Make it a habit
Make it a habit
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you goingJim Ryun
I’m sure you’ve noticed that motivation comes and goes. That’s why on some days we can ‘just do it’ and on other days, attempting the same thing is a struggle. Unfortunately, we can’t rely on motivation alone to get things done.
Habits, on the other hand, are a much more reliable helper. Especially when it comes to becoming and staying organised.
Decluttering can be hard work, much harder than routine cleaning. This is because cleaning doesn’t require too much thought – we can clean most parts of our homes without having to make a multitude of decisions. To further complicate things, people often confuse tidying up with decluttering. Tidying is putting things away in the place they belong. Whereas significant decluttering, involves letting go of things to create a less cluttered home, and it’s this ‘letting go’ that makes it much more challenging.
Even in a small space we may have to sort through many items. We have to consider with each one whether we still like it, need it or whether it would be wasteful to let it go. Then we have to decide what to do with the things we no longer want. Given that we invest significant time, money and energy into the things we own, it’s no wonder that the decision making and the emotions that inevitably arise due to long held attachments, can make it very tricky and even overwhelming.
When you are really motivated, this may not be too taxing. But when you’re not in the mood, it can be quite difficult to apply yourself to the process. But in order to stay organised, we do need to declutter on a regular basis. Once-in-a-while isn’t enough for most of us. We need to treat decluttering like we treat doing the laundry. Most of us can’t get away with washing our clothes only once in a while, when we’re feeling really motivated. We generally accept that it’s a normal part of life to wash our clothes routinely.
So we need to create a habit to ‘thin out’ regularly. This can mean making time to clear out one small space every week, along with also tackling some big decluttering projects like loft, shed or garage, when time allows. It can also mean continuing to get rid of things you no longer use or need as you routinely come across them in your home.
One effective way to insert a decluttering habit into your life is by planning your intention in advance. Scientists have found that if you make an intention, you are far more likely to follow through with your plans and stick to your habit. Otherwise, we may have a vague idea that we are going to tackle it, but days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months and those piles of clutter just sit there!
Want to make a start with an intention but not sure how? The simplest way to apply this strategy to your habits is to complete this sentence:
I will (BEHAVIOUR) at (TIME) in (LOCATION)
So your intention might look like this:
I will declutter 3 things every day from my kitchen
Make sure to make it specific and clear. Then just stick with the plan and don’t get discouraged. If you keep at it, you’ll soon see that your efforts are starting to pay off, because small habits really do add up to big change. Over time you’ll see so much progress, you’ll feel able to tackle any space!
Need more help?
My online programme is the perfect way to get regular support to declutter and create good habits that will last a lifetime.
Find out more by clicking here.