Thursday, February 6, 2014

3 Ways I Try and Motivate Myself

I have read organizational blogs.

I have downloaded e-books to give me daily assignments on what to organize.

I have heard lectures from my mother on if "I just do one thing a day..."

And the list goes on and on.

But I still can't seem to get motivated to stay organized and keep my house clean.

I do agree with others that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. I also agree with my friend Leah that some people are just BORN with the "cleaning gene" and it SKIPPED right over me. So, I decided to share three things that have helped me stay on track when trying to clean up after myself. 

I admit to my mother and the other four people who read this blog that these 3 tips haven't miraculously made my house immaculate, but they are helping me conquer the clutter.

I'd love to hear what has worked for you - or not worked for you.

Here we go...

1. Make a list. But don't make it too long. And don't beat yourself up if you don't get them all done. Think of it as a suggestion list. If I think of it as a "To Do" list, then it feels too much like a chore. I think of it as a "Challenge" list. Can I get at least one of these done before I get distracted and end up eating M&Ms and watching Seinfeld re-runs.

This fun little noteboard is on my fridge. I made the list above when I was home on a snow day recently. The good thing is that I completed two of the three items on the list completely. The bad thing is I now have two big boxes for Good Will sitting in the middle of my kitchen floor.

2. Set a timer. I find that if I give myself a 10 minute or 20 minute or even 30 minute timeframe to tackle a chore, I am more likely to stick with it and not have as many "squirrel" moments.

You know what I'm talking about...when you start cleaning off your kitchen table and go to put away something in a closet and see something in the closet that needs to be put in the Good Will pile and then wait a minute is that shirt supposed to be in the Good Will pile and all of the sudden, it's 30 minutes later and you have totally taken apart the Good Will pile and your kitchen table is still a mess.

3.  Tackle one room at a time. Have an hour between swim lessons and Bible study? Go into the kitchen and start the dishes. Then move onto sweeping the floor. Then take a quick look in the fridge and see what needs pitching. It will keep you focused and you will see immediate results.

That's it. Those are the three things that have seemed to work best for me.

Share your tips...please. Share what hasn't worked for you...pretty please. I know I'm not the only one out here who struggles with the clutter!

BONUS TIP: Make yourself do X things. I can't believe I didn't remember this one when writing this post! It is one I use all the time. I have to put away 5 things before sitting down to watch TV at night. It can be as simple as picking up the newspapers and putting them in the recyling basket or as tedious as doing the dishes - each of those only count as one thing (not each dish as one thing).

As you can notice, I have to give myself limits...yes, I know I sound like a child!


  1. I love the timer thing! That is a good idea because like you I go to do one thing & then see something else I need to do, make a mental note & then go find thing #3 to do. And I never get the rest done! Those are good ideas, thanks for sharing!!

  2. I like all of these, and I think we are from the same gene pool. I'm still hopelessly behind in the declutter and put away department!



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