Decluttering Motivation When You’re Overwhelmed by the Mess

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You are overwhelmed by all the junk in your house and want to declutter but you just CAN’T.   You know all the standard reasons to declutter – your home will look and feel cleaner, cause less stress and create room for the important things in your life – but it’s just not giving you the kick in the pants you need.  The struggle is real. Keep reading for 5 out-of-the-box ideas for decluttering motivation.

Motivation Tips When You’re Overwhelmed by the Mess

messy closet and messy bookshelves. How to get motivated to declutter


1.) Watch Hoarders

Hoarders is a TV show on A&E that documents inventions and treatment of people who compulsively hoard stuff.  This show is not about people who need to declutter, it features homes that are literally completely full of stuff to the point that there are no clear places to walk, sit or sleep.  The people on this show have a mental illness, hoarding disorder, and work with a psychiatrist/psychologist, a professional organizer, or an “extreme cleaning specialist”.  

You don’t need to be a hoarder to get inspiration from this show.  My sister loves to watch this show and mentioned that it really motivated her to clean out her storage area in her basement.  She is actually really organized but sometimes life causes disruptions that can lead to unnecessary stuff in your house.  

Seeing homes with an overwhelming amount of stuff will likely compel you to take care of your excess stuff.  Just try not to binge watch it instead of spending that time decluttering. 

2.) Picture Your Dream House

When you picture your dream house, is it full of clutter?  Even if you aren’t living in your dream house, you can still do your best to treat it like you are.  Would you really want or need all those things in your dream home? Would you allow your dream home to become cluttered?  

Don’t wait for your dream house to start taking action.  Value the home you have now by taking care of it and not filling it with stuff.


3.) Pretend You’re Moving

Are those items really worth your time or money to move?  Whether or not you are really planning to move, go through each item in your house and ask yourself if you are willing to put effort into packing it or pay a company to move it for you.  When I look at my stuff from that perspective, I’m less likely to keep something.

When I moved across the state a couple of years ago we were fortunate that my husband’s employer paid for our move.  But it was also unfortunate in one way because we ended up moving a TON of stuff that we didn’t really need or use. I could come up with a million excuses about why we didn’t get rid of that stuff earlier but that didn’t help me when I was overwhelmed with all the boxes in our new home.  

My aunt recently went through a similar experience.  She saved a lot of stuff thinking she would use it in her new home.  But guess what? She didn’t want or need 80% of the stuff. It just ended up causing her stress to pack it, unpack it and then figure how to get rid of it.  

Learn from our mistake:  Ruthlessly edit what you are willing to move, even if you aren’t really moving. It wastes your time, effort and money with unnecessary storage, cleaning and maintenance.  And if you really are moving, it will make you feel overwhelmed in your new home.

4.) Decluttering Motivation Quotes (free printable)

Decluttering Quote -The first step to getting what you want is having the courage to get rid of what you don't    Decluttering Quote - Your home is a living space, not a storage space.

I love love, love quotes for motivation, inspiration, laughter, etc.  There are quotes for just about any topic. You’ll usually find at least one quote hanging in my home at any given time.  I like to switch them out depending on what my current needs are.

So with that love in mind, I put together a printable of 12 decluttering motivation quotes to remind and motivate you to get rid of your stuff. Hang them in the area in most need of decluttering or where you’ll see the quotes the most. Switch out the quotes to keep you motivated.  


5.) Have a party

The best decluttering motivation for me to get stuff done around the house has always been to have a party.  By scheduling a party or small get together at your house, you have a set deadline to get stuff done. Knowing you have a good payoff at the end makes the chores less tiresome.  

If need a kick in the pants to do your weekly chores, then a recurring party, like a weekly game night with friends or a book club could help get you into the habit of completing your chores.

Need More Motivation Tips?

I segment decluttering, organizing and cleaning as different tasks that are all related.  Sometimes tips and ideas that work in one category can crossover to another.  So, if you are still looking for more decluttering motivation, check out Cleaning Motivation Tips and Get Energy to Clean House.

messy closet in need of decluttering. "Decluttering Motivation Tips when you're overwhelmed by the mess"    woman getting rid of clothes from closet. "Decluttering Motivation Ideas"

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One Comment

  1. MaryEllen Hood says:

    Thank you so much for your step by step guides to decluttering. I have needed this for a long, long time!

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