Today I’m sharing some decluttering tips for your home to help you take more action when you’re working to clear the clutter. Helping you reach your decluttering goals faster and easier. Without spinning your wheels so much.
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Being in motion vs taking action
The idea of being in motion versus taking action comes from James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits.
Being in motion involves the stage of a project when you’re planning, strategizing and learning. Taking action is the stage where you’re taking on behaviours that deliver an outcome.
Both are important parts of tackling any project. But sometimes it’s easy to get stuck being in motion, without moving on to taking action.
Clear says, “Motion allows us to feel like we’re making progress without running the risk of failure.”
“Motion makes you feel like you’re getting things done. But really, you’re just preparing to get something done.”
And when this happens, preparation can become a form of procrastination.
Being in motion when you’re decluttering
I definitely see this happening with decluttering. You decide you want to declutter, but also want to make sure you do it right. So you start researching the best place to start, the best decluttering strategy to use, the best tips and hacks to make it easier, etc.
You’re prepared to make the process as fast and as easy as possible. But sometimes in the midst of all the preparation and planning, you forget the most important part. Which is to put your plans into action and get started clearing the clutter!
Progress, not perfection
Sometimes it’s even a matter of wanting to declutter the “right” way to the point where perfectionism gets in the way.
Clear says, “If you want to master a habit, the key is to start with repetition, not perfection.”
It’s about embracing progress over perfection as you’re decluttering. Not worrying about doing it perfectly right, or without making any mistakes. Instead, it’s about getting started and learning as you go. Building your “decluttering muscles” along the way.
Decluttering is a skill you get better at the more you do it. The more you experience the benefits of clearing the clutter, the more motivated you become to be more ruthless as you declutter. And the braver you become as you realize you don’t miss the clutter and enjoy living with less more.
And in the meantime, not only are you taking action and clearing the clutter. But you’re also improving your decluttering skills every time you declutter too.
11 decluttering tips for your home
So how do you get out of being in motion and start taking action?
Next, I want to share a few decluttering tips for your home to help you move out of the planning stage and start taking action to move you closer to your decluttering goals.
1. Start small
Sometimes feeling overwhelmed is what keeps you from taking action.
Instead of thinking about decluttering an entire room or your entire home, start small. Tackle one drawer, one shelf, one pile, one small section of clutter, etc. When you’re done with that, tackle another small decluttering project next.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Small wins add up and will help you reduce the clutter in your home significantly over time.
2. Set a timer
Another great way to motivate yourself to start taking action is by setting a timer.
Set a timer for 10 minutes and try to do as much decluttering as you can before the timer goes off.
If decluttering feels overwhelming or like you don’t know where to start, starting with just 10 minutes can feel a lot less intimidating.
Plus, the fun challenge of trying to beat the clock and see how much you can get done before the timer goes adds a fun element to decluttering too.
3. Declutter a little bit every day
Another great way of building a strong decluttering habit is aiming to declutter a little bit every day. The more often you declutter, the more of a habit and way of life it will become. And eventually, keeping an eye out for things you don’t use, need or love and can get rid of will start happening automatically.
Not only that, but you’ll also be removing a lot of clutter from your home along the way too!
Even if you aim to find one thing each day to declutter, you’ll be getting rid of a lot of clutter over time. And often, you’ll find more than one thing once you start looking for clutter!
4. Start a decluttering challenge
Having a guided challenge to follow is another great way to kickstart yourself into taking action to clear the clutter.
Check out this 30-day decluttering challenge to help you start and make great progress in clearing the clutter.
5. Build momentum with a high-impact project
A great way to build momentum and motivation to take action decluttering is by making the results of your efforts really obvious.
Tackle a high-impact decluttering project. Something you’ll notice the difference in every day. Each time you notice how the space looks, feels and functions so much better after you decluttered it, it will inspire and encourage you to keep going on the next decluttering task.
For example, clear off your main kitchen counter, the space you see and use most. You’ll notice and appreciate how different it looks, feels and functions right away.
Other great ideas are the bathroom counter you use every day as you get ready. Or your bedside table so the last and first thing you see every day is a clutter-free space.
6. Challenge yourself to fill a bag or box
Another great way to kickstart yourself into taking action is to find an empty box or bag and challenge yourself to fill it with clutter.
This gives you a defined goal to reach, which encourages you to push yourself to meet it. As well as helps you push yourself to dive in and start clearing the clutter, rather than just planning to declutter.
7. Make it a friendly competition
A fun way to start taking action decluttering is by adding an element of friendly competition.
Challenge someone else in your house to see who can find the most to declutter in a set amount of time. Maybe add a fun “prize” for the winner. Say the winner doesn’t have to do dishes or the winner gets to pick a movie to watch.
A little friendly competition is a great way to encourage yourself to be more ruthless while decluttering. And also get rid of a bunch of clutter while you’re at it!
8. Tackle a specific pain point
If there is a specific area in your home that constantly makes you feel frustrated, annoyed or overwhelmed because of the clutter, tackle it!
Not only will you remove a significant source of stress from your home. But you’ll also free up more time and space in your days to do more decluttering and tackle other pain points in your home.
9. Create a clutter-free spot for yourself
Sometimes you need to be able to live with the benefits of decluttering before you can fully appreciate them. Try giving yourself one clutter-free space to enjoy.
Maybe it’s a corner of the living room to read in or drink your morning coffee. Maybe it’s your bathroom drawer. It could be your bedside table or your desk at work.
Wherever it is, create one clutter-free space you can use and enjoy. Notice how the space looks, feels and functions after you declutter it and how that impacts how you feel and function in the space.
Often, one clutter-free space inspires you to create another and another, simply because it feels so good!
10. Give yourself a quick win
Another great way to take the leap from planning to taking action is by giving yourself a quick win.
Declutter a smaller, simpler area. Not only will you get started. But you’ll also prove to yourself that you can do this and it will make a difference.
Pick a spot that doesn’t feel overwhelming to you and tackle it. Maybe it’s one cupboard in your kitchen, one drawer in your bathroom, the top of your coffee table or the surface of the table in your entryway.
Wherever it is, pick one smaller, easier decluttering project and tackle it from start to finish. You’ll not only get started, but you’ll also give yourself a decluttering win, make progress and build your momentum as you go.
11. Just start
And finally, the last tip to help you start taking action is to simply dive in and start decluttering.
You don’t need to start in the perfect place or declutter it perfectly the first time. The key is simply taking steps to start clearing the clutter. Start making progress and start building your momentum to keep going.
If you find yourself stuck in the planning phase of decluttering, stop what you’re doing and declutter one small space right now. Or find 10 things to get rid of right now. Or walk through a room or a few rooms and gather up any clutter you can see.
Stop waiting for the perfect time to start, and instead start right now.
Remember, every piece of clutter you remove from your home is one less item you have to deal with, manage and take care of. And every piece of clutter you remove is taking you one step closer to reaching your decluttering goals.
Decluttering tips for home: start clearing the clutter
I hope these decluttering tips for your home will help you first recognize when you’re stuck in the “being in motion” phase. And give you some practical ways to transition into taking action instead.
It can be really easy to get stuck in the “being in motion” stage. So don’t feel bad if it’s happened to you!
Instead, use the decluttering tips in today’s post to start taking action today in your home and start getting closer to reaching your decluttering goals!