How to Get Motivated to Declutter: 10 Cunning Tips to get your Butt Off The Couch

Lemme guess...

Everywhere you look there’s a pile of paper, a box of books and a chairful of clothes.

And much, much more.

Yes, you know it’s time to declutter.

Trouble is you’ve got NO motivation.

How to Get Motivated to Declutter

I’m talking...absolutely ZERO motivation to pick up a ‘donate’ bag.

And I’ve so been there!!

So how do we get past that mental block to just….start?

I’ve rounded up 10 armour-plated tips to help you wrench your backside off the couch and get decluttering.

Grab a cup of something delicious - wine is fine, obviously - and let’s do this!!

How to Get Motivated to Declutter

1 | Feel the Pain

How to get motivated to declutter: 10 tips to help you find the motivation to declutter.

You might be a Jedi-level procrastinator.

But I’ve noticed that eventually the pain of not doing the task I’m avoiding becomes  worse than just actually getting it done.

If you’re procrastinating, keep this pain in mind.

The pain of trying to avoid the task eventually becomes worse than just getting on and doing the task. Fact.

If you’re sick and tired of constantly tripping over shoes, books and mountains of clothes, ask yourself this: how much worse could the decluttering actually feel?

2 | Decluttering: It’s Not as Horrible as You Think

It’s really not!

Just like that dentist appointment you dreaded or that speech you had to give in High School, once you get started it’s not actually that mind-bendingly awful.

I know you’re seeing mountains of paper and drawers rammed with junk, but once you get started….decluttering is easier than you think.

Don’t believe me?

Get started and see for yourself!

(See what I did there? hahaha)

3 | Go Old School - Set a Timer

OK. I know you’ve heard this one before.

But stay with me, mama.

Setting a timer really does work.

The key is to accept that whatever you’re decluttering doesn’t have to be perfect when the timer runs out.

Decluttering is a long game, a habit. It’s not something to tick off your list once and for. So we’re just looking for progress.

Keep setting your timer day after day, week after week and you will see results.

You got this, mama.

4 | Give Yourself a Gold Star

How to get motivated to declutter: 10 tips to help you find the motivation to declutter.

Come on, admit it. Everyone loves getting a gold star.

Rewards work for kids, they work for husbands and they’ll work for you.

So set yourself a target and a reward for when you reach that target.

But pick something in line with your goals - decluttering your closet and then ‘rewarding’ yourself with a spending spree in Nordstrum may not be the way to go.

5 | Make a Plan

How to get motivated to declutter: 10 tips to help you find the motivation to declutter.

I know that lots of people say, ‘just start!’

But I disagree.

I do think you need a plan.

You don’t have to write it down.

You don’t need a ‘fun printable’.

But you do need some kind of plan.


Because having a plan helps you see the bigger picture. When you’re decluttering your entire house, you can feel like a failure if you ‘only’ declutter one drawer.

But when you have a plan, you can tick off each little task with a genuine sense of satisfaction. And that will help keep you motivated and on track.

Need help making a plan?

Check out this post for getting your ENTIRE house whipped, spanked and generally ball-gagged into submission. 

6 | Decide What You REALLY Want

I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want, I wanna…. Spice Girls circa 1996, anyone? #showing_my_age #nevermind

Why are you decluttering this particular room, drawer or closet?

What do you want to feel and have at the end of it all?

For example, you might declutter because you want…..

A curated closet with clothes that make you feel sexy AF.

A pantry you can actually find things in so you don’t waste money buying stuff you already have.

A toy cupboard that makes you feel more ‘Montessori’ and less ‘mad as hell when shit keeps falling out’.

So take a moment to think about what you’re fighting for.

7 | Tackle your Pain Points

How to get motivated to declutter: 10 tips to help you find the motivation to declutter.

Have you ever thought that the real problem might not be ‘motivation’.

The real problem might actually be knowing where to start.

I find that once people know where to start, they are much more likely to get started.

So how do you figure out where to start?

I always suggest starting with stuff that is annoying you on a daily basis.

That pile of shoes as soon as you open the front door.

That overstuffed sweater drawer.

Those papers all over the kitchen table.

Whatever annoys you the most - tackle that first.

Then the results will be worth it.

For more tips on how to decide where to start decluttering, check out this post here.

8 | Zone it, Baby!

I can’t emphasise this enough!

If you’re a mom trying to declutter, you need to think smaller.

Take that kitchen you’re trying to declutter and mentally divide it up into sections - or zones.

Small zones!!

Smaller than that.

Bit smaller…

Keep going…

There ya go!!

Let me give you a for instance. If you’re trying to declutter your kitchen, you might decide to split it into these zones:

  • Cutlery drawer

  • Under the sink

  • Pan drawer

  • Baking cupboard - first shelf

  • and so on…..

See what I mean?

As a general guide, any space you’re decluttering needs to be small enough to declutter during your child’s favorite cartoon.

Another general principle, is to take whatever area you plan to declutter and half it.

And if you’re mom to a newborn, go ahead and half that space again.

9 | Find Your Decluttering Style

What's your decluttering style? Find your own decluttering style and you're much more likely to be motivated to declutter.

Are you a KonMari-Kate?

Or a 21-Item Toss Tilly?

Or a 4-bag Babara?

There is more than one decluttering method. And once you find a decluttering method that works for you, you’re much more likely to succeed.

Check out this helpful post to help you find your perfect decluttering method - one that doesn’t make you want to stick a fork in your eye.

10 | Pop Your Decluttering Cherry, Gently!!

If you’re just starting out with decluttering, don’t force yourself into an entire afternoon of decluttering sentimental items.

Start easy.

Build up your decluttering muscles.

Take a look at this list of 198 things you can declutter without shedding a tear.

Dedicate no more than 5 minutes a day to working your way through this list. If you’re consistent, you’ll start seeing results fast.

Click the image to download - no email required.

Get Motivated to Declutter - The Pep Talk

It’s OK to struggle with decluttering.

In fact, I truly believe that decluttering is harder for moms.

Let’s take a look at the evidence:

  • Finding time in the the punishing mom schedule is practically impossible,

  • Moms have to deal with near constant interruptions,

  • Moms have the very real sentimental struggle over baby clothes and stuffed toys = sob!!

  • Moms are always multi-tasking (making sure your toddler doesn’t feed toy soldiers to your baby, while you’re decluttering!!!)


So if you are struggling with decluttering, just start small and go slow.

Don’t let anyone on the Internet tell you how many spoons you need or how many pairs of jeans you ‘should’ have.

It’s OK to be inspired by others. But it’s not OK to compare yourself to someone else you’ve never met.

And it’s always OK to choose playing with your child over decluttering - housework can wait!! Right??

Get Motivated to Declutter

Are we feeling motivated yet??

OK, so you might not be bouncing off the couch to start decluttering yet.

But remember that motivation breeds motivation. This means that you just have to get started.

So go set the timer, switch on the music, gather some bags and let’s get this decluttering par-tay started!!

Good luck, mama!!

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