Finding your decluttering motivation during lockdown


April 2020


If I'm honest, it's taken me a while to write this blog about motivation. I've been lacking the impetus to get going during lockdown! The idea of writing a blog made it straight on to my To Do list (Colornote for Android), but without a specific deadline, a growing list of priorities and glorious weather tempting me ouside, it just didn't move any further. 


I know from talking to clients that this is similar to what can happen when you decide to start decluttering. Other things suddenly become much more appealing (even jobs you've been putting off for ages) and you can quickly lose your initial enthusiasm to get stuck in. Feelings of overwhelm are very common and you may wonder where and how to get started. 


The talk of lifting the lockdown finally got me focused again on writing. Having a deadline is a powerful force for getting your project underway. 


Here are 5 established ways to get your decluttering off the ground during lockdown:


  1. Set yourself a clear deadline. Deadlines don't just apply to big tasks, like decluttering the garage or setting up a filing system. Smaller tasks such as clearing the ironing basket or changing the beds respond just as well. You could tell someone about your deadline, even asking them to check in with you as it approaches. Promising yourself a reward once you've done the task can also inspire you to get going. 
  2. Break a bigger job down into smaller chunks. Start with a small goal. Setting out to file a handul of papers will feel more achievable than tackling the entire bagful. Once you've done it you'll feel great. Plus, once you're undeway you'll often do more than you expect. If your goal is to tackle one shelf and you keep going till you finish the whole bookcase, you'll feel fantastic. Remember to step back and appreciate your hard work when you're finished. 
  3. Schedule time to get started. Making a decluttering appointment with yourself like you might to see the GP or go for run, shows it's important to you. Allocating a slot in your day helps move it from To Do, to Doing and encourages you to start. Schedule more time than you think you might need so you know you'll finish the job and maybe even have bonus time at the end for a cuppa. 
  4. Invite a virtual body double along. A trusted friend works alongside you from their home by video call, whilst you work away on your task at the other end of the camera. Their presence is stabilising, helping you to concentrate and keep going when you might otherwise have got distracted or given up. 
  5. Focus on the end result. When you're doing physical decluttering, focus on the space you're gaining and how you'd like to use it for the things you're keeping, rather than what you're getting rid of. Planning how you want to use your new clear spaces can be really exciting and provide the incentive to get you going.

If you're still wondering how to get started on your project, why not try a fun 'Show and Tell' video call with your friends? One of my clients has been inviting her friends each week to show and tell a category such as shoes, scarves or bags. In preparing for the weekly call, everyone has been decluttering and organising their items and storage. Lockdown creativity with great results!