Tag Archives: deadlines

What Motivates Us To De-clutter?

Motivation can be generated ... here's some tips!

Where do you find the motivation to do the right thing?

When the overcrowding problem in your home is so overwhelming that you can’t find anything and you can barely open the front door, it may be easy to find the motivation to take action.

Once we “hit bottom,” we are more open to getting help…any help…to make changes in our lives and our living spaces.

But, what can you do to “raise the bottom” and find the energy to tackle the accumulation of unsorted stuff before it causes you too much suffering?

 Motivation can come from the inside or the outside.


Deadlines. Taxes due–April 15th is always a prod that can give you a boost.  It’s a reliable deadline to which most of us adhere to get our paperwork in order. And the deadline comes reliably every year.  A yearly purge of unwanted possessions and paperwork is a good habit. Think of it as “spring cleaning.”

Self-imposed deadlines. How about making a date to have the rugs cleaned?  Or inviting a contractor in to research a kitchen remodeling project?  Sometimes just having a fresh set of eyes looking at your spaces can help you see what we have in stark reality.

Impending house guests. Do you look forward to your family visiting?  Having guests come usually triggers a fresh look at what we have and how we are storing stuff. Even if the guest room isn’t overloaded with stuff that we’ve been putting off making decisions about, the idea of someone coming to stay helps us to see how our home is functioning…or not.

Relocation. The cost of moving stuff you don’t care about is a great motivator.  If knowing that the less the movers have to transport, the less it’s going to cost you, that could be an impetus for making some tough choices.

Family changes. The addition of another family member (sweetheart, parent or child) can provide a level of alarm that requires a fresh look at your living space. The transitions when children grow up provide natural prompts to do space overhauls.  And, when your child moves out (for real) repurposing a room is often what’s called for.

Job transitions. The need for home office space can prompt whole house revamp.


Therapeutic insight. A session with a therapist, coach, or professional organizer may remove roadblocks to the organizing process.

Medical diagnosis. An organized space becomes necessary for your health:

  • Allergies – clutter makes it hard to clean dust and pet hair
  • Disability or other medical condition which requires accommodations in your living space
  • Nutritional plan which relies on an efficiently appointed kitchen

Motivation of unknown origin. Some people suddenly just “see the light” and the goal is clear, along with the method.

Since you’ve read this post to the end, you’re probably not one of these “I’ve seen the light” people… So, what can you do?

Light your own fire!  Invite a friend over to stay, meet with a coach, make an appointment with a contractor or architect and take a small step toward a goal.


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Filed under General Organizing, Perspective, Time Management