Did you include “decluttering“ in your 2021 resolution list?
Maybe it’s some variation on that, like “get organized” or “get rid of stuff.” Either way, the bottom line is, you want to clear space in your home. Fantastic!
What’s your motivation?
I can almost hear you say, “Wait, what: why are you asking this? Isn’t it obvious?” Certainly, the end goal is the same for all of us: less stuff, more space. But our “why” is quite unique for what drives us to declutter.
So today, I’m sharing about the importance of creating a personal charter for decluttering.
This motivational tool will keep you going when you don’t feel like it (and trust me, that’s going to happen)!
Inertia is a standard show stopper…even before you get started
If decluttering was easy, we’d all have perfectly uncluttered homes by now! Sadly, this is not the case. Like other universal goals, such as losing weight, exercising regularly, or eating clean, we start a new year with these desires in mind. But getting started is often the biggest obstacle for us. Overcoming inertia is a real ordeal because it’s one thing to talk about what we want to achieve but an entirely different thing to actually do it. Consequently, this is where crafting a written motivation statement for yourself is key.
When you’ve done things a certain way for a while, creating a new habit is going to take determination.
This is why you want to paint a picture of what you are yearning for. Start with the basic goal of decluttering. What does it mean to you? When you look around your home with fresh eyes, what is it that you want to accomplish? What is it that you’d like to change…and most importantly, why? The answers to these questions will form the basis of your personal decluttering manifesto!
1. Motivation to keep everything in its place
Consider Janet who is habitually late for everything. She struggles to get out the door because she’s never quite sure where to find her keys, her phone, or her sunglasses. She rarely entertains because her house is in a perpetual state of disarray.
Her motivation to declutter is organization. The statement she may jot down sounds something like “I want to declutter because I’m stressed out every day, trying to find things. I’d like to have friends over more often but I’m embarrassed to let them see how chaotic my house is.”
When Janet glances at her decluttering statement daily, this incentivizes her to get started. It fortifies her to keep going. In other words, it breaks the general goal down into deeply personal, specific desires which resonate with her. That’s the power of Janet’s motivational manifesto!
2. Moving out of our comfort zone takes effort
Setting aside dedicated time in our day to declutter means disrupting our regular routine. We tend to be creatures of habit. Shaking up the status quo is not easy, particularly when it will possibly involve minor (let alone major) discomfort. We may be able to start with the best of intentions. But are we still going at the end of January? Is decluttering occurring in February? How about July? So yes, documented motivation is a critical element to insure we consistently do what needs to be done.
Who can’t carve out 15 minutes a day for a focused decluttering session? This translates into zeroing in one a small area like a counter, a drawer or a cabinet. 15 minutes may not sound like much time to accomplish something. But you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you start to see things shaping up in your home after a couple weeks. Short but focused sessions are a great way to ease into restructuring our day.
And when you have that occasional (or frequent) urge to skip a session? Refer back to your motivation manifesto to remind yourself why you’re doing this. In fact, track your completed sessions on a calendar. You’ll see in black & white (or with colored stars?) the days you decluttered. You won’t want to stop now!
3. Motivation to keep only the best
Stephanie’s tendency is to cling to boxes crammed with every piece of art created by her now adult children. Tossing any feels sacrilegious! How does she manage to make sorting decisions that support her decluttering goal? She starts with referencing her decluttering manifesto for some much needed motivation.
She focuses on what to retain versus agonizing over what to let go. In her case, she is decluttering in advance of a downsizing move. Aha! Knowing that she will have limited space helps guide her towards selecting a finite number of pieces to display in her new den. Stephanie selects the “keepers” based upon the sizes and colors that will coordinate with her new layout.
Understand, this is a simplistic summary of her process because sentimental things are among the hardest to declutter! The point is, she reminds herself of why she needs to pare down. Stephanie continues to declutter knowing she has to honor a set timeline for her future move. Instead of getting bogged down with sentiment, she is able to keep moving ahead.
I applaud your commitment to a decluttering goal this year! To ensure your goal takes shape, pause to capture why you’re doing it. Write it down. Keep a small journal or calendar for physical reminders when your motivation falters. Otherwise, your goal without a plan will end up being just a unfulfilled wish. Who wants that?
For more motivation, check out these resources:
- Circle back to this post for a mini boost.
- Listen to this video and let Mel R. give you the nudge you need!