If you want to clear the clutter from your home, but often find yourself procrastinating, you’re not alone!
Decluttering can be a lot of work. And sometimes that work feels so overwhelming or exhausting, you might find yourself putting off decluttering and procrastinating getting started.
And even if you don’t feel overwhelmed by decluttering, it might just not be your favourite thing to do, so you put it off.
If you’ve been putting off decluttering, but are ready to kick procrastination to the curb – along with the clutter – today’s post is for you!
You’ll learn 13 simple tips to help you stop putting off decluttering and start clearing the clutter instead!
How to stop procrastinating and start clearing the clutter
1. Just start!
Sometimes the biggest barrier to clearing the clutter is the one you create in your head. It’s easy to build decluttering up into this big, overwhelming task in your mind. Especially when you think about decluttering your whole house from top to bottom.
There’s no doubt that clearing years’ worth of clutter requires some work. But thinking about it and worrying about it isn’t going to get it done.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is simply dive in and start.
Stop overthinking it, stop making excuses, stop waiting for the “perfect time” and stop putting it off. Instead, simply do something today to start decluttering. Even if you only find one thing to get rid of, that’s a start!
And sometimes getting started is the hardest part. Once you take the first step and actually start taking action to clear the clutter, it becomes easier to keep going.
The only way to make progress towards reaching your decluttering goals is to start clearing the clutter now! And every step you take towards clearing the clutter counts. Even the baby steps!
2. Break it down into small steps
Another way to overcome procrastination when you’re decluttering, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work ahead of you, is to break down the decluttering tasks into smaller, more manageable and less stressful steps.
For example, instead of saying, “I’m going to declutter my kitchen”, then immediately feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start, break your kitchen down into one small step you can take at a time to clear the clutter.
You could map out your plan to declutter your kitchen by making a list of every cupboard, shelf and drawer. Then decluttering them one at a time.
Or let me do the work for you! My new decluttering guide, Your Clutter-Free Home, gives you detailed decluttering checklists for every room in your home. So you can easily see what you need to declutter in each space and what to work on next. All broken down into small, simple, manageable steps! Click HERE to learn more about Your Clutter-Free Home.
Not only do these smaller decluttering tasks feel a lot less overwhelming. But they also make it easier to squeeze decluttering into your day, even if you don’t have a lot of extra time.
It feels a lot easier to think about quickly sorting through one cupboard, knowing it’ll only take a few minutes, instead of thinking about decluttering your whole kitchen at once.
Taking it one step at a time makes it much more likely that you’ll start clearing the clutter, and stop procrastinating and putting it off.
3. Start with smaller decluttering goals
Once you’ve broken the work you need to do down into small, manageable steps, make some small, manageable goals too.
You’ll set yourself up for success, which fuels your motivation to keep going when you start with smaller, more attainable goals. Goals you know you’ll be able to achieve to build your confidence, motivation and momentum!
For example, aim to declutter for 10 minutes a day each weekday. It’s not a huge commitment, so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. And the best part is you’ll not only build a habit of decluttering and build up momentum to keep going. But those 10 minutes will start to add up and you’ll be making great progress clearing the clutter.
Another way to set small decluttering goals is to aim to declutter one drawer/shelf/box/etc. a day, a week or whatever feels manageable to you.
Again, choose something that feels achievable for you, but will help you build the habit and find your decluttering groove!
4. Adjust your expectations
Another important way to overcome procrastination when it comes to decluttering is by adjusting your expectations.
Depending on your situation, you might be looking at decluttering stuff you’ve been accumulating for years. If it’s taken you years to accumulate it all, it’s not very realistic to think you’ll be able to sort through it all and clear the clutter in a single day!
Adjust your expectations and take the pressure off yourself.
When you aren’t expecting yourself to start and finish decluttering in a single day, it feels less intimidating and overwhelming to get started.
Set realistic decluttering goals based on the amount of stuff you have, the size of your house, how busy your schedule is, etc.
That way, you can avoid feeling like you’re failing before you even get started! And instead, focus on making slow, steady and realistic progress to clear the clutter. And celebrate your successes rather than feel like a failure.
5. Don’t beat yourself up
And speaking of adjusting your expectations, remember not to beat yourself up for putting off decluttering in the past, or accumulating all the “stuff” you need to declutter now.
You can’t change the past, but you can choose to take action right now, in the present.
So instead of feeling bad about what you did or didn’t do in the past, show yourself a little kindness, let it go and start taking action to clear the clutter now!
6. Aim for progress, not perfection
Your mindset can make a huge difference in how successfully you’re able to clear the clutter. Sometimes the biggest obstacle that keeps you procrastinating about decluttering is your own mindset!
You might be waiting for the perfect time to start decluttering, but that perfect time never seems to happen. Or maybe you think if you can’t clear all the clutter and create a “Pinterest worthy” room in one afternoon, what’s the point of even trying.
Those are limiting beliefs that only work to fuel your procrastination.
Instead, remind yourself that every time you let go of something that’s not adding value to your life, you’re getting one step closer to your decluttering goals. One piece of clutter gone is better than no pieces of clutter gone!
Stop waiting for “perfect” and start aiming for progress instead.
7. Remember why you want to declutter
A great way to kick procrastination to the curb is by knowing exactly why you want to declutter. Then use your “why” to keep you motivated and focused on reaching your goals.
Think about exactly what you want to achieve by decluttering. Get really clear about your goals. Check out this post to help you decide what is most important for you to achieve by clearing the clutter.
Then, stay focused on the benefits of decluttering and your “why” to stay motivated and avoid putting off your next decluttering session.
8. Treat yo’ self
If you’re putting off decluttering because it’s simply something you really don’t like doing, set a decluttering goal and plan a little reward for yourself to help you stay motivated.
For example, set a goal to find 40 things to get rid of by the end of the week. If you do it, treat yourself to take out from your favourite restaurant on the weekend.
Or aim to have your bathroom decluttered by a certain date, then spend an afternoon doing your favourite hobby as your reward.
Rewards don’t have to be extravagant, and they don’t have to cost a lot or anything at all. And ideally, if you’re in the process of decluttering, they should be something that won’t add more “stuff” to your home.
But a reward can give you something to look forward to and something to help you stay motivated to put in the work, even when you’d much rather put it off!
9. Start somewhere easy
If you’ve been procrastinating and putting off decluttering, starting in your biggest, most difficult room to declutter probably isn’t going to make you want to stop procrastinating.
Instead, start decluttering somewhere easy. Pick a place you’ll be able to start and finish relatively quickly. A place that you’ll be able to see the results of your decluttering efforts right away. And a place where the decluttering decisions won’t be too hard to make.
This will help you ease into decluttering and give you some “decluttering wins” right away. Helping to build up your confidence, motivation and momentum to keep going.
Some great places to start decluttering are the bathroom, the kitchen pantry, a coat closet, etc. Somewhere relatively small and somewhere you can make more logical, and less emotional, decluttering decisions.
10. Focus on one room at a time
If thinking about decluttering your whole house feels overwhelming and causes you to keep putting off decluttering, shift your focus. Instead of thinking about your whole house, focus on one room at a time.
Work through your house decluttering and organizing one room at a time so it works best for you and your family. Then, when that room is done, move onto the next room.
Just shifting your mindset and your focus from “How am I ever going to declutter the whole house??” to “I’m decluttering the living room so our family can enjoy spending time in there!” feels a lot more manageable.
11. Set a timer
A timer can be your best friend when you’re decluttering!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about the thought of decluttering, instead of focusing on the hours of work ahead of you, set a timer for 10 minutes and see what you can get done.
Ten minutes feels a lot less overwhelming, even if your life is already busy and full.
A timer gives you a clear start and end time, so you know you only have to work on decluttering for that small amount of time. It can help you stay focused on decluttering. And it can also give you a fun boost of motivation by challenging you to beat the clock, and see how much you can get done before the timer goes off!
12. Make decluttering a challenge
Another fun way to help avoid decluttering procrastination is by having a little fun and making decluttering a challenge!
Maybe challenge someone else in your house to see who can find more things to get rid of in 20 minutes. Or try the “mins game” where you declutter for 30 days, finding one thing to get rid of on day 1, two things on day 2, three things on day 3, etc.
Adding a little friendly competition, even if it’s just with yourself, can be a great way to stop procrastinating and start clearing the clutter!
13. Keep your focus on decluttering
Another big obstacle to decluttering is getting distracted doing other things when you’re trying to declutter.
Do what you can to limit distractions during your decluttering sessions. Put your phone away, set your kids up with an activity, stop trying to multi-task and only focus on decluttering, etc. Whatever you need to do to limit any interruptions while you’re decluttering.
If you find yourself often getting sidetracked by cleaning, tidying up or putting things away when you’re trying to declutter, keep reminding yourself that your focus should be on clearing the clutter, not tidying or cleaning.
Having a basket handy for things you need to deal with or put away once you’ve finished decluttering, is a great way to avoid using all your decluttering time tidying up and putting things away.
How to stop procrastinating and start decluttering
I hope today’s post gives you some simple and realistic ways to stop procrastinating and start decluttering.
And don’t forget, if you’re looking for a complete road map that gives you a simple decluttering plan to follow, breaking the decluttering work down into one small step at a time, check out Your Clutter-Free Home.
With it’s decluttering checklists for every room in your home, it’s the perfect guide to help you stop procrastinating and start clearing the clutter!
What causes you to procrastinate when it comes to decluttering? Which of the tips from today’s post are you most excited to try?