Creating a Life Free From Chaos

Motivation to Start Simplifying


It’s easy to let things go around the house, and before you know it, you’re drowning in dirty laundry, junk mail, and leftover snack plates. I know, I’ve been there, more often than I like to admit. A clean, clutter-free home is more comfortable and it can also boost your self-esteem (Yay! I’m not a slob!), enhance your social life (Sure, come on over!) and save you money (I found my earbuds, so now I don’t have to go buy another pair!)

A simpler home makes life easier. When you can easily find what you need, you’ll feel more confident in your abilities to stay on top of your world. A clean, clutter-free home also frees you up to invite friends over and gives you more time to go out, instead of staying home looking for your keys. Although cleaning and decluttering might seem like a daunting task, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed. Getting motivated is half the battle. With a few simple tips, you can have your home cleaned and organized in no time.

  1. Make a Plan. Start with the area that bothers you the most. It can be a small area, such as your desk or bed, or an entire room, such as the kitchen, bedroom or bathroom. It’s hard to clean an entire home at once, so break it into smaller areas or zones. I list my areas out on paper so I know where I need to focus first. Picture the “after” by using photos of clean and organized rooms as inspiration.
  2. Set a Deadline. Make decluttering the house an event, don’t drag it out by doing “just a little” every day. Give yourself a time frame, with an actual deadline, and mark it on the calendar. Need more motivation? Plan a party or gathering at your place. It will motivate you to get your place clean in time for the festivities. I’m in the middle of a full-house declutter and deep clean, so I’ve divided my house into zones to work on, put them in order of priority, and given each a deadline. My goal is to have the entire house done by November 1, in time for the holiday season.
  3. Enlist Friends to Help. If possible, grab a couple of close friends or family members to help sort, clean and organize. They can encourage you as well as provide extra hands for heavy lifting. I usually work on this stuff alone, but I’ve now gotten my whole family involved. They live here too, so it shouldn’t be all on me.
  4. Work in Intervals. Use a timer and work in 15- to 30-minute increments, with small breaks for getting drinks, using the restroom, etc. Knowing you only have to work until the timer goes off can help motivate you to keep going. Race yourself to see how much you can do before the timer goes off. Turn on some upbeat music to keep you going, and don’t stop to talk on the phone or watch TV. If you can’t finish the entire space in one day, do what you can, and start again in your next pocket of free time.
  5. Reward Yourself. For every area you get clean, give yourself a little reward — a long soak in your newly cleaned tub, a gourmet snack in your scrubbed kitchen, or a new candle for your perfectly prepped bedroom.

In the comments, tell me, how do you get motivated to clean up? Are you up for simplifying your home before the holiday season?

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