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A Dozen Ways to Discover Your Drive to Declutter Before Diving In

So you're sick of all the junk you see in every nook and cranny in your home but you just can't get the urge to purge? Before beginning the clean-up process, check out these ways to discover your drive to declutter.

1. Find Your Internal Motivation.

Take some time to think about why you want to declutter. Maybe it's easier regular cleaning, less time searching for things, making room for a new baby or downsizing to a more affordable home. Knowing why you're getting rid of things will help you focus when challenged with all those little decisions of what to keep and what to chuck.

2. Find Your External Motivation.

Okay, so you've figured out why you want to declutter but that's still not enough to kick your butt into gear? Look for some outside motivation. Do photos of organized spaces on Pinterest tickle your fancy or maybe watching an episode of Hoarders Buried Alive is just what you need to scare you into a cleaning frenzy. Seek out that which will inspire you.

3. Visualize the Benefits.

So what are you going to get out of doing all this work decluttering anyway? Think about all the benefits you'll enjoy after you get rid of much of this useless junk and how great your space will both look and feel, such as less dusting, pride in your space and more time to spend on what matters to you. Write these down to reinforce them in your mind and review when needed.

4. Contemplate the Risks.

What have you got to lose if you don't declutter? Continued time wasted on cleaning around junk, not being able to find things, important items getting damaged among the rubble, embarrassment when guests come over or even an inability to have them over at all, risk of rodent infestation, the list goes on. What are you specifically concerned about if you don't deal with this mess? Remember this while you work.

5. Seek Out Resources.

Maybe you just don't know where to start or what to do with all this unwanted stuff. Check out home organizing books, online tips or YouTube videos that can help guide you through some specific steps toward a less cluttered home.

6. Enlist Support.

Find a friend who can help you deal with some of this stuff or simply be your cheerleader along the way. Tell others what you are embarking on to keep you from quitting. You may even need to hire a professional to give you guidance and keep you in check.

7. Set Specific Goals.

Figure out exactly what you want to accomplish through this decluttering process. Make a list of areas you want to work on, prioritize them and check them off as you go. Be proud of yourself each step of the way.

8. Do a Trial Run.

If you're feeling a bit hesitant about decluttering, just try it out. Work on either a very small and simple area at first or one that's particularly bothersome in your life. See how you feel afterward. You may discover it was even easier and more worthwhile than you had imagined.

9. Measure Milestones.

Choose specific areas which you would like to work on. Don't try to do it all at once. Gradual steps will add up to big results over time.

Before you begin, take a "before" photo and, once finished, take an "after" photo to really see all that you've accomplished. This feeling of accomplishment may be just what you need to motivate you to do more.

10. Think of Loved Ones.

Is your clutter affecting those closest to you, by encroaching on their space or causing friction in your relationships? Consider how keeping all of this stuff is impacting those who are truly important in your life.

11. Think of Others.

So you've got all this stuff just sitting around not getting used. Is it really benefiting you by just keeping it but not actually using it? Surely, there are others in your community who could utilize some of these things who may be in need. Donating your stuff to a cause that you care about could be a win-win for both you and those less fortunate.

12. Reward Yourself.

Maybe you've been putting off treating yourself to that thing on your wish list. Make a deal with yourself that if you accomplish your decluttering goals you'll reward yourself.

You may even want to make a trade-off. For example, if you have a bunch of semi-valuable items that are just taking up space, sell them and use the money to either buy yourself something you'll really use or finally have that dinner party you've been wanting to and show off your newly-decluttered space.

Decluttering can be hard work. Keeping these personalized ways to find the drive to declutter at the top of mind should help keep you focused and motivated on the reasons you're doing this in the first place and help to curb any hurdles along the way.

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