How’s it going out there? Are you gaining a little decluttering momentum? Today I want to offer up a few ways to trick yourself into getting some cleaning or decluttering done, even when you lack the motivation. We’ve all been there, sitting on the couch, casting about for any excuse not to clean and declutter. The internet is endlessly entertaining or maybe you really want to finish that book you’ve been reading. How do you divert your own attention and get things done around your house? Let me know if these work for you or if you have good ideas of your own!
TIME YOURSELF: A few weeks ago I was hosting a large group for the whole day. Even though I had great intentions to clean and prepare, I woke up the day before fighting a head cold and serious malaise. I knew I had to both prepare the house and beat my cold, so I put this plan together. I started in the kitchen and set the timer on my phone for 20 minutes. I then did everything I could in that room for 20 minutes. When the timer went off, I had to go on to the next room and reset the timer for 20 more minutes. When an area didn’t require a full 20 minutes, I combined spaces like my entryway, hallway and master closet to fill the time. By attacking the most obvious problem in a room first, and then the next most obvious, you can make big changes in a short amount of time. After I finished tidying all the rooms, I vacuumed the whole place and sanitized all the surfaces. Within two hours my house was guest ready and I could go back to bed to rest and recuperate before the guests showed up.
PLAN A GATHERING: I’m a big believer in keeping a home tidy enough to open the door anytime someone comes over. That kind of housekeeping isn’t only honoring to your guests, it’s also a kind of hospitality which is impactful and respectful of yourself and your family. I’m a social person. I’m part of a book club, a life group, a monthly bunco group and I like to have friends over. These occasions often give me reason to really tidy up. I deep clean the bathrooms and wipe down the kitchen cabinets. I even sweep off the front doorstep and shine up the mirror in the entryway. If you get used to hosting people in your home, you have a reason to keep your home clean.
USE DIVERSIONS: If I have a big project, like painting a room, upholstering a chair or deep cleaning a closet and I’m working alone; I often use podcasts or familiar shows to keep me company. A job goes much more quickly if I have the familiar patter of The West Wing (on Netflix) in the background. This makes anything that feels like drudgery more of a treat. And the finished result is always worth it.
TREAT YOURSELF: Tell yourself that when you get the job done, you can go ahead and read that book. Allow a square of dark chocolate or a cookie with a cup of tea. When your living room looks fresh, get yourself a new candle to light, a bouquet of flowers, or a great new throw for your couch. Before you start your project, consider how you will treat yourself or celebrate the accomplishment when you are done.
TREAT YOUR ROOM: This may be a larger investment, but worthy if you’ve really worked hard on a space. Once your bedroom is clean and decluttered-and no longer a storage space for all your extra junk, consider investing in that art piece you’ve had your eye on. Maybe those newly discovered hardwood floors could use a beautiful new rug. If you’ve decluttered or repurposed an entire room, consider how you could thoughtfully invest back into the space to make it match your goals, plans and dreams.