How to maintain focus when you are decluttering

clutter busting bootcamp decluttering tips free-advice Jul 18, 2021
The word

Something I hear time and again when coaching my online clients is that they struggle to stay focused on the task at hand. Whether they’re organising their pantry, or decluttering the linen closet, or working through the cupboard of doom under the stairs, it is really common to become distracted by literally anything and everything in their home! Not only does this make for an unnecessarily time-consuming experience, it can also be pretty demotivating. So let’s look at ways that we can rewrite that story, shall we!?

My top tips to maintain your focus when decluttering - and why they are important

Set yourself up for success

Before you start your decluttering mission, you’ve got a few admin tasks to take care of. Here’s a quick checklist of things to do before you start your project:

  • Fill your water bottle.

  • Gather together a few different bags and boxes to put things into. Depending on what your project is, you’ll probably need a rubbish bag, a recycling bag, a donating bag, a selling bag, and also an “Action Box”. (More about this later in the blog!)

  • Put on some background noise - try some fun, upbeat music, a podcast or an audio book.

Work one room at a time

As tempting as it can be to whiz through several rooms like a tornado, this is a one way to really quickly lose focus. Think of it this way; every time you leave the room you’re decluttering in, you’re welcoming in opportunities for distraction. You might notice that a plant needs watering, or the washing needs to be tackled, or the dishes need to be done (these are just a few examples!) - and every time you take care of one of those tasks, you’re not only eating into your decluttering time, you’re also sending your brain in a different direction. It’s a bit like when you’re trying to read a book, and someone keeps interrupting you. Every time you turn back to your book, you have to find your place again - it’s irritating, to say the least.

Because you have already filled your water bottle and gathered your boxes/bags for your unwanted items, you’ve already eliminated several reasons to leave the room. Woohoo!

Break the room up into zones

Decluttering a whole room can be overwhelming - when something feels hard, we resist. So we want to do everything we can to simplify. By breaking a room down into chunks, when it feels a bit hard we can tell ourselves “I’ll just finish this shelf”, or “Once I’ve done this drawer I can take a break”.

Focus on the easy wins

Especially when we are first starting out, we want to avoid anything that is tricky. So if you find yourself lingering over a decision, simply set the item aside and move onto an easier decision. Process the items that are an immediate yes or no, and you’ll find yourself moving through your project very quickly. Leave the tough decisions until the end - by then you’ll have found your rhythm, you’ll be feeling more confident, and you may find that miraculously a decision comes more quickly this time.

Utilise the Action Box

Often when we’re decluttering a room, we’ll come across things that don’t belong. Kid’s clothes in the playroom, a packet of peanuts in the lounge, toilet paper in the bedroom … you get the picture! Remember at the beginning of this blog we set the goal to stay in the room? Well everything you find that doesn’t belong in the space is going to try and tempt you OUT of the room. No deal! Instead, employ an empty box or container to be your “Action box”. Put it by the door of the room, and add anything in there that belongs elsewhere in your home. At the end of the session, pick up the Action Box and carry it round the home as you return things to where they belong.


You now have some simple strategies to help you stay focused while you’re decluttering your home. If you’d like to amplify your decluttering efforts and take your results to the next level, consider Clutter Busting Bootcamp. Another round is starting soon - if you want amazing results in a short timeframe, you need to check it out!

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