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! 🙂

Home Organization in Fifteen Minutes

“I don’t have time.” We’ve all said it at one point or another. (Yes, even you, shaking your head as you read this.) It’s the number one excuse organizers hear from clients. And, trust us, we understand. It’s always easier to just put things off and use lack of time as an excuse when we are feeling overwhelmed. But that’s why you need us, isn’t it? To come into your homes and show you that getting more organized will actually create more time for you in the long run.

If you’re busy running the kids around all week, working a full-time job, and putting dinner on the table every night, the thought of trying to squeeze in time to remake your pantry probably sounds exhausting. There are only so many hours in the day, right? Exactly! And that’s why you need to create habits that will allow you to make the most of your precious time.

Realistically, organizers don’t expect you to start skipping work or abandoning little Jimmy at soccer practice so you can declutter. But what if you set aside 15 minutes every day? Fifteen minutes isn’t that long. You probably spend more time than that mindlessly scrolling through social media when you want to unwind. If you can find a way to sacrifice 15 minutes a day, I guarantee you’ll notice a difference by the end of the week. Choose what you want to focus on during that time: If you always feel like you’re drowning in dishes, take 15 minutes every evening to work on emptying and loading the dishwasher. It beats having a meltdown on Thursday because it’s dinner time and there are no clean plates in the cupboard. If you’re dreading that huge pile of mail that’s been slowly building on the counter, see how much of it you can tackle in 15 minutes. Make separate piles – throw away, file away, and action. Even if it takes you a few nights to get everything sorted, by the weekend you’ll be ready to tackle each of those piles with ease because they’ll already be categorized. Tired of tripping over your children’s toys all day? Take 15 minutes before bedtime to put toys away in their respective places. You can even get the kids involved and make a fun game out of it.

By focusing on one project or area of the house at a time, you’ll start to realize that organizing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It only gets overwhelming when you try to do everything at once. Once you get in the habit of regularly putting things away, you’ll notice how much easier it is to manage your home. (Habit is the key word here. You can’t organize once and it expect it to stay that way forever.) Come up with a weekly schedule, if that helps you. Or put a “to do” list on the fridge. There is no right or wrong way to spend those 15 minutes, as long as you’re actually being productive. Hopefully, by the time the weekend rolls around, you’ll have checked enough off your list that you’ll find yourself with time to spend doing things you actually enjoy. 🙂