April 4, 2018

5 Tips how to keep up your energy while decluttering

These tips make any daunting task easier and help you keep up your energy while decluttering. Imagine the outcome, motivate yourself, stay consistent, challenge yourself and promise yourself a reward so you get the job done.


I have a friend who had some bad luck lately. Her computer crashed, she had a full iPad and a full iPhone all at the same time. She had several backups (do you have a backup? Read here why it’s important) but everything was a little a mess and she had duplicates etc, so she needed to declutter all these digital files.

The question came up,

How do you keep up your energy while decluttering?

This is a question you might have asked yourself too and so I thought I share 5 tips here that help me stay focused when I have to tackle daunting tasks.

Tip 1: Have a strong goal and vision

What I mean is, visualize how you will feel once the job is done. Then, while decluttering, whether it is digital clutter or household clutter, keep that goal in mind, keep the vision present, that’s what you are working towards. Visualize how much better you are going to feel, how much lighter you are going to feel.

If you have ever decluttered before you know, it actually really feels like a physical weight falls off your shoulders. Look forward to the weight lifting off and imagine how amazing you are going to feel.

Tip 2: Find a strong motivation

What’s the why? Why do you want to declutter? It’s not a strong motivation to just say to yourself, well I just want to be decluttered. But a strong motivation could be, I don’t want to feel embarrassed when somebody comes to visit.

A specific date could be a good motivation, for example, you invite somebody for a certain day or you throw a party three weeks from now and until then you want to have the decluttering job done.  Other options are, before I go on vacation, before a certain holiday like Easter, or Christmas.

Once you have your date or why start tackling the job, which brings me to my third tip:

Tip 3: A few minutes a day…

I talked in a previous blog post already how a few minutes a day can be more powerful than a one-time decluttering session. The reason is, it builds up a momentum and soon, if you declutter a little bit every day, you will feel like you are winning. Believe it or not, decluttering can be fun, once you build up your decluttering muscle. The reason is, you know how amazing you feel afterward and you look forward to that feeling.

Tip 4: Go into competition with yourself

I have a story about that: in my very first job, while I was an apprentice at an insurance company in Zurich Switzerland, I was placed in the archive. That must be about the most boring place for a 16-year-old. Back then computers weren’t as advanced and the employees that worked there and that needed a file had to request it from the archive.

The people that worked in the archive (including me for 3 months) got stacks and stacks of requests every day. We had to go and get the file for them. Once they were done with it, the dropped it off at the archive again and we had to put the file back in the right location. The right spot was of course very important otherwise we would never find the file again (aren’t you happy we have computers for this now?).

Long story short, this was boring work. So what did I do? I challenge myself several times a day. I had this big stack in front of me, I looked at it and gave myself a time, let’s say 1 hour, to have the task done. And then I would start putting the files away as quick as possible to win my own the challenge.

You, of course, don’t work in an archive – lucky you! – but you can still use this tip. For example, set yourself a timer and pick a certain area and then declutter that area in the time you set. If doing it alone doesn’t feel compelling, find a friend that goes into competition with you. If you have no friend that wants to declutter with you, join my Facebook group and find somebody or maybe even a few people there.

Then you compete against each other and the person who wins gets to spoil herself with a coffee or an ice cream or a spa day or whatever.  This actually brings me to the fifth and last tip:

Tip 5: Promise yourself a reward

The best reward is of course that you will feel amazing once the decluttering job is done. But you can keep up your energy while decluttering and stay motivated by promising yourself a reward like going for coffee with a friend, go to the movies, go to date night with your spouse, come up with something that sounds enticing to you.


Here you have it. These are my 5 tips on how to keep up your energy and stay motivated while decluttering. I hope it helps.

Share with me in the comments below which tip speaks to you the most and if you pick #5 I would love to hear what reward you promise yourself.


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