If you have been putting off a really good clean out, now is the perfect time to get yourself motivated and moving and start the New Year with a bang. Getting your living spaces into workable, usable and fresh feeling form feels amazing and will give you a lift every time you walk into it. It also might mean that side hustle or business you have been putting off finally gets the workspace it deserves to thrive.
So how to set the right mood? The trick to motivating yourself to start cleaning out is to get emotional about it, all the right emotions of course. Let's face it, the reason you are putting it off probably comes down to emotions; you feel overwhelmed, or maybe sad about parting with some things or making changes, perhaps you feel anxious that you might need something once it's gone, bored or even angry that you let things get this way.
Whatever your emotional hesitation is it's absolutely normal. Unless you find a bigger, more positive emotion to trump it, you will continue to be easily side-tracked, procrastinate or just flat out ignore it.
Positive emotions you can use to get started
For this activity, you will need some note paper or post-it notes.
Sit down and give yourself some time with no distractions where you can be calm and relaxed. Go through and make a list of all the amazing benefits you will get when you clean out. Go into as much detail as you like and remember to include great emotions.
Here are some examples to get you started
-This space will be so fresh and clean
-I'll have more freedom
-I can use this space properly
-I will enjoy more choices
-I will have more energy in this room
-I will feel calmer and more focused
-I will feel in control because things will be easier to find
-I will have more space to do what I want
-I'll be proud to invite people over
-I'll make some money from the things I sell
-I will give the items I donate a new home where they can be loved and used
-I will feel such a sense of accomplishment when it's done
If your negative feelings are bigger than your positive ones just keep finding and writing out new positives until you have more great feelings than uncertain ones. Once you have the intention for the space well stated, put your list up where you can see it often, on a mirror, the fridge, the wall or maybe scatter them around the house on brightly coloured post-it notes.
Cleaning, tidying and organising are skills
Just like learning a language, martial arts or riding a bike, being organised is a skill we have to learn. It's not born into us and it requires tactics and practice to perfect. Most people though view cleaning and tidying as a punishment or chore rather than a skill so rather than develop and strengthen it, we do it as fast and thoughtlessly as possible to get it over and done with. What if instead of pushing cleaning and de-cluttering aside you embraced it? You have the power to transform your space into anything you want, with limitless means and methods of storage, filing and designing in front of you. You don't need a big budget as most sorting solutions are simple enough to DIY and you can repurpose items you already have around your home.
Well framed questions to ask:
What would your ideal space look like, feel like and function like?
What do you need to do to get it there?
When you look at the problem with a focus on the solution you will be astounded at just how clever and flexible you will be at creating a solution.
Abolish the idea it's not for you
A great way to weasel out of work is to tell yourself you're not worth it. If you are the type of person who dismisses what you want or need easily, feel that you don't deserve wonderful or beautiful things or that you will only destroy it again, it's time to stop and revisit your self-worth. When you look into it I'm sure you will find that deep down you do want these positive results, that you want to deserve them and you want them to last. All this negative talk is just a screen over the top to help protect you from things like failure and disappointment. Here's the thing, failure and disappointment only pop up when you quit. So make a pact with yourself not to quit no matter what and hold those positive emotions in front of you like a big golden carrot.
Think about how incredible and worthwhile you will feel when you have achieved your task and finally give yourself permission to go after what you want, even if it's uncomfortable, difficult or challenging. You are most certainly worth it and you do deserve to live in an energised and vibrant home, even if your place is small, even if you have half a dozen children, even if you are renting, you absolutely can get amazing results by putting in a little work, clearing out and getting organised. Get creative in how to overcome your excuses, get your kids to help with ideas and decorations, find renter-friendly solutions and enlist friends or relatives you love and trust to help you get through the tough stuff. Even if they live far away, some encouragement over the phone or live chat can do wonders for getting you unstuck and moving forward.
Be okay with whatever you do
No matter how far you get in a day be thankful for that. It may have only been ten minutes, but that's ten minutes done. Rome wasn't built in a day so be sure to break your clean up down to chunks that realistically fits into your lifestyle and do what you can when you can. Every bit of work counts to the end goal.
So why will a goal based on positive emotions work? Because you are genuinely and consistently motivated to seek out an outcome.
Even when it gets tough, messy or takes longer than you expected you will be able to dig deeper and keep going. And the rewards will be well and truly worth it.
Plus, you have spent time exercising your organisational skills so they will be more ready to respond and help out next time you are motivated to make a change for the better around your home or office space.