A clutter-free home is a healthy home.
Clutter causes stress and wastes our time and energy, two of our most precious commodities.
Decluttering your home can seem like a challenge and it can be hard to summon up the motivation to get started. Maybe you’ve been procrastinating for days, weeks or even years, and now you don't know where you should start.
Fortunately, there are some tangible steps you can take in order to give your motivation a boost and help you on your way to a clutter-free home. Keep reading for some of the best ways to improve your motivation fast. Adding even a few of these to your bag of tricks may help you to overcome that slump when you need a motivational jump-start.
Once your home is clutter-free, you'll need to develop some habits to help you keep it that way on autopilot. In this post, we'll be delving into some steps you can take, to help you create and maintain your clutter-free life.
Before we start, do you want to get a headstart with your home goals this year? Sign up for my free 5-day email course 'Declutter Success' – click the image below to find out more and sign up.
How to achieve a clutter-free home – and make it a habit
Keeping your motivation up
One way to convince your brain that an activity is worth starting is to look ahead to the end result. Since I am a visual person, I'm a HUGE fan of this technique and it works for me every time.
Think about how your space will look once it's clutter-free and feeling of satisfaction you’ll get from being able to use it in a totally new way. No matter what the project, visualizing the result of your efforts can improve your focus and motivation.
Consider making a mood board and adding actual visuals such as photos, magazine clippings or other images to motivate you.
A method that is often successful in tricking the mind to move on a task is to start with a small portion of the whole. You might wish to begin by gathering any supplies necessary for completing the job. This small action can put you in the right mindset to keep working on the rest. Getting started truly is half the battle.
I always use the worksheets in my free 5-day email course, 'Declutter Success' to plan out my tasks first. The worksheets help me stay focused and I get great satisfaction from ticking off items on my list – if you'd hadn't already guessed, I'm a box ticker!
Take a Break
Don't tackle everything at once. Make a plan and break it into smaller portions. For instance, in the kitchen, you could tackle one drawer at a time. You'll feel the satisfaction of having completed part of your main task (clutter-free kitchen) and have the motivation to move on to the next task tomorrow.
Listen to Music
Upbeat tunes might be a solution that leads you to start tapping your toes and feeling more motivated. Play your favourite music to shift your mood, and then get to work decluttering your home.
Creating habits for a clutter-free home
As I stated above, once your home is clutter-free, you'll need to develop some habits to help you keep it that way on autopilot. This is important because you want your hard work to count for something.
Getting into the habit of doing something is often easier said than done. We seem to acquire bad habits without any effort, but getting into a “good” habit can be a little more challenging.
Let's break it down into a three-step process that makes it easy to follow until we've internalized the new behaviour and made it a true habit – something we do automatically without having to think about, like brushing our teeth.
Decide what you want to do
The first step is to decide what you want that new habit to be. Be as specific as possible. Don't just tell yourself you want to keep a tidy home. Instead, say something like "I will tidy up the living areas every evening before I go to bed". Deciding what your new habit will be and committing to when and how you're going to do it, is half the battle.
Remind Yourself To Get It Done
The next few days should be smooth sailing. You’re motivated and excited to get this done. Sticking to your new habit isn’t an issue but a few days in you’ll notice that it’s easy to slip back into old habits.
Maybe you're tired and you don't feel like tidying up. Or maybe your day just gets away from you. This is when it's important to have a daily reminder. Set an alert on your phone or add the new habit to your daily to-do list for a while.
Make It Part of Your Routine Until It Becomes A Habit
Which brings us to the last step. It takes some time before a new behaviour becomes a true habit. Until then, a routine will work to your best advantage. Even before the new behaviour becomes automatic, a routine will help you get it done without having to spend a lot of willpower or relying on daily reminders.
Make that daily tidy-up part of your evening routine. Think how much better you will feel, coming down to a tidy living space in the morning.
Congratulations! Decide to create the new habit, practise the routine until it's second nature and you'll be well on your way to forming a new good habit.
These suggestions can, and should, be tailored to fit your personality, preferences and lifestyle. Experiment a bit. Use the ones that work for you, and throw out the rest. You’ll likely be surprised by the significant effect a simple action can have on your motivation and habits.
Don't forget, if you need a little nudge in the right direction, my free 5-day email course will help you with that. Download it now, while you are still thinking about it – you'll get a headstart with your clutter-free home this year!
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