How to declutter when you can’t be bothered
Decluttering is an important thing that most people can’t be bothered to do. And we don’t blame them; why would you want to tidy up when there is literally enough entertainment out there to fill multiple lifetimes?
But it must be done, which means you need to motivate yourself somehow. Here are some top tips.
As a kid, you probably got some kind of reward when you tidied your room. It’s the oldest trick in the parenting book and it’s remarkably effective when you’re an adult.
Before you set out decluttering, decide a reward for yourself: an episode of a TV show, some chocolate – whatever gets you motivated. Give yourself the reward when you’re done.
Bear in mind that this takes quite a bit of willpower. If you lack willpower, get someone to monitor you and bark encouragement – the bigger and scarier, the better.
If you read our entire archive of decluttering posts, you’ll find this piece of advice in at least 95% of them. That’s because it’s so important. Decluttering without a goal is like going on a walk with no destination: it seems like a good idea at the time but before you know it, you’re in the middle of Romford with no trousers and a smashed up phone.
Set yourself small, achievable goals before embarking on a decluttering session, like ‘tidy up the DVD collection’ or ‘sort out the wardrobes in the bedroom’. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to get stuff done when you know what you’re trying to achieve.
Take a nap
Having a 20 minute snooze might sound counterproductive but if you’re feeling a bit grumpy and upset about having to declutter, it’s probably the best thing you can do.
A good nap will help reset your emotions, making you feel more alert, more awake and ready to tackle the clutter. Just make sure you set an alarm.
Set a deadline
Without deadlines, nothing gets done. You drift through the day, procastinating and generally doing anything other than what needs to be done.
With a deadline looming, you feel a sudden rush of energy and urge to do as much as possible. Of course, this rush relies on worrying about some kind of punishment if you miss the deadline. Set yourself a decluttering deadline and a suitable punishment – like no TV for the night or something similar – for missing it! If you need to, get someone else to enforce it.
Visit someone else’s clean house
Seeing your best friend’s minimalist dream house could be enough to kick up the bum and start decluttering, if only out of shame. Seriously, though, seeing an ultra clean house will motivate you to sort your stuff out like nothing else.
Listen to Shia LeBeouf
Although Mr. LeBeouf gets a lot of stick for his…erm, ‘art’, he’s onto something here. Just ‘doing’ something, without thinking about terrible and boring it’s going to be, is the easiest way to get stuff done. Stop thinking, stop worrying. DO IT!
Research suggests that you’ll be more productive if you’re happy, so try and lift your mood while you’re decluttering. Stick on an album you love, listen to an interesting podcast or do anything else that will perk you up and you’ll reap the benefits.
A little advice can go a long way, so make a cup of tea and take in some motivational decluttering materials. There are a lot of books on the subject, including the bestselling The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, as well as tons of blogs (including this one!).
If you need some inspiration right now, check out these 6 essential tips from decluttering experts.
Focus on the benefits
It might seem boring now, but decluttering has a lot of positive benefits. You’ll have a tidier house, less stuff to maintain and, best of all, more money!
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