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A Quick Way to Clear Clutter

Photo by Iain Watson

It’s approaching that time of the year again: spring cleaning. Although we may know that we want to deep clean or straighten clutter this year (at some point), just the thought of actually doing it can fill us with dread. But putting off what needs to be done can make an already overwhelming task an even bigger deal. 

Two smart ways to prevent clutter clearing procrastination: 

(1) Start small, tackling just one drawer or shelf a day. 

(2) Reward yourself immediately for the small win by congratulating yourself or doing a little victory dance. When we keep rewards simple and immediate, our brain makes a little “note to self” that a behavior is worth repeating in the future. 

Take Action: Take no more than 10 minutes to tackle a messy drawer, or stow some winter gear. Thenimmediately give yourself a “yay me!” or mental high five — a little triumph over the accomplishment. Savor that good feeling while you plan your next small win. 

Join the Discussion: Share your small wins here as a way to celebrate! What did you accomplish today? Extra credit for clutter clearing that takes less than 5 minutes.



  1. Emily Diehl says:

    Yesterday I told my son we would clear out just 2 boxes in the garage from our last move (2 years ago!). We found lots of great things to put away and use that we forgot about and THEN the neighbor walked by with his three year old and they left with pockets full of matchbox cars. lovely de-cluttering!

  2. Sonjie says:

    This inspired me to finally be decisive and throw out a load of clothes that were taking up space in my wardrobe and in my mind – like little nagging voices saying “you never wear me, why did you buy me?” every time I opened the wardrobe. Now the clothes have gone to charity, I have more space in my wardrobe and the little nagging voices have been silenced! : )

  3. Gails says:

    If you have an emotional attachment to your stuff, put it away in a bin or out of sight for a year. Then it will be easier to get rid of it. I have just sold on craigslist my entire CD collection for $100 and I packed the CD’s into old suitcases – so the buyer helped me rid my life of Cd’s and the old suitcases which I had proven I didnt miss by not even seeing these items for over a year! Decluttering is freeing!

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