motivated to declutter
Virginia Wells

Virginia Wells

How To Get Motivated To Declutter

How do you get motivated to declutter? How do you get started and in the mood for it? Motivation is a huge topic. There are a lot of different ways to get motivated depending on you and what’s holding you back. I’ll go over quick ideas to see if any of these spark motivation in you.

Ideas for Getting Motivated to Declutter

Create Your Vision

Firstly, though, I’d say you need to be clear on your vision for the room you’re decluttering, and your home. This is how I start with a client. We figure out exactly what they picture for their space and how they will use it, in an ideal world. I go over a few simple questions to get the vision flowing for people. So I’d start there: creating your vision for an uncluttered space. I set out the questions to ask yourself in an earlier blog post.

Some people will have the same ideas for each room like wanting clear surfaces, unpacked boxes and things in their home. Others will have very different concepts for each room. If it all seems the same to you, try to take it a step further and work in the ‘feel’ or the ‘energy’ you want each room to have. What activities will you do in there when it’s all done? It will be different for each person, so if you live with someone, you might want to take their ideas into account too. If this sounds like a crucial step for you to get your decluttering mojo, read the full blog on it: Creating a Vision for Your Home.

Start Small 

My next suggestion is to start small. You might build a bit of motivation by choosing a small task to do or make one small step towards one of your decluttering goals. Chunking a big task down and just doing one tiny thing towards completing that goal can be very motivating. For example, deal with one item in the junk room – the first thing your eyes fall on. That one task could be the momentum you need to do a second item and then the corner of the room. It can just be a build-up of inertia that holds you back. Taking that first step (in our minds) is the hardest.  

The WellSorted Decluttering Card Decks have 120 challenges, across two decks, created to motivate you in small bite-sized pieces. You might challenge yourself to do one card a week, or even part of the card if it’s a bigger task. Each card gives you some steps for how to approach an area if you feel overwhelmed.  

Get Help or an Accountability Buddy 

Another way to get motivated is to ask for help or have an accountability buddy. Some people just need another person in the room to keep them motivated. It can make it so much more fun to have someone to keep you company (and accountable) as you work through stuff. You can use a professional organiser like me or you could have a friend who’s good at supporting you. They may be there in person, or just be someone you text with your goals that day. You then check in at the end of the day to let them know what you completed. If they need to declutter too, you might make a competition out of it!  

That’s enough motivation for some because you’ve got someone holding you accountable. If you need it, consider if you need incentives or punishments to push you through that your buddy can control. Some love the carrot or the stick method.  

Fun, competitions and games 

Along with the accountability side of things, you might actually just like a bit of competition or a challenge to get motivated to declutter. You could do this by yourself, with an accountability buddy or with someone in your household.  If you do it on your own, there are the WellSorted Decluttering Card Decks to give you something to work with. You could challenge yourself to complete a card a week. Or you could set a time and try and beat the clock. 

If you have someone to compete with, you could make the game about the first person to fill a bag for charity, or rubbish. You might make it about who can fold and put away their clothes first – whatever you like. Competitiveness can be a great motivator.  

Other ways to make it fun would be to put on your favourite music or podcast. Turn it into a game, like pretending you’re having a garage sale and getting the kids to choose the toys they are going to sell. They can set up a garage sale and pretend to sell them, and then the toys they chose go to charity.  


You might be motivated by rewards. If so, what will you get to do once you’ve done your designated time towards decluttering? Half an hour to read a book? A massage? Try not to make it a purchase of more stuff otherwise you’ll be decluttering that down the track! 

Ideally you’re checking in with what you are gaining from decluttering and organising your home, that is, the real reason you’re doing it all. If that isn’t enough of a reward (or seems so far off in the distance), then setting small rewards along the way can be great. 

Peptalks/cheer squad 

Sometimes all we need is to hear someone say (or say to ourselves), “YOU CAN DO IT!!!! You’re amazing! You’ve got this. Go on – get started!” Giving yourself a peptalk giving yourself the courage needed to take that first step might be all you need. 

I think it’s Mel Robbins who says motivation is bullpoop. You’re never going to feel like it! You just have to make a mind shift. She is famous for the 5-second rule. She counts down 5-4-3-2-1 and gets up and does it.

You are never going to feel like it!

Mel Robbins

Still not working? 

If you still don’t feel motivated, then you might want to think about what’s holding you back? Why can’t you get started? What’s stopping you? The answers to these questions will help you understand what you need to get started. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you need it. You don’t have to do it alone.

The WellSorted Facebook Group is a lovely place for encouragement and support. Why not join us and share what helps you get motivated to declutter? 

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