When you begin decluttering your home, it can often feel like a daunting and overwhelming task. Even if you have been decluttering for a while, and have already made good progress clearing the clutter, sometimes the amount of “stuff” and work ahead of you can feel like a lot to tackle. Decluttering a lifetime worth of stuff from your home is hard work, physically, emotionally and mentally. If you feel overwhelmed or stuck on your decluttering and minimizing journey, shifting your perspective and your approach to decluttering can help. Believe it or not, with a little creativity there are ways to make decluttering fun! Even though decluttering is a lot of work, these 11 easy tips can help make it more enjoyable!
Before we begin…
Before delving into the 11 ways to make decluttering fun, I want to clarity two important points:
- In this post, when I say “get rid” of something, I’m using that phrase to encompass any method of getting something out of your home. It could mean tossing it, donating it, selling it, etc. For simplicity sake, I’ll say “get rid of it” and you can decide the most appropriate way to do so.
- Also, I mention coming up with a “non-thing” prize or reward in several of the tips to make decluttering fun. A non-thing reward means you treat yourself to something you’ll enjoy, without adding more stuff to your home after you’ve been working so hard to declutter. Try to think of experiences you can enjoy, consumable items that will be used up without adding clutter, or even rewards like not having to do a certain chore for the day.
Be creative and think about what you would enjoy as a special reward to motivate you to declutter. It can be big or small, ranging from free to much more, depending on your budget and what works for you. Just pick something to motivate and reward yourself to make decluttering fun, without adding more clutter to your home. Examples of experiences are things such as dinner out, going to a concert, a manicure, a coffee date with friends, etc. Consumable ideas are things like splurging on a pound of fancy coffee, buying yourself a treat at the bakery, a latte, etc.
11 Easy Ways to Make Decluttering Fun:
1. Set a timer and see how many items you can get rid of
This is a way to make decluttering fun by challenging yourself and racing the clock. It doesn’t have to be a long time, even in 5 or 10 minutes you can find plenty of things to get rid of. And 5 or 10 minutes can be squeezed in even when you’re busy.
Remember, decluttering doesn’t have to be done for hours at a time. A few minutes here and there, repeated on a regular basis, will add up to big changes in your home. Find more tips to declutter when you’re short on time here.
2. Challenge someone else in your family or home to see who can find more things to declutter in a set amount of time
This is a fun way to motivate yourself and other people in your home to get rid of as much as you can. And making it a timed challenge adds some fun competition for bragging rights. Or you can be creative and come up with a fun, non-thing prize for the winner. Maybe the winner doesn’t have to do dishes, or the winner picks the movie, etc.
Keep it fun and lighthearted while encouraging each other to get rid of stuff and make decluttering fun.
If you live alone, challenge a friend or family member to do the same in their home.
3. Participate in a decluttering challenge
There are many decluttering challenges online to choose from. Find one that works for you and go for it!
Some challenges I recommend are:
- The Minimalism Game: a decluttering challenge where you get rid of 1 thing the first day, 2 things the second day, 3 things the third day, etc. Continuing until you find 30 things to get rid of on the 30th day. By the end of 30 days, you’ll have removed 465 things from your home!
- 40 Bags in 40 Days: a decluttering challenge where you aim to get rid of a least one bag of stuff per day for a 40 day period. It’s a great way to declutter a lot, but in manageable chunks, as far as both time and effort required.
- Declutter Like a Mother: a guided decluttering challenge specifically for moms who are sick of dealing with the same piles of “stuff” and are ready to make a massive life change by decluttering their homes and lives to embrace minimalism.
- 12-12-12 Challenge by Becoming Minimalist: a challenge where you find 12 items to throw out, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to put away where they belong. You can make it a challenge with your family to see who can find all 36 items first. Or set a timer for yourself and try to beat the clock!
4. Find a decluttering buddy
Find a friend to declutter with and be each other’s decluttering/accountability buddy. Make a plan to work on decluttering your homes together. For example, you might decide to each find one bag of stuff to get rid of every day, each work on one area of your homes for the week, etc.
Not only will having a decluttering buddy hold you accountable to someone. But your decluttering buddy can also motivate and encourage you when you need a push to let go of something. As well as inspire you with their decluttering efforts and what they’ve accomplished. Working through the struggles and successes of decluttering together can help make decluttering fun.
Your decluttering buddy can be an in-person friend, or an online friend. There are many decluttering and minimalist groups on Facebook to find a decluttering buddy in, for example. See tip #7 for two of my favourite online decluttering groups.
5. Challenge yourself or your spouse to a no-spend month
Decide to not buy anything other than essentials for a month. Although this is not necessarily a decluttering activity, it will mean you stop the incoming flow of “stuff”, which will help your decluttering efforts.
Challenges are always fun because of their competitive nature. You can designate a non-thing prize or reward for successfully completing the challenge. Some ideas are dinner out at the end of the month, tickets to a movie or concert, or anything else that will motivate you.
6. Set a goal of how much you want to declutter by a certain date, then give yourself a reward when you meet your goal
For example, you might decide you want to fill 5 boxes of things to donate in a week. Or declutter a certain space in your home by the end of the month. Having a goal you’re trying to reach and a set time limit can help to motivate you to get started and keep going, especially if you feel overwhelmed.
Whatever you choose as your reward for meeting your goal should be something that won’t add clutter to your space of course!
7. Find an online group to participate in
Much like having a decluttering buddy, joining an online decluttering group can provide you with motivation, encouragement and inspiration to keep going on your decluttering journey. Finding a community of people on a similar path as you are can make such a difference when decluttering feels overwhelming or even when you feel stuck in a decluttering rut. And finding a great like-minded community helps keep decluttering fun.
8. Sell items as you declutter and use some of the money earned to treat yourself
See how much money you can earn by selling things you no longer use or love. Then treat yourself to a non-thing reward with the money you earned.
Selling doesn’t necessarily help you declutter quickly. But making some money and treating yourself with a special reward might motivate you to get rid of more.
Some ways to sell your unwanted items are hosting a garage sale or selling items individually on online buy and sell sites such as Facebook buy & sell groups or Ebay.
9. Take before and after photos of your spaces as you declutter
Sometimes we don’t realize the dramatic difference our hard work decluttering has made in our homes until we see a picture of the way our home used to look. This is especially true when we are slowly working through our homes decluttering.
A great way to stay motivated and encouraged to start or keep decluttering, is to take before and after pictures of the spaces you declutter. The transformation can inspire you and remind you that all the hard work you’re putting in really is paying off.
It doesn’t even have to be before and after pictures of a whole room. It can be pictures of a drawer, a section of a room, a closet, etc. Document your progress to remind yourself of the results of your hard work.
10. Crank up the tunes!
Make yourself a decluttering playlist full of music to energize and motivate you as you declutter. Listening to your favourite songs can help brighten the mood to reduce some of the overwhelm and dread about decluttering and make decluttering fun.
11. Get up right now and find 10 things to get rid of
See how quickly you can find 10 things to get rid of. Then pat yourself on the back for getting started.
Sometimes, we overthink a big project like decluttering our whole house. We stress ourselves out about it and make it seem scarier than it needs to be. Maybe we spend a lot of time figuring out our plan of attack and making lists of what and where to declutter, but don’t actually start the work of decluttering.
Sometimes the hardest and scariest part of beginning something as daunting and life changing as decluttering your whole house is taking the first step and starting. Sometimes we have to stop worrying, stop waiting for the perfect time and just start.
Start right now. Get up right now and as quickly as you can find 10 things to get rid of. You might surprise yourself how quickly and easily you can find 10 things. And the great part is you’ve taken action and started the process, which can sometimes be the hardest part!
Find Ways to Make Decluttering Fun
Although decluttering is a lot of work, it doesn’t have to be a chore and something you dread. By finding ways to make decluttering fun, you can take it from something daunting, overwhelming and dreaded, to something you might actually enjoy.
The great news is, once you start decluttering and removing the excess stuff from your house, you’ll begin to experience the benefits of decluttering and minimalism. Cleaning will become easier, take less time and you’ll actually have less “stuff” to clean. You won’t lose things as often. Your home will feel more peaceful and calm, not a source of stress and chaos for you. You’ll have more time for the people you love and the activities that bring you joy. Just to name a few benefits of choosing to live with less and decluttering the excess from your home.
Seeing the results and benefits of your decluttering efforts will become their own incentive and motivation for you to keep decluttering.
And in the meantime, use these tips to keep decluttering fun and lighthearted. A big job like decluttering your whole life can be a lot easier when you take the time to find the fun in it.
What is your favourite way to make decluttering fun? Leave a comment below and share your tips and tricks to make decluttering a little less overwhelming and a lot more fun!