Creating Enthusiasm by Changing your Thinking

For those of you overwhelmed by the decluttering task ahead of you I would like to give you hope. I am going to ask you to do five simple things, and I want you to focus on the effect those things have on your mood. It is important that you carry out these tasks in one short period of time in the order given. Please do not read ahead to the next task until you have completed the previous step.

First Task

If you haven’t completed all the mini missions for this week I would like you to choose two but only carry out one of them for now. If you have completed all the mini missions I set for this week please devise two of your own and carry out  one now. Make sure this mission only takes about ten minutes or so.

Second Task

Now that you have completed your mini mission I just want you to  take one or two minutes to think quietly about how good it feels to get that one small task accomplished. It only took a short length of time but you are one step closer to a decluttered home. This is one less area that you need to work on in the future. I bet you feel enthusiastic to start on your next decluttering task.

Third Task

Now I want you to think about the entirety of the decluttering mission you have ahead of you. Consider how immense the task seems when you focus on it’s entirety. Think of the size of your home, and all the little nooks and crannies where stuff could be hiding. Dwell on those thoughts for a minute of two. I bet you aren’t feeling so smug now, right!

Forth Task

Now I want you to take five deep breaths and clear your mind of the nasty thoughts you were just thinking. I want you  to forget about the big picture and simply focus on the next task I ask you to do. Now that you are calm I want you to carry out the second mini mission you chose in step one. Once again stick to something simple that will only take about ten minutes

Fifth Task

Your final task is much the same as the second. Focus on the task you just completed. How quick and easy was it to accomplish, and how satisfying it felt to be finished yet another decluttering mission? That is one small step towards your decluttering goal. It feels good doesn’t it? The task was simple but you feel you have achieved something. What could be more satisfying than that?

The point of this exercise

I am sure by now you understand the what I was trying to help you see here. Decluttering your home doesn’t have to be a scary prospect that you don’t think you want to deal with, it is simply a series of small tasks that are easy to accomplish with little effort. All you have to do is change your way of thinking and create a little enthusiasm for each task. Everyday find one little area to declutter, spend ten minutes or even a half an hour on it if you have the time. Before you know it the weight of your clutter will start to lift off your mind. That is where it is sitting at the moment – on your mind. It has quietly multiplied over the years without you giving it much thought. So what if it takes a while to physically remove it. So long as you chip away at it one small task at a time and do not add to it, you will get there in the end with minimal effort.

I suppose I could have called today’s post..

How to make a mole hill out of a mountain

Today’s Declutter Item

This was an unneeded gift that fetched $30.00 on eBay.

Shaver 10FEB2011

I am grateful from anything that brings me joy. Below are five things that gave me joy today.

  • Finding hanging space for two pieces of framed art that I didn’t want to declutter but also didn’t have a home.
  • My friend Liz – Every conversation with her is fresh and interesting. We connect on so many levels and yet we are both so different.
  • Remembering the other grocery item I needed before I gave up and went home.
  • That first cup of tea in the morning.
  • Manipulating and decluttering enough craft supplies to clear one drawer in my craft area – Now a little fine tuning is in order I feel.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow.

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Continue reading with these posts:

  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Memorabilia Items Mini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It […]
  • Mini Mission Monday Mini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It […]
  • How little we really need Every time I go on a long vacation I am reminded of how little one really needs to live a comfortable and functional lifestyle. My husband and I often stay in Airbnb places when on […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. this is great advice for breaking down, what can appear to be, a huge overwhelming task. Do you have any suggestions as to how to overcome the ‘not good enough’ feelings that sometimes arise? (well they do for me, perhaps that’s an unusual thing?)

    • Colleen and I don’t coordinate what we write; we each go as the clutter spirit leads us. I’m sure she’s got some ideas, but I have partially prepared posts on both how to do a large-scale declutter and one on anxiety and feelings of helplessness / hopelessness, which I experienced for years before I finally got on top of the clutter, rather than it being on top of me. (On top of and all around me, I should say.)

      • Hi Cindy,
        you are so right about us not coordinating what we write. I should pay more attention as to what you have coming up in your drafts but like you say I go where the clutter spirit leads me. Don’t ever let that deter you from sending in what you have written because when it comes to decluttering there are numerous ways to approach the same subject. Since we all comprehend things in our own way one article about a subject may not hit home with a reader while anther does so it pays to cover the same ground over and over again. The subject matter is limited while but the different angles are almost limitless.

    • Hi Mrs Green,
      are we talking about you personally not being good enough, self doubt feelings here? In relationship to clutter or just in general?

      One thing I have considered writing about lately is how impossible it is to declutter your home with zero waste. The article Cindy shared with us recently about the family in California got me thinking about this. They clearly got their house in order which had to have generated a vast amount of waste before they started their zero waste goal. meanwhile you are stuck between a rock and a hard place trying to declutter your home while generating zero waste. I hate to say it but these too ideals just can’t work in total harmony. You can do your best to recycle and rehouse most of your stuff like I have but in order to accomplish the declutter goal the zero waste one will suffer.

      It is a beautiful thing that you are doing by minimising your waste and teaching others how to do the same. You should be satisfied with that and give yourself a big pat on the back. You would also be setting a good example to your readers by following through with your declutter goad and admitting to defeat every now and again when something has to go to landfill. I sometimes think setting too high of a standard creates unnecessary anxiety and regret.

      I would love to know your thoughts on this as I have been avoiding this topic because I didn’t want to step on your toes. I have great respect for what you do and you should be proud! 🙂

  2. Another important issue with decluttering is the support from others. Part of the reason why this exercise and the weekly mini missions are easy to do is the fact that we don’t have to do them alone. At least I feel that I’m part of this decluttering “family” that gathers here at Colleen’s blog. Reading Colleen’s words of wisdom and other people’s progress in their decluttering job encourages and motivates me to keep going.

    • Hi Anne,
      thank you from me and on behalf of our community of readers, writers and commenters here at 365lessthings for those king words. If is a combined effort of support and encouragement from everyone who visits here that makes 365lessthings a soft place to land. Thank you to everyone who contributes.

    • Anne, I agree – well put!

  3. David | Listen Feel Breathe

    Isn’t amazing that small steps can give such satisfaction when we take them.
    Makes you wonder why we didn’t just take them straight away in the first place.

    My latest article talks about “bite size” chunks of time and how we should take “just take a bite”. It looks like we were thinking the same way 🙂

    • Hi David,
      people don’t take them straight away because at first all they see is the big picture. Once that picture is wiped from out minds we can start to focus on the simpler reality.
      You are correct about the fact that you and I are in like minds about this subject.

  4. I cheated. I read through your steps before finishing the one before it. But I did go do a couple of mini missions. 🙂

    I have to agree that this is a great ‘family’ of people just trying to do the same thing–declutter to live a more contented, simple life. Cheers to us all!

    • Hi Willow,
      For being naughty and not following the directions you must do and extra mini mission of your own creation.

      Here’s cheers to you too my decluttering friend!

  5. I am reading this in 2013 and yet, wanted to comment. I love hearing about the progress everyone is making and the support we get from one another. It has given me courage to continue on with my decluttering even when it feels like I am not making as much progress as some of the other posters on this site. I am slow but still making headway. By the time I am ready to retire, my home should be just the way I want it.


  1. […] di 365 Less Things propone 5 compitini per incoraggiare e dare speranza a chi si deprime davanti alla mole di roba da riordinare… La […]