One of the biggest challenges I hear is finding, and maintaining, the motivation to get and stay decluttered. For some, it’s a challenge to even start. Others can start, but quickly get mired in “decision fatigue” as soon as they get rolling. Still others can declutter in a mad burst but struggle to keep it up longer than a few weeks.
So how do you find the motivation? Work towards something aspirational! Don’t think of it as a big pile of work, think of it as a path to that tea-time with friends you’ve always wanted to have. That’s what you’re working towards! Negative and external motivators don’t work for most of us (read: I HAVE to declutter because my home looks terrible, or I CAN’T let anyone see my home until I get it organized).
What works better? I WANT to invite a friend over. I WANT a space for myself to decompress at the end of the day, or a place to meditate each morning. Remember, your personal space can start out as small as a cute nook under a window, as long as it suits what you need to begin to feel the benefits of a newfound sense of space. And a visit with a friend can start with nothing more than a decluttered deck and kitchen counter! Find a reason, a goal, an aspiration...and work towards it, bit by bit.
Even I struggle with the motivation to keep clutter at bay on a daily (and hourly!) basis. But when I look at the positives of the clutter-free life I want to live, it’s easier to go that extra few feet from the kitchen counter to the key hooks, and stop the clutter before it starts.
I’ve always loved dogs, but sadly, they don’t straighten up after themselves! I’ve had several dogs over the years but have been without one for the last 5 years after losing my beloved dog Miss Moneypenny in 2016. Last May we got Bodhi the Wonderdog, a gorgeous 3-month-old German Shepherd puppy. Dogs can be a lot of work, especially puppies. But I love four-legged tornadoes with tails, so that inspires me to keep my house as sane as possible, so I can make space for the chaos (and the sheer joy) that my new pooch brings.
12 months, two carpet cleaners and one dog trainer later, my home is filled with warmth, love, and the more-than-occasional paw print. And in addition to those extra few steps I take throughout my day to put stuff where it belongs the first time, I’ve clocked miles putting away dog toys and sweeping scattered food that always seems to make it out of the bowl.
But those end-of-the-day furry snuggles give me a reason to keep things neat...and keeps that tail from having as much to scatter!