write down tasks and other worries or thoughts that come to mind as you declutter, freeing up brain space for you to focus. Set your phone to “Do Not Disturb” and hide it from view. Silence your desktop notifications.

When I’m working through a space that is extremely cluttered, I’ve found that it helps to set aside objects that don’t belong there and wait until your task is complete to put them away. I like to use a box as a no man’s land where I can place said items and return them to their rightful homes when I’m finished.

Tips To Help Avoid Distraction As You Declutter

  • Gather items like trash bags, boxes, and labels to help do the work
  • Grab a pen and paper to track random tasks that take up brain space
  • Silence your phone and hide it from view
  • Turn off desktop notifications
  • Put away bills and other paper items that require action
  • Place chores that need to be done out of sight
  • Turn off your television
  • Designate a box for misplaced items to be returned after you’re done
avoid distractions as you declutter

Have Fun And Enjoy The Decluttering Process

Have Fun And Enjoy The Decluttering Process

Decluttering brings you closer to the calm, content feelings and life goals that serve as your motivation. Try seeing the process as a positive one that will benefit you for years to come. It’s not a chore, so how about making it fun?

project 33 decluttering rulesYou can listen to music and even dance a little while decluttering. I use my headphones to play energizing music or listen to a podcast. You can call a friend or try a few of the minimalist challenges that are out there. If you want to use your motivation to declutter clothes, try Project 333, a closet decluttering experiment in which you keep only 33 items to be worn in three months.

With the 30-Day Declutter Challenge, you challenge yourself to declutter your home in 30 days by focusing on one little thing each day. Another option is Decluttering Bingo. Multiple decluttering sheets are available online or you can create your own with the decluttering tasks of your choice.

There are no rules when it comes to making it fun. Just be creative and enjoy yourself.

How To Clean When You’re Not Motivated

How To Clean When Youre Not Motivated

Over the years, I’ve found that the easiest way to clean the space that houses all my stuff is to get rid of most of it. Cutting down on clutter gives you more energy to clean the house because you no longer have to clean around a bunch of stuff.

Cleaning is especially valuable after decluttering so that you can reap the benefits of your process. The same tips I shared about finding the motivation to declutter can also apply to getting motivated to clean.

Places To Donate Your Decluttered Items

Know Why You Want A Clean Space

Know Why You Want A Clean Space

First, understand why you want to clean. A clean house is a happy house and keeping it clean is crucial to your health and well-being. Do you appreciate the benefits of having a clean home? Evaluate your motives and use them to propel you into your housework.

Start By Cleaning Small, Manageable Spaces

Start By Cleaning Small Manageable Spaces

If you’re wondering how to encourage yourself to clean your home, start by setting small, yet achievable goals.

Start someplace small where you’ll immediately feel the benefits of cleaning and stick to a time limit. Learning how to clean like a minimalist can do wonders when you have a cleaning regimen to get through.

When you’re done, celebrate your quick win and move on to your next achievable cleaning goal.

minimalist cleaning approach

Decluttering Has Long-Term Benefits

Decluttering Has Long Term Benefits

Over time, as your clutter gradually disappears, your intentional decluttering will become more of a habit that delivers some serious long-term benefits. Peace of mind, reduced stress, and a simpler existence are waiting for you on the other side.

If you maintain a regular decluttering regimen, you’ll likely find that you have less stress, more time, and the magical ability to find your car keys right where you left them.

Decluttering is an ongoing process. Even as you downsize your belongings, you are always living new experiences and collecting new objects. So, you will regularly have to reassess whether they serve a purpose in your life. With the help of these tips, you’ll be able to stay motivated and ensure your home is free of clutter now and in the future.

Long-Term Benefits of Decluttering

Your Turn!

  • What stands in the way of your decluttering motivation?
  • How do you keep your momentum and stay motivated when you declutter?

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