Let's Get Started!!
Congratulations if you found the courage to take those first steps to start decluttering your home. You've envisioned what the rooms will look like after you've decluttered. You took time to create a declutter plan: Where to start and when. You've started to imagine a clutter free life.
You were on a roll! WERE on a roll… past tense!
Do you know what is the # 1 challenge people face when decluttering their home? Getting started.
How about the # 2 challenge people face when decluttering their home? Well, that would be staying motivated.
What happened to your motivation and that strong, seemingly unstoppable drive to declutter your home once and for all? Why are you suddenly procrastinating and finding every imaginable excuse not to dedicate your time to decluttering? Why did your “can do” mindset revert back to the old “can’t do” way of thinking?
We’re human and when you think about it, this same mind game of “can” and “can’t” applies to just about anything else we try to accomplish in life, be it losing weight, exercising or learning a new skill. We simply lose that initial excitement, enthusiasm, and drive to reach the finish line. We stop telling ourselves we can, and instead, begin telling ourselves, “We can’t,” “It’s too hard,” “It’s impossible” – and then, we quit. Getting Stuck Happens to All of Us!
So how DO you pick yourself up and dust yourself off, so you can start all over again? Why WOULD you stop now if you are already halfway there… or even a tenth of the way there?
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “If you believe you can, you’re halfway there!”
The first step to achieving a goal is to start believing you can succeed. So, if you are truly committed to accomplishing your decluttering goals, and if you truly want to re-ignite that fire, your drive, and determination to succeed, follow these 10 simple steps.
10 Simple Steps to Get Started and Staying Motivated on Your Decluttering Journey
1. Deeply Connect With Why You Want to Declutter
What is the main reason you want to declutter your home? This reason goes deep to your core… it can even make you cry. Examples:
- You don’t want to leave your kids with the enormous emotional task of cleaning out your stuff when you pass away like you had to go through when your parents died.
- You dream of a new “lighter” lifestyle when you retire, one that won’t weigh you down, one that lets you experience a freedom you haven’t known in years… and one that gives you more flexibility, mobility, and much less responsibility.
2. Recommit to Your Vision for Life After Decluttering
Take time to create a vision board that paints a vivid picture of what your life will be like once you are free of clutter. Be specific. Put it in a place where you see it each morning, let it inspire you, get you excited about the new lifestyle you will have. Examples:
- More time, energy, and freedom to start checking off adventures on your bucket list with your spouse, your significant other, or your friends.
- Weekly play dates with your grandchildren while they are still young enough to enjoy being with you.
3. Acknowledge You Got Off Track
Admit that you’ve lost enthusiasm, but you don’t want it to impact your decluttering goals. Identify one or two things that might have contributed to getting off track. Examples may include:
- Emotional impact of decluttering family photos.
- Physical exhaustion, trying to do it yourself.
- Negative feedback from family and friends.
4. Celebrate Your Wins Both Big and Small
Acknowledge yourself for the progress you’ve made even if it feels like a drop in the bucket. Reminding yourself of those “wins” will inspire you and motivate you to get started once again. Take time to recall what worked before, why you were able to accomplish your goal of decluttering in at least a few of the areas before you got stuck. Was there a specific decluttering method that you were able to fit into your daily routine? Maybe it was the burst method that might have allowed you to accomplish 15 to 30 minutes of decluttering each day. Or simply focusing on one closet at a time.
5. Identify When You Started to Lose Interest in Decluttering and When You Began to Get Off Track
Naysayers may have discouraged you and did not support you in achieving your decluttering goals.
Things that triggered strong emotion and memories, both good and bad, that took you out of the game (family photos, love letters, deceased spouse’s clothing).
Devices or technology that took your attention away from decluttering, causing you to lose focus, stole time from the task at hand, and negatively impacted your momentum and productivity (social media, the Internet, phone calls).
6. Have a Step-By-Step Plan in Place for Overcoming Obstacles and Setbacks When They Occur
Create a plan that includes the following:
- Review your vision board and goals daily.
- Remind yourself of why decluttering matters so much to you.
- Reduce overwhelm by calling a friend who supports you, take a weekend off from decluttering.
- Start by decluttering a small but high impact area that bothers you the most.
- Embrace imperfection. Decluttering is messy, not perfect.
- Alternate decluttering methods. (Burst method, category, method, room by room method.)
- Track weekly progress, take “before” and “after” pictures.
- Score quick wins. (One shelf, one drawer, one closet.)
- Take care of yourself, smile, try to enjoy the journey!
7. Reframe Your Thinking from “Can’t” to “Can”
Identify your negative self-talk patterns: “I can’t. It’s too hard! I’ll just fail again. ”
Every time you hear yourself being negative, smack it back down like a “Whack Amole.” Immediately reframe, those negative thoughts into positive and useful thoughts, such as “I can succeed. I will succeed. I want this so badly that it’s worth the hard work.”
Take a deep breath each time you hear something negative. Break the cycle of negative self-talk by being patient with yourself. It takes time. Doing this will eventually become a habit, so you will no longer be controlled by negative thoughts that take you off track.
8. Surround Yourself with People Who Believe in You and Will Support You
Engage a team of people who will be accountability partners, who will support you in good times and in bad, and who will help you stay on track. They will be there to celebrate your wins and help you get back in the game when you face setbacks.
9. Stay in the Moment
Focus on the one thing that you are working on right now. (One drawer, one shelf, one closet.) Complete that task before moving onto the next. Progress begets progress.
10. Have Some Fun While You Are Decluttering
Yes, decluttering is hard work both physically and mentally, but clutter didn’t accumulate overnight, so it’s not going away overnight. It’s a journey that will take time. Discover ways to have fun along the way.
- Invite a few friends over for a decluttering party. Work for a few hours, then enjoy a nice dinner and wine together. Share funny stories about the process.
- Have fun watching things disappear from your driveway when you put a large “FREE STUFF” sign next to your discarded items.
- Play your favorite music, listen to an audiobook, or enjoy a podcast you’ve been waiting to listen to. Learn and have fun while you declutter.
If you have tried to declutter your home, but got off track, and if you’ve lost that energy and motivation to go the distance, don’t give up. Start believing you can and you’re halfway there! As challenging as the decluttering journey might be, you will learn so much about yourself along the way, and when you look back, you’ll say it was worth every minute!
Let’s Have a Conversation:
Have you gotten off track in your decluttering project? What made you lose motivation? Are you ready to get back to it?
Where to Start? Right Here...call us for more tips and getting help.
Caring Transitions of Somerset (NJ)