A guest post by Bridget of Sunshine and Rainy Days

Inside: If you’re having trouble getting motivated to declutter, create a decluttering deadline to force yourself to start the process. A self-imposed deadline will help you to make the decluttering progress you’ve been longing for!

You have a million things to do and decluttering your home doesn’t top the list. In fact, you’d rather eat out every night and avoid home as much as possible so you don’t have to face the mountain of stuff on your countertops and the piles on your floor.

You need the motivation to declutter your home so you can enjoy the place that is supposed to provide peace and relaxation in your life.

The thing is, even IF you muster up all your strength and motivate yourself to clean and organize, it can be difficult to STAY motivated, when decluttering.

So, how do you stop the overwhelm and the distractions in order to get the job done? You create a decluttering deadline.

3 Best Ways to Create a Decluttering Deadline

Many people are really good at procrastinating. They may want to declutter, but without a timeline, they simply put it off.

This is why you should create a decluttering deadline. Using one of these three ways you’ll force an end date and motivate yourself to start decluttering now.

create a decluttering deadline

1. Host a garage sale

Recently, my sister was moving and I invited her to sell her stuff at our community garage sale. When we moved four years ago, we sold one-third of our belongings so I didn’t think we’d have anything to sell.

Still, since we were hosting a garage sale, we wanted to make a little cash so I set to work and cleaned out closets, kitchen cabinets, bathrooms, and living spaces.

The upcoming garage sale gave me the motivation to declutter, even though I didn’t think there was much decluttering to do.

Surprisingly, there was quite a bit of stuff I found that we no longer needed or used. The garage sale deadline motivated me to declutter more and I ended up with more space in my home!

How to get motivated to get rid of stuff

Determine whether the amount you could sell the item for would be more valuable to you than the item, itself.

Oftentimes, it’s hard to part with something until you realize that the monetary value is worth more to you than the thing, itself.

I had 40 terracotta pots that I had planned to plant succulents in and give as gifts. I tried. The succulents died. The terracotta pots sat in the garage waiting for new inspiration.

When garage sale day came, I realized I’d rather have the money from selling the terracotta pots than try to come up with a new idea for them. That meant $20 earned!

It also meant that I freed up some space and no longer had to look at my failed project.

Realize items you think are worthless may be exactly what someone else is looking for.

You may think it isn’t worth it to put a Vitamix container, without the base, in your garage sale but someone else would consider that a sweet find as they have the base but a broken container.

My sister put out patio chair cushions, free, as they were worn and stained. A family joyously loaded them in their minivan as they told us that last year they had bought patio chairs, from a garage sale, without cushions, and they were excited to recover these free cushions.

I like to build stuff and have recently learned how to rip 2 x 4’s, giving them a straight edge. This leaves me with a bunch of 1/4 inch thick edges that are worthless to me but others love to use for their outdoor fire pits.

In my experience, many people go to garage sales with a list of items they or friends or family are looking for. Things that you might think are useless but others have written on their lists!

create a decluttering deadline

Imagine the peace you’ll feel with more space.

Many people struggle to have a clear mind when their space is full of clutter.

Motivation to declutter clothes can be hard to find. Your closet is so full that it’s difficult to find anything to wear so you end up wearing the same three outfits over and over again. Free up space in your closet so you end up with just the clothes you love to wear and can easily find them.

The kitchen counters are FULL of stuff because there’s just no place to put anything. It’s hard to get motivated to clean when you’re overwhelmed by mess so commit to making a change in order to have clear counters and to feel at peace, in your home!

Even the garage can wreak havoc on your peace of mind because you know the garage is meant to store cars, not excess stuff. Take time to give your garage an overhaul so you can use it for its’ intended purpose.

2. Plan a get-together

If you are struggling to declutter, there’s no better motivation to declutter your house than knowing you have friends coming over! Sure, your friends probably won’t check out your closet but … maybe they will.

Invite friends to your gathering that have never been to your home and offer tours of your house. After all, you have nothing to hide because your house is in tip-top shape, closets and all.

  1. Set a date.
  2. Invite friends.
  3. Work like crazy to have your home in shape for your get-together!
  4. Leave enough time to prep for your get-together.
  5. Enjoy your guests!

Many years ago, my husband and I were invited to a party about an hour’s drive away. We got a babysitter and headed that way. When we arrived, the hosts were anxious to show us their house.

It was a beautiful home, on the water, and they showed us all the projects they had recently completed. We enjoyed the tour of their home but were a bit surprised when the husband went to mow the lawn and the wife left to get groceries … for the party!

Their home was beautiful and in tip-top shape but they weren’t ready to host guests.

When the wife arrived with groceries, many of the guests helped prepare the food. We ate three hours after arriving. It ended up being a long day, but it reminded us to be ready for all aspects of hosting when we have guests over.

We want our home to be in good shape but that won’t mean much if we haven’t left enough time to prepare for the party.

3. Move … or pretend like you’re going to move

Motivate yourself to clean and organize by staging your home for a move, even if you don’t plan to move. You’ll create a decluttering deadline by selecting your ‘move’ date.

When you stage a home, you are often encouraged to remove one-third of your belongings from closets and cabinets. This makes it appear like your home has plenty of space and room to grow.

create a decluttering deadline

Go through every space in your home and sell or donate anything you wouldn’t want to pack and move.

The goal is to make your spaces look BIG! The best way to do that is by removing any items you don’t want or need.

Work room by room and be sure to leave at least 1/3 of closet shelves empty so it appears you have more than enough space and even room to grow!

Clear the floors (including under the bed), remove outdated curtains and wall hangings, take out bulky furniture, and clear the countertops. Determine what would be worthy to move to a new home and what you want to sell.

Keep in mind that everything you keep costs you. It takes up space and costs more money when you actually do move.

You may have not even realized that these things had been making your house look cluttered. When you begin to see your stuff this way it changes your perspective and makes it easier to let go.

  • That giant calculator that you thought was so sweet but never use? It’s not worth keeping, so let it go!
  • The wall hanging that’s stuffed under the stairs because you haven’t been able to part with it? It’s time to make a little cash off of it!
  • Those quilt blocks that you are waiting for time to create an amazing quilt? It may just need to go.
  • Clothes that you never wear? They aren’t worth the time they’d take to pack. Get rid of them!
  • Furniture that you don’t like? It’s better off out of your house.

Make minor repairs to your home.

Pretend that you’re showing potential buyers your home. It’s a great reason to finally get those nagging repairs done.

Do a walk-through of each room and take notes of minor repairs that need attention. Next, make a plan to take care of them so you can declutter your mind of all the to-dos.

You’ll breathe a sigh of relief after you finally taking care of repairs, painting, and any small improvements you’ve been wanting to do. Often those pesky tasks are left until you list your home and then you never get to enjoy them!

create a decluttering deadline

Make your home sparkle!

Clean the windows, window tracks, blinds, doors, baseboards, curtains, and floors. Make time to clean light fixtures, fans, cupboards, and drawers.

Replace lightbulbs and make sure they are the same kind and wattage to create a cohesive feel. You could rearrange furniture, even moving furniture to different rooms, where it makes more sense.

Imagine people coming through your home to decide if it’s a place they would want to live. It will motivate you to take action.

Of course, you’re not actually selling your home but you can use the same principles to motivate you to declutter your home and make it a place you love!

Create a Decluttering Deadline to Start Making Progress!

A timeline will give you motivation to declutter so you can stop dreading home and, instead, enjoy spending time in your home!

Creating a decluttering deadline using any of these three methods will help you to stop procrastinating and finally start meeting your decluttering goals.

Bridget is the founder of Sunshine And Rainy Days where she creates practical printables and DIY’s to help you get organized and have more FUN!

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One Comment

  1. I really liked all of these suggestions Julianna I am not a procrastinator but I like the idea of acting like your going to move. I often think that we may need to move at some point and it would be stressful to have to downsize at that time. I think that acting like your going to move makes a lot of things feel less valuable than you act like they are. Suddenly keeping the item becomes a more active endeavor whereas just leaving something where it is seems easy.
    I have also found that I am motivated to Declutter when I need something new. Many use the one in one out rule but I like to use the one in 2-3 out! I am slowly making like more and more simple by doing this and it gives me positive reinforcement that I get something I really want and need when I get rid of a few things.

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