Day 315 What Motivates You to Declutter?

A guest post by Cindy Bogard

What motivates you to declutter? Why are you doing it? I was thinking about this questions for myself and came up with these reasons, immediate and far-reaching.

  1. I want a clean house. I want to not feel ashamed or embarrassed, both of which I have felt in large measure in the past.
  2. I want to continue in my role of stay-at-home parent. Now while the parent part of that job is the most important, the cookin’ and cleanin’ come along with it. While my cooking’s good; my housekeeping makes me eligible for firing. I don’t want that.
  3. I have a beautiful home. I want people, including people in my family, to see and appreciate the home and to be able to use the rooms and furnishing in the way intended. (No more sofa = storage bench or formal living room = closet.)
  4. I want to decide at 2:00 on a Saturday that it would be fun to have friends come over and not have to scramble like a crazy women, yell at my family like a nut job, and make us all miserable.
  5. I want neighbors to drop by and me never to have to say, “Excuse the mess.”
  6. I want to find what I am looking for. Now. Without looking in more than one place.
  7. I want to know what I own, and I want to avoid buying duplicates because I can’t find things.
  8. I want my children to put away their belongings because they know where they go and where they can find them again.
  9. I want to be able to park my car in my garage
  10. I don’t know if this one’s possible, especially given number 9, but I want to take everything in my ugly outdoor shed, sort it, and store the “keep” pile neatly in the garage. Then I want to tear down my shed and use the foundation as the base for a large pond. Ahhh, doesn’t that sound nicer than a ugly shed full of a jumble of junk?

What’s motivating you to declutter?


I bought this album for a project about 7 years ago but never got around to doing that project and I don’t think I would ever use it so out it goes.

Photo Album

5 Things I am grateful for today

  1. A lovely parting gift from my old work friends – they know I don’t like clutter so they gave me a gift certificate for a whole body massage. I can really do with that at the moment after the tension of the last few weeks.
  2. Lunch out with friends.
  3. Hubby decluttering in the garage again.
  4. A cool evening breeze – I think a storm is on its way.
  5. A fridge clean out dinner – Anything left over in there tonight is going on our plates for dinner.
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Continue reading with these posts:

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  • Positive attitude to decluttering Here is a great comment from Kimberley that I didn't want anyone to miss... "Selling vs. Donating….. When we acquire an item, there was an obvious need for us to do so, real or […]
  • A Fresh Mind on the Minimalist Path I received an email from a new minimalist blogger on the weekend. His name is Marco Laberge and his blog is Toward Minimalism. He asked me to check out his blog and give him some […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. my number one reason is that uncluttered home makes me happier and more energetic, thus also a better mom and wife 😉 so everyone benefits!

  2. Ditto!! I don’t know about all of you but it sure is nice to be able to have someone walk in the house and say something like “Your house always looks so nice and restful.” Music to my ears.

    • Hi Deb J,
      I like it even better when they say that the day before cleaning day. I haven’t actually cleaned my house properly since Liam had his accident but it is still looking pretty good just with the usually daily maintenance.

  3. Really good post Cindy! You are a star to write for Colleen’s blog and help her out so much 🙂 I’ve enjoyed all of your posts.

    My main reason is that I want a simpler life, and that for me means less (MUCH less) stuff. Plus, I’m incredibly lazy and more stuff means more maintenance, more cleaning and having to make more money (I’m a SAHM too) to buy it.

    • Thank you very much, Loretta. I actually love writing these posts, so it’s an honor more than an obligation.

    • Hi Loretta,
      ditto on your compliments to Cindy. She has been a champion for the last few weeks and I couldn’t have kept posting every day without her. And like you say her posts have been great too. I think she is going to have to stick around, what do you say Cindy?

      A simpler life is a great motivation to declutter.

  4. I do it for #1, #6,and #7. But especially #1. I will not clean regularly if it isn’t simple, uncomplicated, and relatively straightforward, which means I have to have uncluttered spaces, more space than stuff, and easy to get clean surfaces. No stooping, tripping, twisting, or struggling. I even want to not be embarrassed by my basement, let alone the kitchen or the bathroom or the living room. My rooms don’t need to be “perfect” and I don’t want “perfect” as in magazine-photo perfect. They just need to be clean and comfortable. My bathroom cabinet might have the usual range of middle-aged person’s assortment of over-the-counter personal needs, but that doesn’t bother me–just as long as it is clean and neat, not full of old wrappers and sticky bits and missing caps and expired stuff. If there’s no clutter, it’s easy to keep things clean. So ultimately it is for reason #1, and if I care what others think, I must acknowledge that that is how much I care, too, down deep inside. The result of matching up deep-down caring with the right action is just incredibly satisfying!

  5. #1 is my mantra! I am determined to get there!

    Thanks Cindy – you and Colleen make a great team.

  6. I can identify with several of these reasons to declutter. One you didn’t mention is that I do not want to make my children spend hours and days cleaning up my clutter after I die. Mostly though, I want peace in my home.

  7. Strangely enough, what has me de-cluttering and desperately wanting to have a minimalist home is 1 room. Yep, a single room is driving the need. It happens to be the one I’m in….what is “supposed” to be the master bedroom that is the wardrobe-holding/office. It’s not packed by any means, but even though I spend the majority of my time here, I HATE this room. Many could say, just wait until spring when you’ll be moving b/c of hubby’s job. Nope….can’t stand it, so going through and getting rid of clutter in all parts of the house…because of ONE room. Eh…whatever it takes I guess. 😉

  8. Colleen – i recently discovered your website and what a fabulous resource it is. I decided to read through your posts starting at the beginning and love your take on clutter. We are doing a remodel starting in March and i have to pare down substantially. I am going to print out the list on this post and display it prominently as a reminder to keep myself going. The previous day’s list was great as well.
    One post you did talked about cleaning out your car. I had a printer that my husband wanted to get rid of in my car that had been there for a few months (!), so the day i read that post, i took it to the thrift store. I had “forgotten” about it, though i “saw” it every time i opened up the back of my Subaru wagon. But i didn’t really see it.
    Thank you for so much inspiration. And thanks, too, for being guilt-free!

    • Hi Cynthie and welcome to 365 Less Things. I am so glad you are finding my blog useful in helping you with your decluttering. Thank you also for taking the time to read through the archives. That is a Herculean task these days. Please let me know how repetitive it becomes. I say this because the same aspects of decluttering have been revisited over and over again but I always feel there was a different twist on each subject every time they are rehashed. Once you read through the archives and are focused on the current posts be sure to read the comments as they always add more to the conversation. Different people have different experiences and advice to share.
      Well done finally getting rid of that printer. I have had the odd thing linger longer than they should. I also wish you success with your remodelling, that can be a trying time with so many decisions to make. I got drawers to replace shelves in my kitchen a while back but hiccups and decision making made that small job a bit of a pain so I can only imagine what a big remodel must be like.

  9. Hey Cindy you earned us some link love good for you.

  10. You two deserve every bit of it. You’re awesome. And by the way, my motivation is the calmness and serenity that floods my spirit when I walk into my clean uncluttered home, especially after being away for any length of time or after being in a cluttered atmosphere. Clutter makes me uptight and anxious.

  11. Hi Di,
    I can certainly relate to that!


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