By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

If you are like many baby boomers right now, you might be looking around your home wondering where did all of this stuff come from?

  • You’ve started to notice, especially during Covid just how much clutter is piling up and how much stress the mess is causing.
  • You realize you have so much stuff and you have no idea what’s even in the boxes in your attic, basement, and garage.
  • You also realize what an overwhelming task it is going to be decluttering all of the things that you’ve accumulated for the last 20 to 30 years.

And on top of that, you might have inherited things from your parents or other relatives.

And if you’re one of the lucky ones, your home has become a repository for other people’s stuff… like your adult children who now have homes of their own.


How Do You Find the Motivation to Declutter?


1.      Start somewhere, anywhere! Just start!

Decide to focus on one small area at a time like a junk drawer, a linen closet, or a medicine cabinet.

Set aside 15-minutes today to get you started. You might discover that you continue well past the 15 minutes because you are starting to see progress one drawer, one closet, one shelf at a time.

Read my recent blog post: Downsize by Decluttering: What is it?


2.      Set a goal and a timeline

It’s important to set both short-term and long-term goals.

  • “By Friday I will declutter my master bedroom closet.”
  • “By the end of the month, I will declutter all second-floor closets.”
  • “By the end of December, I will declutter my entire home.”


3.      Chart your progress

Using a daily or weekly journal, keep track of the areas you’ve worked on and the progress you’ve made.

Take “before, during, and after” photos. These photos will serve to motivate you because you’ll see real progress

Celebrate small wins or big wins… They are both wins!


4.      Have fun!

Decluttering gets a bad rap.

  • It’s so hard!
  • It takes so much time!
  • It’s so emotional!

YES, to all of these statements but when you reframe these statements they can be motivating instead.

It will likely be emotional, but if you don’t face those sentimental items head-on right now, they will continue taking up space in your head and in your heart, weighing you down.


5.      Find a decluttering method that works best for you, your lifestyle, and your schedule

  • If you only have weekends free… decide on one area that you want to work on, decide when you can work on it, put it on the calendar for a few hours each weekend.

Slow and steady is better than not at all!

  • If you have time during the week, discern what day and what time works best for you.

When is your highest energy level?

Figure out the decluttering method that you enjoy, can fit into your schedule, and can see consistent progress.


One of my favorite decluttering methods is Decluttering from The Heart.

I discovered this method last winter when I realized how many warm winter coats, sweaters, scarves, and gloves were just sitting in my closet not getting used.

I thought of a homeless women’s shelter that is near and dear to my heart. It occurred to me that they would love to have a warm coat, scarf, hat, and gloves that would not only make them feel warm but would also make them feel good.

That became a huge motivation for me, knowing that I was giving it to someone who needed it, would use it, and would feel proud wearing it.

I started looking around my house for other categories that I was not using. I looked for places that needed and wanted those categories so they can be donated and re-purposed.

  • Some of the categories I discovered I had excess:
    • Household items
    • Pantry items
    • Shoes
    • Handbags
    • Electronics
    • Books

The result of my research:

100 Places to Donate Your Stuff to a Good Cause

Download your free copy

If you are wondering where and how to get rid of your excess stuff… consider giving it a new life by repurposing it, by giving it to someone who needs it and wants it.

What excess stuff are you thinking of donating this year and where?

I’d love to hear from you!

Comment in the comment section below.