There are a few kinds of people who actually enjoy doing things like decluttering, cleaning, and organizing and let’s face it, they are few and far between. I definitely didn’t used to be one of them. In fact, getting the motivating to declutter or organize is nearly impossible for some people and it seems the messier the house gets, the more overwhelming it all becomes. That being said, is there a way to amp up motivation that encourages people to not only start decluttering but to in fact declutter up to 10 times more stuff in one sitting? Well, I think there is…here’s the game plan…
Learn Your Minimalist Brand
Even though you might feel overwhelmed by the clutter in your house, a lot of times the clutter isn’t the only battle you’re really facing.
We all crave simplicity in different areas of our life, like our home, schedule, or even our mindset! To help you uncover what minimalist methods will work best for you to apply to your life, I’ve created a totally FREE 60 Second Your Minimalist Brand Quiz.
Know you’ve been played
One of the reasons so many of us accumulate so much clutter in the first place is due to really fancy marketing techniques and the constant stream of temptation being broadcast to our phones and computer screens on the daily.
We might think these ads suck us in with their quality products or bargain prices, but the reality is that they are tapping into our emotions by making us believe their product will meet one or more of our emotional needs. I say, why not beat them at their own game?
There are 4 basic human needs we will all find ways to meet whether they are healthy ways or not:
When we meet at least 3 of these needs, we find ourselves with an addiction, and the thing is, the temptation to buy something new can easily trick us into thinking we can meet several of these human needs.
For example, imagine there is a new type of drink on the market, alcohol or otherwise. Maybe you see a few commercials where groups of people are gathered together sipping this drink and then you see your social media swarmed with influencers who are promoting the drink now too.
Suddenly your need for connection is peaked and you don’t want to feel left out. Plus, you could really use a change up from your same old boring drinks which satisfies your need for inconsistency. There is also a good chance that getting a hold of this new drink might make you feel a little important when you get to head to work the next day raving to your co-workers about this yummy treat. Significance = met.
Flip the script
We have all been played by fabulously done marketing tactics for decades, but I say why not flip the tables and tap into these 4 emotional needs for yourself by taking a moment to uncover what you could actually go after in your life that would truly meet these needs of yours.
Because, I mean the truth is, even if we get the latest hyped-up drink, it’s not going to be long before it’s old news. It won’t meet the same things it originally did and soon there will be another drink to take its place.
This cycle happens all the time with the things we buy like books, clothing, shoes, kitchen products, workout equipment, the list is endless. We can continue chasing after stuff in an attempt to meet our needs, no matter how short lived it is, or we can get ahead of the problem by uncovering our true solution.
True solution = who do you really want to be?
If you could close your eyes and envision a total dream life for yourself. Bigger…bigger than that.
Let me stop you for a second because I’m willing to bet you did this classic play it small move. You might have closed your eyes and said, “All I really want is to be happy.”
Well, my friend happiness is an emotion that we choose. So, yes, I highly recommend choosing to bring more happiness into your life. What you might not be willing to say is the circumstances of your life that you want to change in order to make being happy a little easier.
But there’s one more catch — I don’t want you to imagine having any stuff that you believe will supposedly enhance your life.
What I mean is when you envision your dream life leave your dream car, dream house, dream closet, wardrobe etc…leave all that stuff out of this. We are done chasing stuff. Right? Otherwise what’s the point in decluttering?
A better question might be, what would you want to do in your life to meet the last 2 human needs (PS these ones are rarely met by people because we stay in our comfort zone of only meeting the first 4.)
The last 2 human needs are:
What do you want to do with your life that would allow you to grow and expand as a human being that might also allow you to contribute to society at large?
Everyone craves more, but we settle for less
I once spent a week interviewing new potential coaching clients and a consistent theme that emerged was these women’s desire to have more, and do more with their life. They wanted purpose, they wanted meaning, but they were all shying away from it.
While it pains me to say it, I know how easy this is to do because I myself did it for years. I felt like dreaming big dreams only opened me up to potentially big failures that hurt more than the credit card debt and clutter I had accumulated while settling for less.
So, humor me for a second and play it big — really big. What do you want to be doing with your life that allows for growth and contribution?
Do you want to work for a non profit? Write a book? Volunteer at the homeless shelter? Start singing in a band? Just make goofy content on TikTok?
Don’t underestimate the meaning of contribution and the growth that happens simply by putting yourself out there. If you are making people laugh, sway to music, aw at your art, or making nummy noises at the food you feed them, you have just contributed to this world, my friend.
You know that feeling you get when you do a good deed — even something as small as buying coffee for the person behind you at Starbucks? What if you could create a life that allowed that good deed kind of feeling every day. That is how big I want you to dream.
What does this have to do with decluttering?
This all might seem really long winded and maybe kind of pointless, so what is it I am trying to get at?
I am getting at the fact that you have accumulated all of this clutter in an attempt to meet your emotional needs that cannot be met, long term, by stuff. You have got to start expanding your mind and allowing yourself to dream of a life bigger than what stuff is capable of giving you.
What kind of legacy do you want to leave?
How do you want to impact the lives of those around you?
What scares the hell out of you, but is something you kinda want to do…like a lot?
When you can get clear on this vision and be totally honest with yourself, you have now fueled the motivation you need to begin decluttering any of the dead weight that is holding you back!
Get clear on what isn’t working
Now that you have a bigger picture for your life, what isn’t working?
What stuff has let you down? What do you keep hanging onto because you are trying to convince yourself that it will be worth it? What items around you are truly completely wasted? Which things didn’t live up to the hype?
It’s OK…there is no shame in admitting this. You have most likely been emotionally manipulated into buying or keeping a lot of this stuff and it has worked on all of us at some point. Don’t let the guilt associated with these realizations be the next thing to hold you back.
Look around you and get clear about what isn’t working.
Is it the overwhelming amount of clothing in your house that leaves you with endless laundry and piles of clothes that you never want to fold?
Is it your endless display of trinkets you gathered while traveling? Sure, they came from a place you traveled to, but weren’t actually capable of capturing the magnitude of your experiences abroad?
The mess in the bathroom where you are drowning in products you half tried but didn’t stick with?
All this clutter does is remind you of the failed attempts at meeting emotional needs that are not capable of being met through stuff. So what parts of it are holding you back?
See stuff for what it is
The items in our household are nothing more than that. They are inanimate objects that serve no purpose other than what we give to them. They are not capable of loving you, comforting you, amplifying your worth or raising your self esteem. You, on the other hand, are capable of all of these things.
Stuff cannot compare to the amazingness that you are. You are a living, breathing, body with a heart, mind and soul. There is no limit to what you are capable of.
Objects around you are meant to only serve you, not the other way around. That’s why if you have items in your home that are not living up to their side of the bargain, it is time for them to go.
Call out energy sucks
There have been numerous studies that have proven that clutter quite literally drags us down and that our human experience is enhanced when we design a minimal cluttered house centered around our personality.
As you look around your home, take the time to notice which areas are sucking you of your energy and I dare you do start decluttering there, no holding back.
Declutter toward purpose
By keeping that vision, that reminder of who you want to be and how you want to serve in the back of your mind, start going through the energy zapping areas of your home and simply start decluttering.
When you do this, of course, you might find yourself super amped up which can cause you to drift from one room to the next only half cleaning each area as you go.
As someone who struggles with scatter cleaning and decluttering, I have come up with a solution that works to help you stay in one zone so you can use that fire without spreading it to all the other areas of the house — which will probably leave you burnt out with more messes to clean up.
4 bin catch alls
My 4 bin method for decluttering is a great way to hone your decluttering focus in one area in a way that doesn’t slow down the process.
The 4 bins/piles you need:
- Put Back
Garbage is pretty self explanatory. Anything that is garbage goes in here. One type of garbage you might hesitate on is that stuff that you know isn’t going to be useful at a donation center. Stuff that is broken, stained, missing pieces etc.
These are items people tend to avoid tossing because, well, they feel guilty. You can check out my post, An Unused Item is Already Garbage.
No declutter session would be complete without a donate bin, right? As you filter through your belongings, simply toss anything you want to donate into a box or bag so that when your session is done you can simply scoop up your donations, put them in your car and get them to the donation center ASAP.
Without fail, items in our house will make their way into different areas and different rooms other than where they belong. That’s where the put back pile comes in handy.
After you have finished decluttering an entire area — I suggest starting small — you can scoop up your put back pile and run through the house putting these misplaced items away. This prevents you from running around the house in the middle of your declutter fest.
The Maybe Bin is one I prefer to steer clear of, but for the sake of clearing your space quickly and effectively I think it’s necessary.
The best thing to use for this bin is a box you can easily fold up and store away once you are done. This is where the items that you don’t think you want anymore get to know. Maybe you don’t really use them, but the idea of completely getting rid of them gives you a lot of anxiety. These items are maybes and they help you clear your space without commitment.
Lastly, you are most likely going to need to reconnect to your growth and connection desire more than once. This is a habit we all develop — the playing it small habit.
A great way to help yourself stay on track is download, listen to, or read materials that encourage you to go after those big things that you want. My podcast is a great place to start as well as the spiritual self help section of your local library.