I’m doing decluttering of the house for around a month for now. I see there still months of work ahead, but what keeps me moving is that I can see tiny improvements in the house. Shelves became neater…well, not all but only those I have reached with tidying so far:-)
I think the most difficult in decluttering is to keep staying motivated. In my case, I was accumulating clutter for years, so it will also take a while to tackle it all. Even though I try to do at least something every day to help my declutter move, I see the progress is still little. It’s very easy to become overwhelmed in the beginning, so I’d like to share what helps me to stay motivated.
Creating a mental picture of the final result (or you can even sketch it if you like!)
Keeping final picture in mind helps me to understand what’s exactly I'm trying to achieve and what needs to be done. I imagine how shelves are neatly arranged with storage boxes containing only necessary things, kitchen is clean, kitchenware is nicely stored inside cupboards, wardrobe is times less filled than now and containing only my favorite clothing I enjoy to wear. Everything is not only convenient for use and cleaning, but also looks attractive. IKEA is a good inspiration when I need some ideas.
The more space I release, the easier storage becomes. I noticed after I discard numerous things, I have space not only to put necessary things there but also add a beautiful touch like colorful flower (my favorite home accessory).
Moving by little steps, I see that house becomes a bit closer to the picture in my mind, and of course it keeps me motivated.
Keep track of what’s been done
Depends of the original situation with clutter, in the beginning it may really seem that whatever I do clutter does not reduce. But it does. That’s why making pictures “before” and “after” is really a great way to stay motivated. Picture shows how much I progress from original state, and it’s very inspiring to see. Keeping track of the progress is one of the major reasons I started DeclutterBlog and it works as a great motivation for me too.
And what I would not recommend to do, just from my personal observation, is not to interrupt work in the middle. If decided to declutter, let’s say, a shelf or cupboard, start and do until the end. Problem is decluttering cannot avoid creating a big mess in the process when you remove all the things from the storage, sort them out what to leave and to discard, folding remaining or packing back. If you stop at the point after you removed all the things, even temporary, mess around will be a big demotivation. If time is limited but I’m still keen to do at least a bit of declutter at certain day, I usually break down the scope into smaller pieces, for example, tidy up only one shelf and not entire rack, but do it at one attempt from start to end. Well, not always I manage to do this, that’s why I know how demotivating it is to see a big mess around.
But every time I finish, I have a feeling I became lighter…seriously, like I personally carried all the stuff kept on the shelves. And after that I usually gaze to the place I just tidied for several minutes with enjoy and cannot believe it might look so much better than it was! And this is the biggest motivation and reward I get after each declutter session.