Motivation for organization has always been a problem for me. I was one of those kids whose room was a complete mess, and I grew up to be a less than tidy adult. The thing is, as a “grown-up”, I do need to be organized enough to function moderately well.
I’ve been trying to do just that over the past couple of months, but I’ve discovered the thing I struggle with the most is motivation. I get started on a project, get distracted and feel no desire to return to it.
So, here are my personal motivation tips.
Tip #1: Annoy Yourself Into Cleaning
Sure, this may sound strange on the surface, but it works well for me. Once enough clutter builds up, the irritation kicks in. I just can’t handle it anymore.
“If I have to step over ONE MORE THING, I’LL SNAP!” Or, “I am SO TIRED of things falling off my desk.” Or, my personal favorite, “Where did my scissors go? They were just in my hand!”
Usually, they are either still in said hand or in my direct line of sight when I find them, for the record.
Having a clear, organized space makes life so much easier.
How I Got It: Ongoing experience and lowered patience levels with myself.
Tip #2: Listen to Music
Part of why I have a hard time keeping up with my cleaning and organizing is because I find it so boring. Yes, it needs to be done, but does it need to be so redundant?
Yes, apparently it does.
The best way I’ve discovered to combat this is to listen to music as I work. I’m especially fond of alternative rock, German metal and cinematic tracks for my cleaning soundtracks. Epic cinematic music is my favorite, because who doesn’t want to wield their broom in a mock brawl, or peel potatoes to the soundtrack for Pirates of the Caribbean?
The more movie magic I feel, the more likely I am to get the job done.
How I Got It: I’ve always had a fascination with fiction, especially when there’s lots of action involved. I discovered that an engaged imagination and healthy sense of humor work wonders together.
Tip #3: Look for Patterns in the Mess
This one may more of a personal thing, but I find it helpful to figure out what creates the most mess, and figure out ways of addressing that.
Currently, my biggest two offenders are paper work and craft supplies.
Paperwork is a problem simply because I end up with so much of it, and I don’t always want to deal with it right away. Craft supplies accumulate because I’m not very good at putting things away when I have to pause mid-project.
Now, it’s just a matter of figuring out good ways to address those two quirks.
How I Got It: This one comes directly from my dyslexia. A number of years ago, I discovered a list of common dyslexic traits, and my focus on patterns was one of them. Why not apply it to getting rid of physical messes?
Tip #4: Downsize, Downsize, Downsize
I’m a believer in thrift shop donations and upcycling. If I can’t realistically upcycle something, that means it’s time to donate it.
Once I finally get to the thrift store of choice, it always feels great to be contributing to a cause I believe in, even if I can’t donate actual cash. That feeling helps get me motivated to finish the first step of organizing and cutting down on stuff.
Tip #5: Gimme My Reward
If all else fails, allotting myself an award for accomplishing weekly, monthly or yearly goals is a great way to go. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, or even anything physical.
For instance, if I manage to meet my laundry list of goals this week, I’m rewarding myself with a day of doing absolutely nothing. I will sit around in my big, fluffy robe, killer bunny slippers and pajamas all day watching whatever shows I’m in the mood for, knitting or just goofing off in general.
Sure, it’s a form of self-bribery, but it’s also effective. If I’m having an especially hard day, I’ll give myself a small reward for finishing that day’s to-do list. Hey, if it works, it works, right?
How I Got It: This evolved from reading up on self-care and psychology. Rewards work in training animals and teaching kids, so why wouldn’t it still work on adults? A little experimentation showed just how effective it is for me.
Now that motivation has been taken care of, it’s time to get the organization show on the road. What are some of your favorite motivational tips or organizational methods? Share them in the comments below!