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Virginia Wells

Maintaining Consistency for Successful Long-term Decluttering 

Do you have trouble maintaining consistency with your decluttering? Something I am asked about a lot is consistency. “How do I keep up regular consistency with decluttering and organising my home?” You, like many people, may have started with a few wins but then decluttering drops off your priority list. It gets forgotten. In a short while, you’re back to where you started. Let’s look at the importance of maintaining consistency for successful decluttering. 

Consistency is Key 

It is true that consistency is definitely key to getting your house organised and keeping it that way. Consistency comes down to making sure you’ve got some time aside each day, week or month to focus on your decluttering projects. Go ahead and put some times aside in your diary. Once you’ve set those calendar ‘decluttering dates’ and reminders for yourself though, how can you stay committed to them? 

Be Clear About Your Values and Goals 

The foundation for success for long-term consistency is to be clear about your values and goals around decluttering and organising your home. Getting this clarity around what you’re trying to achieve and why is great for motivation, to keep up consistency. If this is a new idea, my blog post ‘Creating a Vision for Your Home’ is a great place to start. 

Work Within Realistic Timeframes 

If approaching a decluttering session feels overwhelming, you won’t be motivated to respond to start when your reminder comes up on your calendar. Are you experiencing this sort of overwhelm or resistance? It might be because you have attempted too much in the past. Work out a realistic timeframe for yourself (yep, I have a blog post on that too!) and then break that time into a 60/40 time split. For an explanation on this and why it is so important for a successful decluttering session, see my blog post ‘The 60/40 Time Split – the Crucial Step to Declutter Successfully’. 

Rules to Live By 

Something else to consider is, have you taken the time to come up with some rules for ways you’re going to maintain the spaces around your house? Having rules, or guidelines for ways to maintain a space, will actually have you decluttering and organising that space consistently in any case, without you having to actually set time aside to do it. Adhering to these little rules and ‘hacks’ will mean your space won’t get any worse. 

For example, a rule could be “one in, one out”. If you buy a new mug, or receive one for Christmas, you remove one that you already have. Better still, make it “one in, two out” and you’ll be making your space a little leaner each time something new comes in. 

That’s just one example of how little rules can help you maintain consistency around working on your home, even without actively having set time aside time to do it. Find more suggestions in my blog post called Maintain Your Home with Declutter Rules

Low Motivation 

Is motivation something you’re particularly struggling with? Read my blog post ‘How to Get Motivated to Declutter’ for some tips.

Essentially, however, it really does come down to being clear on what it is you’re trying to achieve and keeping that in focus. If you can really tap into the emotions that will come from having a decluttered and organised space, you’re more likely to make decluttering a priority when it comes up in your day plan. 

Get Help 

Does decluttering just feel too overwhelming and challenging? If you’re struggling with this on your own, day-to-day, I recommend getting some help. This could be from a professional organiser like me. You could also work with a trusted friend who can keep you honest and moving forward. Accountability buddies are an excellent source of motivation. 

I hope these tips for maintaining consistency with decluttering are useful. If you struggle with this, know you are far from alone. Head over to the WellSorted Facebook group and mention this and I know you’ll get lots of support. While you’re there, why not share your tips for maintaining consistency? We can all help each other out with this common issue.

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