Managing Motivation

So, you’ve finally decided to do a deep decluttering of your closet. It’s been a long time coming. It’s time to finally say goodbye to those 90’s platform shoes and fringed leather jackets! (Although, by the time I finish writing this both will probably be back in style, but I digress…) You made sure to keep your entire Sunday free so you can get it all done and start Monday off with a well-organized bang.

Then the day actually arrives and you just aren’t feeling it.

Maybe you stayed up late the night before. Maybe you’re just tired from the million and one other things you’ve been keeping up with. Maybe it’s a cloudy, rainy day and you’re lacking energy. Maybe the whole thing feels too daunting, so you keep procrastinating. We’ve all been there.

It can be incredibly frustrating when we want to achieve things, but lack the motivation to actually do them. Here are a few things I tell my clients to keep in mind, when they find that the Motivation Monster claims you as its victim:

  • Do a little at a time – Starting off small and focusing on just one corner, drawer, section, etc. will feel way more manageable than trying to tackle the whole thing at once. Telling yourself “I only have to get through this little bit,” will be way less intimidating and leave you less likely to put it off entirely.
  • Visualize the outcome you want – Remember to stay focused on the bigger picture. Keep reminding yourself what your space will feel like when you finally get more organized. Remind yourself of the extra time you’ll have and what you’ll do with it. Remind yourself the positive impact your efforts will have. Giving yourself something to work toward can really help give you that extra push.
  • Eliminate distractions – This can be a tough one, even for me. With constant reminders on our phones, kids & pets running around, and various chores on our radar, it can be difficult to remain on task. Eliminating the distractions to the best of your ability is important when you want to stay motivated. Doing just a little at a time also plays a role here, as it’s much easier to ask for thirty minutes of alone time, versus three hours. Turn off your phone notifications and put on some music that will help drown out the background noise. Do not let yourself do other chores until you’ve finished your task. Commit to doing this for a given amount of time (whatever is most reasonable for you) and stay in the zone. You’ll get way more done this way, I promise.
  • Make it fun! – There’s no reason organizing can’t be fun. Put on your favorite music or podcast and drink your favorite beverage while you work. If you can get other family members to help, turn it into a game. Find little ways to make the task more enjoyable and feel less like “work.”

What are some things you do when you need a little extra motivation? I’d love to hear about them in the comments! 🙂

Challenge Wrap Up

It’s hard to believe that this is the last day of the New Year, New Habits Challenge already! The first weeks of the year have flown by quickly. Whether you took part in the challenge or just made the decision to start your own organizing journey this year, I am proud of you. The decision to make important life changes and those first few (scary) steps are HUGE. Even if you tried the challenge and it didn’t quite go as planned, I hope you give yourself a pat on the back for even trying.

I am pleased to report that my own challenge to do the dishes every night before bed went extremely well. I will be one hundred percent transparent with you: As someone who worked in the culinary field for several years, I loathe doing dishes. I have often viewed dishes as a “chore” and would avoid doing them for a few days at a time. When multiple people live within your household, however, ignoring the dishes for a couple of days can add up and create a lot of visual clutter in the kitchen. Going into this challenge, I decided that even on days where I really didn’t want to do the dishes, I would force myself to do them anyway.

And you know what?

It wasn’t that bad! Doing the dishes every single night was actually way easier to maintain than doing them every other day. By keeping up with them more regularly, I cut down on the amount of time I would normally spend washing dishes. As I’ve mentioned before, getting in the habit of doing something for just fifteen minutes a day can make a huge impact on your day-to-day routine. The best part of the challenge was waking up every morning to a completely clean, empty sink!

I have loved receiving pictures and hearing about your own organizing challenges! If you haven’t done so already, leave me a comment or send me a message on social media to share your own challenges with me! 🙂

Beginnings

Hello, friends! I hope you all enjoyed the holiday weekend.

Now that Christmas is over, talk of change is popping up everywhere. Normally, I don’t get all sappy and reminiscent this time of year. (Going into 2021, I was just grateful to be leaving a tumultuous year behind us.) Looking back at the past year, however, I realize how much has changed in my life. I got married, made a huge career change and launched my own business, decided to ditch some old habits, and finally started living a life that I actually enjoy. I have no idea what is waiting for us all in 2022, but whatever it is, I hope it’s a year filled with more of the things you love.

Lots of people will begin their decluttering journeys next year. Knowing where to begin the process can be a real challenge in the beginning. My advice to you is to start small. Look at the following list and pick just a few of these things to start with. You don’t need to start with every room. Just pick one and do a little at a time. The goal is to get rid of the things no longer serving you, not to create additional stress for yourself.

…and don’t forget to have some fun with it! 😉


Don’t forget to join the New Year, New Habits Challenge on social media if you want to really get a jumpstart on kicking those bad habits to the curb!

Join the Challenge!

Now that we’ve begun discussing habits, I invite you to join me in the “New Year, New Habits Challenge.” This is where we’ll jumpstart the process of turning our bad habits into better ones, ones that will help move you towards the life you want to have.

It doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. Rather than try to tackle all of your bad habits at once, I encourage you to pick just one habit. One habit that’s adding clutter to your environment, such as:

  • Leaving dirty dishes in the sink every night
  • Letting bills and paper accumulate on your desk
  • Stuffing things in closets or under the bed instead of finding a proper place for them
  • Ignoring the laundry until it’s overflowing from your hamper
  • Leaving children’s toys all over the floor, rather than pick them up

Whatever bad habits you have that are creating stress and chaos in your life can be changed. (They didn’t become “habits” overnight.) Beginning January 1st, I challenge you to spend 14 days tackling one of those habits. Even if you only spend 10-15 minutes on it a day, I promise you’ll begin to notice a difference and it will become easier.

Don’t forget to spread the word and share your pictures on social media. Tag @TheRemakeStudio so others can join in and work on remaking their lives, too!

New Year, New Habits

Most human behavior is the result of habit. Setting your purse on the table when you get home, the way your husband leaves his shoes next to the bed, the way your kids leave their breakfast crumbs on the table…All habits. Even though you are completely unaware of it, many of the things you do on a day-to-day basis are the result of your brain signaling for you to repeat previous behaviors.

As we move into the new year, think about the habits you’ll be carrying with you. Think about the life you want to create for yourself. Are your habits supporting that life, or are they pushing you further away from it? If your goal is to be more organized and live with less clutter, stress, and frustration, that habit of letting dishes accumulate in the sink for days may not be serving your best interest.

This is the time to take action and change those habits, to move towards the life you want. “Why now?” you may ask. Why not now? You owe it to yourself to create a life of happiness. So let’s make it happen!

Holiday Declutter: Avoiding Burnout

Most of the people I know seem to fall into one of two groups:

a. The “I love everything about the holidays” group

b. The “Ugh, it’s the holidays” group

If you identify with the first group then this post is probably not for you. (Go put up some more lights and buy your family matching plaid pajamas. This is your time to shine!) If you find yourself in the second group, then I welcome you to the club.

Many people get super stressed around the holidays. When you’re a kid it’s all Santa, presents, and excitement. Sadly, it no longer feels like “the most wonderful time of the year” when you’re an adult and all sorts of additional expectations are thrown at you. There are presents to buy, parties to attend, dozens of cookies to bake, and family members demanding your presence. This is where step one of the organizing process comes in very handy. (Yes, the principles of organizing apply to areas outside of the physical mess in your home! Don’t worry, there will be plenty more on this later.)

The first step of organizing is to declutter. Simplify. Purge. Edit. It doesn’t matter which term you use, the principle is the same: Cut back. If you want to be less stressed around the holidays, then it’s time to cut out the excess. Despite what anyone else says, you don’t have to do everything during the holidays. Did you get that? You don’t have to do everything during the holidays. A lot of people feel like they have to cram their schedules with as much “stuff” as possible this time of year. If you’re already working a 9-5 job, parenting, taking care of your house, running your kids back and forth to soccer practice, and doing all the normal day-to-day responsibilities adults get stuck with, adding an additional week’s worth of activities on top is going to leave you exhausted and stressed. For what? For the sake of saying you did a Christmas photoshoot every year? For the sake of seeing those relatives that you don’t speak to the rest of the year? For the sake of attending more parties than you did the previous year?

If any of those things are important to you/your family, then that’s great. Keep it up. You should do the things you enjoy during the holidays. If you’re just doing them to please other people, or because you feel like a “failure” if you don’t do them all, then you need to reevaluate. Will some people be disappointed? Maybe, but that’s their problem, not yours. Focus on yourself and the things that bring you joy, too.

One Small Change at a Time

You’ve finally jumped on board: You’re ready to get more organized and stop letting clutter disrupt your life (That’s amazing!), but where do you even begin? I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who feel like a deer in headlights when they finally decide to tackle their messy demons.

The first thing I tell clients is to take it one step at a time. You don’t have to tackle the whole house at once. In fact, I sincerely discourage you from trying to do that. It’ll will only lead you to become even more overwhelmed. The best approach is to take things slow. One room. One drawer, cabinet, or corner at a time.

Here are some easy places you can start:

  • Expired food items (pantry/fridge)
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Expired/unused medications
  • Chipped dishes, mugs, or glassware
  • Clothing that no longer fits (or hasn’t been worn in 6-12 months)
  • Worn out clothing, blankets, and towels
  • Expired cosmetics
  • Damaged (or neglected) toys

Evaluate what’s in your home and figure out which things are no longer serving you properly. Do they really need to continue taking up space in your?


Did you hear the news? The Remake Studio has gone virtual! Click here to find out how to schedule your first session!

Permission to Get Rid of Things

This past weekend I went to a friend’s to help them reorganize their kitchen cabinets. They actually have a really nice kitchen layout with plenty of cabinet space and an enviable pantry. But, like many people, space can seem scarce when there is too much stuff everywhere.

Step one (the most important step, in my opinion) involved removing duplicate, expired, and unwanted items. It’s usually the longest part of the process, but well worth the time. It goes something like this:

“Why do you have three blenders?”

“I don’t know.”

“Great. Get rid of two of them.”

It’s that easy. I know some of you would disagree with that statement, but I promise you, it really is that easy. Sometimes there are memories, emotional baggage, and theoretical possibilities associated with the things cluttering up our homes.  “Oh, but I can’t get rid of that. My best friend gave it to me the day my dog died.” Sound familiar? I’m sure all of us have done this at one point or another, and, while it’s okay to hang on to a few things now and then, what happens when your whole house is filled with “What ifs?” and long-forgotten mementos? It can start to feel less like a home and more like a dumping ground.

You. Over there with three crock pots and a spare toaster from the eighties. Get rid of them. You have my permission.