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Motivating Yourself to Organize

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Getting organized is a big task, especially if it has been neglected. A few simple steps each day can make a big difference in how organized your are. Staying motived to get those things done can be difficult. This is a guide about motivating yourself to organize.


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By 14 found this helpful
November 21, 2011

I lived with a mom that had many health problems and was always helping others. So one day I said, "Please lets find a way for you to do the organizing part of the cleaning". She had a strong comfy stool that would fit in any room. We took the stool to each room, and she went through each area. She picked out the garbage and the things to give to other families.


I was the legs. I put the garbage in big bags and put them outside so the area looked cleaner faster. That was a big encouragement. The give away things were put in the back porch in yellow bags with names on them.

This process took a couple days, but each morning Mom got up and looked at the progress first, then washed, dressed, had a hot cup of tea, and sat on her stool with a smile.

The next process was to check to see if some things were in the wrong rooms. We had a basket to put things in it to carry around the house to put back in the correct room. This was the right amount of help.

Soon Mom was pushing things around in the room and asking for the broom. She swept and picked through the dirt for what was good. She was smiling and laughing about some of the things she found. How could they have found their way to such funny places?

So I agree with one of the posts. You may need some help, but if the person that owns the home is part of it, they will benefit and come out of the slump. Some one can clean your home, but they cannot organize it. Tea breaks with nice snacks help a great deal!

By Rain V. from Chilliwack, BC

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November 24, 20111 found this helpful

The thought that went into creating this solution for your mum is the epitome of love.

I am happy to be reading it on Thanksgiving Day.

I am far from home and will not be celebrating as you will in America, but it is stories like this that warm my heart and today I will be proud to be an American.

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By 9 found this helpful
November 4, 2011

To make organizing simpler so you don't feel so overwhelmed, you can plan to organize two things a day. Maybe two drawers or a closet, or whatever you need to get done. I do two things a day. By the end of the month, I have 60 things done! A big job in bite size pieces!


Source: I found this tip in a magazine a long time ago, can't remember which one!

By Tracy from Brockville

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November 6, 20110 found this helpful

Yes, a large task done in bite size pieces :D I would add that you be aware of not creating clutter each day. While doing this task don't add to it, so you don't have 60 more things to de-clutterize the next month.

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By 2 found this helpful
November 20, 2011

Having some perfectly sized rectangular, open cardboard boxes with handle holes on either side is motivating me to organize closets and under the bed areas.

Source: Nutrisystem nonperishable food containers

By Vivian P.

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May 23, 20053 found this helpful

We all have times we feel unorganized. When this happens, the first thing you do in the morning is get your coffee, tea or diet cola ready, and make a list of at least 6 things you COULD get done that day. Then prioritize by numbering the items in the order that will serve you best. JUST DO IT

By Ardis

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 2 found this helpful
March 25, 2010

I am so far behind on all of my house work. I seem to be in a very bad slump and cannot get myself out of it. I feel like I am extremely lazy. I have no motivation at all to get up and clean and it makes me not even want to stay here. This just does not feel like home. Is there anyone that has any advice for me?


By Heather from Morganton, NC

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March 29, 20100 found this helpful

I'm 70 years old and feel the same way about house cleaning however, I have found for me the hardest part is getting started. I need to get off this computer now and and get busy.

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March 30, 20100 found this helpful

You have a few possible choices. You might actually move; you'd be surprised how that would motivate you. You could hire one of the professionals who come and help you declutter, clean up and organize your space. You could try the "divide and conquer" approach, setting aside a relative short time each day to attack a portion of what needs to be done. Good luck!

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March 31, 20101 found this helpful

I agree with using the kitchen timer plus add a list of what you want to do in that 15 minutes. Check off what you completed after the timer goes off. You will be surprised what you can do in 15 or 20 minutes. By breaking everything down to small chores it doesn't seem as overwhelming. I wish you all the luck in the world as I to sometimes suffer from lack of motivation.

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April 7, 20100 found this helpful

If it is not medical reason, depression.

Try this, invite people over for a meal or

game night this will set a time frame that

you MUST follow. I did this once or more

and it worked well for me. I work better under


Or have a friend come over to get you going.

good luck

oh I can barely see the desktop as I sit here.


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January 14, 20130 found this helpful

Heather, I am in the exact situation you are, so don't feel alone. It all started when I decided to tackle a much-need, thorough cleaning behind my computer desk, stereo center, and bookshelves [which all sit next to each other]. I completed that task, then decided to move some furniture, tables, and lamps around - big mistake!

Now, things are sitting in the middle of my living room, overflowing on my kitchen table, and every other square inch of open space. I have come to a dead halt, and cannot make myself finish the project, as I feel so overwhelmed. I have been living like this for more than a week, and each morning I am more disgusted and depressed than the day before - but, I still keep putting off finishing the mess I made of my living room and kitchen - even my poor dog is upset by the upheaval. How does one get themselves going again? I am so angry with myself for even beginning, what has now become this monumental job.

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August 16, 20132 found this helpful

As others have advised, you should first checked with your doctor, to determine there is not a medical condition causing you fatigue.

One thing that assists me, is to use a timer. I use the same type, teachers use, for testing purposes. I set it for 20 minutes, and begin my task. If I still feel like working after the timer goes off, I reset it for another 20 minutes. If I'm fatigued or frustrated, I take a break.

When I first tried this technique, I was surprised to find, just how many times I chose to reset the timer to work another 20 minutes.

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August 16, 20160 found this helpful

I believe we are twins! I'm so very frustrated which ends up with me napping. Hope we get some helpful answers!

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 25, 20101 found this helpful

I just turned 18, and I live with my parents. My room is a complete mess. I have laundry all over, books, jewelry, and makeup. Can anyone help me get motivated to clean and organize?

I need some tips on how to keep it clean and organized too.



Motivating Myself To Clean and Organize

Invite someone over whom you want to impress and tell them you would like them to see your room.


By Anonymous

Motivating Myself To Clean and Organize

Every time you walk into the room, put away five things. It takes a little while to make this a habit, but it's a very easy thing to do (should take about 60 seconds or less) and in a few days you'll be surprised that such small acts have started to make a big dent in the clutter.

Make sure you have places for all your stuff. You can't put things away if they don't have a home to go to. (03/29/2005)

By drlith

Motivating Myself To Clean and Organize

When I have to clean the spare bedroom or the basement, I just watch a few shows of, "Clean Sweep" and that seems to get me motivated. (03/29/2005)

By klawrence34

Motivating Myself To Clean and Organize

When I start to clean any room in my house, including basement or garage, I turn on either the TV, my police scanner, or put on a CD. Then I pick one area to start in. I have wicker baskets or cute containers to hold small items, underbed storage containers for clothing, and containers in the closets for more clothing. Then I limit myself to a time limit to get it done. It helps.

LI Roe (03/29/2005)

By LI Roe

Motivating Myself To Clean and Organize

I have the same problem, getting motivated. I usually do one of two things. I invite a friend over and use their ideas for organization, along with my own. I am fortunate as my best friend loves to clean, but she also likes to throw things out which is sometimes good for me as I hang on to everything. It helps just to have someone to talk to and bounce ideas off of to keep the motivation flowing.

The other thing I do is make myself dedicate 1/2 to 1 hour to get it done. And many times once I commit to a time slot I may work longer, but it's the initial time slot that gets me moving. After a 1/2 hour, if I'm tired of doing it I just stop as long as the basics are done and no big mess is left then I reward myself with time spent how I really want to spend it. I never let myself give in before the original time allotted is used up. Remember it's amazing what 1/2 hour of cleaning can accomplish. Just tell yourself, "Just do it, it's only a 1/2 hour." Before you know it you have used a small portion of time that will make you feel good about yourself and your room. Keep it fun, but don't give in, keep busy until your 1/2 hour is up.
Good luck. (03/29/2005)

By Barbie

Motivating Myself To Clean and Organize

If you're like me you just have too much stuff in there. Declutter in a big way, but do it a little at a time. Start with 15 minutes a day and work your way through it. Try to do it too long at one time and you will probably get overwhelmed or burn out. Easiest way is probably to get the clothes off the floor, chair, etc. and into a container or better, washed, dried, and put away. Then you can do something with the rest. Best of luck to you. (03/29/2005)

By kidsNclutter

Motivating Myself To Clean and Organize

Have you tried Flylady? Website She is very motivating and will teach you routines to not only get the place tidy, but keep it that way.



By Jo

Motivating Myself To Clean and Organize

I went to a local pharmacy (Walgreen's) and got collapsible laundry hampers 2/$5 and went at it. They are great for sorting, storing, and hauling to other rooms. I also picked up a bunch of photo storage boxes at the Dollar store and used them for smaller items like makeup and hair supplies, jewelry, whatever I want. They stack beautifully on bookshelves and are pretty to boot. I covered boxes paper comes in (10 ream-size) with fabric and use them to store bigger items.

I used an old door (curb) for a tabletop in the bedroom, and 2 (2-drawer) file cabinets I found on the curb to hold it up. Voila, computer work center with storage underneath. Oh, and I bought a tablecloth for $2.49 on sale at Linens n' Things (online) and got the best computer chair through Freecycle ( - check it out). It was a fun challenge to do it inexpensively. Good luck. (03/29/2005)

By Carolyn

Motivating Myself To Clean and Organize

  1. Always start with the biggest items you are dealing with, this applies to any situation, cleaning a room, picking up the yard, doing dishes, etc. This helps you make progress really fast. Then keep going with the next largest items till you get down to the really small stuff. Before you know it you're done.

  2. Separate all your stuff into categories, "like-with-like" (all clothes together, all jewelry, all CD's, all books, etc.) It's easier to sort through them and get them arranged.

  3. None of us live forever; stand at your doorway and look at your room through the eyes of others. Ask yourself, if I died suddenly, is this the way I want to be remembered? Would I feel comfortable with people going through my things as they are now? Someone will have to sort through and deal with your stuff, is there anything lying around that would really embarrass you. Look around and think what you'd do in case of a fire, flood, or other tragedy. Clutter is a safety hazard. Are your treasures organized in such a way you could just grab and go?

  4. If you can't get and keep just your room clean and organized, just imagine what it will be like when you have your own home and family to take care of. If you and your future husband are slobs, who's going to clean up after you both?

  5. After you're organized, label everything (use very colorful, neon bright labels). You may never actually look at the labels again, but with them just being there it will be a gentle reminder of where to put away things. This may sound juvenilish, but it really works. You can use removable labels and put them discreetly in places where they won't be noticeable to visitors.

  6. Watch the home decorating shows on TV, they are loaded with inspiration.

  7. During commercials, go in your room and; do "baby steps" of cleaning, Just pick up anything and put it away, it actually becomes fun after awhile and you'll keep going. Turn up your favorite dance music and dance with your stuff as you put it away.

  8. Maybe you have some ADD (attention deficit disorder) going on, check out websites devoted to this, they have some wonderful help whether you have ADD or not.

  9. Routines really help. Develop your own according to your schedule and lifestyle. Pick a certain "Day-of-the- Week" and a "time" to do things like, changing your bed linens ( for example=Wed at 3:30 p.m. for 20 minutes), vacuuming, or your laundry (Thursday after supper for one and a half hours), wiping all glass (10 minutes while on the phone) dusting. Time yourself doing these things and use that to help you plan when to do them on a regular basis. You'll be very surprised how quickly these things get done instead of being a long ordeal you've been dreading. The day before trash-pickup is an excellent day to declutter and clean your room (and the fridge).

  10. Keep a large plastic trashcan in your closet or a corner with a black trashcan liner in it (black because you can't see what's in it and decide to pull something back out of it), preferably with a lid. Use this to drop things into that you no longer want, then when it gets full, don't look inside, just pull the bag out, tie it up and take it and donate it to the local Salvation Army.

  11. Learn to enjoy the feeling of being clean, organized, in control, self-respecting, and confident. It will grow on you. You can do it. (03/29/2005)

By darween

Motivating Myself To Clean and Organize

  1. Make your bed. It gives you a quick sense of having accomplished something and a place to put other things in the meantime.

  2. Have three large cardboard boxes ready. A-Trash, B-Donate, and C Keep. Handle everything once.

  3. Now "cut" your room into quarters visually. Start with the quarter your bed is in. (If you get overwhelmed at least your sleeping area is clean.)

  4. Clean only one quarter area at a time. Thoroughly clean that area. If something needs to go into another area place it there and don't touch it again til you get to that area to clean.

  5. After the room is clean, tackle your closet. It's difficult to clean a closet when all you will be doing is adding to the chaos of an already-dirty room. If it's not an item you adore, get rid of it. If it doesn't fit properly, get rid of it. Be brutal. If you have a consignment shop in your area, take your stuff there and sell it. Use the money to treat yourself for a job well done.

    Hang clothes in like sections (i.e. pants, blouses, skirts, etc) and shoes the same way. I find that having a couple hangers ready with a full outfit is a great time saver.

    Don't buy any organizers until you know for sure what you have left. Sometimes you won't even need one. A couple of nice wicker baskets can be pre-bought for the top shelf of your closet or desk.

Good luck.

By Fran Marie

Motivating Myself To Clean and Organize

Another thing is this, if you are 18 yrs old, how much longer will you be living with your parents? Probably not much. Either you will be going to college or into the workforce, and wanting your own place or Lord forbid, wanting to get married, oh please wait at least 7 more years for that.

All of which means there is probably a ton of stuff in your room that you have outgrown or will soon.
Now is the perfect time to start going through all your things and deciding if they really serve you anymore, have they outlived their usefulness, have your tastes matured, have you undergone a lot of changes resulting in things that no longer fit your body or your soul. Put away the stuff of your childhood, except for a few treasures, to make room for the future. You have the whole world to explore and enjoy, you can't do it if you are bogged down with so much of the past.
Once you purge, what remains will be very easy to organize and cleaning will be a snap. (04/01/2005)

By darween

Motivating Myself To Clean and Organize

Remember how much you loved charts of accomplishments as a kid? Post one on the fridge listing "Extra tasks to be done". Everyday devote as much as an hour to doing one thing on your list. Mark it off. Feels great to see that list getting whittled down. Before long all the little extras are done. Also, if you'll make it a real effort to do 1-2 loads of clothes before bedtime you can pretty well keep up with laundry. Dollar Trees sells those little 4 sided mesh folding hampers. Finally, I got my kids to keep their dirty clothes in one spot. I carry them in it to be washed and loaded with clean socks, underwear, etc. to take to the rooms to be put up. Ain't it amazing what happiness $1 can bring?

Sharon (04/03/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Motivating Myself To Clean and Organize

Most of the people here are suggesting flylady, but I find that works much better for me, I like using it as a base for a system that I can make myself that suits my needs better, and in that we find it's very useful as a motivater.


By Just Me

Motivating Myself To Clean and Organize

When I was 18, my room was the same way so to clean it one thing I would do is make up my bed, take everything off the bed and put it on the floor. Next I would pick up one type of item at a time. For example, I would pick up all the shoes and put them away. Next, all my pants, next all my blouses, and so forth. Little by little, I would see the mess disappear.

And then to keep it clean, I would ask myself, "How did my room get so dirty?" What I noticed was little habits like throwing wrappers on the floor so I would try to make a habit of throwing all wrappers away. I also made the decision to stop eating in my room and that made a real difference.

So you might want take a minute and examine some of your bad habits and make an effort to change them. You will see your room stay cleaner for longer. (12/15/2006)

By Lonette

Motivating Myself To Clean and Organize

"Your goal is not a goal, unless you write it down."

"Place your goal somewhere visible." (09/01/2008)

By Stephen

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