Maintaining Motivation – Other People


Our motivation can be positively or negatively affected by other people’s expectations of us when we are clearing our clutter.

Their (sometimes) well intentioned comments, questions, encouragement and ‘advice’ can make us doubt ourselves or and the way we’ve chosen to deal with our clutter challenge.

We need to be kind to ourselves and those who are struggling to understand what we are doing and why we’re not just jumping in the deep-end and going through our clutter deciding what to keep or get rid of.

We may have struggled to accept that we don’t start our Journey by making decisions about the things in our clutter, so it’s hardly surprising that they are struggling with understanding, much less accepting the way the Journey works.

People’s behaviour towards us and our clutter will be influenced by many things. Here are some important things to consider – and some useful facts to point out to them – when well-meaning friends or family are pressurising you to deal with your clutter ‘faster’, to spend more than the maximum two hours a day, five days a week working on it, or making negative comments about not seeing any difference.

Their Experiences

  • They have never lived with your clutter like you have so they won’t understand. And that’s OK.
  • Their LIFE Timeline and experiences are as unique as ours. We don’t need to justify or explain.
  • Everyone experiences life ‘challenges’ with different visible symptoms. For us it’s clutter.
  • If they struggle with clutter too, when you start to succeed they may feel uncomfortable that you no longer have it in common. That’s OK. They’ll deal with their clutter when they reach their True Turning Point.

Their Understanding

  • They may not realise we’ve already tried to do what they’re suggesting a thousand times.
  • They don’t understand why you have your clutter or why you can’t just get rid of it. The truth is – before you start your Journey, neither do you! Tell them that you’re learning about your ‘why’ on your Journey, and as you learn more, you’ll share that learning with them so you BOTH understand.
  • They probably don’t understand why you can’t ‘just’ do it the way they do it on the TV.

Their (Positive) Feelings for You

  • They don’t want to see you fail again because they know how many times you’ve tried and failed in the past. They’ve probably seen you try so many times they’re expecting this time to lead to failure – again.
  • When we care about someone, our concern for them can often be expressed as frustration, pressure and anger. Remind yourself they are only getting annoyed because they care about you and want you to be safe, comfortable and happy.


  1. Don’t expect their support or understanding. They don’t need to understand because it’s not their Journey, so don’t tell them you’re on your Journey! Just focus on ‘Doing the Doing’ and capture any positive comments they make as a success in your Success / Gratitude Journal.
  2. If you are following the Routines and Habits of a Successful Clutter Clearer (see earlier article), then you can work on your Journey before they even get up in the morning so they never know.
  3. Whenever they make a negative comment or remark, show them your ‘before’ photos from Step 1. The improvement may only be small, but it’s proof you’re clearing it and it’s not growing back.
  4. Divert their attention away from clearing the physical clutter to helping you with some of the exercises or watching the theory with you. Tell them you’re learning out WHY you have your clutter challenge – which is true – and it will help them understand you and your clutter too.
  5. When they (and you!) inevitably become impatient with the speed of progress, share with them your before photos from the Step 1 exercise to help keep it in perspective. Focus on how much progress you’ve made, not how long it’s taken or how much more there is to clear.
  6. Make them part of your weekly reward for completing a Clutter Clearing week, peak or end of step reward. They can then enjoy spending more time with you without you having the pressure of having to clear your clutter to do that.
  7. Ask them to help you create a motivational mood board of how your home and rooms might look when they’re clutter free. If you live with them, this will help them focus on your Clutter Free Life.
  8. Ask them what difference it would make to THEM for you to have a Clutter Free home and life. What would THEY like to do – or do more of – that they can’t do now because of the clutter?
  9. Ask them if they would be willing to be on your Delegating List – and if so, what would they be willing to do? This will divert their focus and energy to ‘Doing’ something useful to help you.
  10. Give them your Clutter Clearing Chronicles at the end of each term so they can see that this is about way MORE than just the ‘stuff’!

You can clear your clutter fast, or you can clear your clutter forever, but you can’t clear your clutter forever, fast. To find out how Clare can help you clear your clutter Forever, without the need for an expensive home visit, click here now:

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