How One Word Can Motivate You To Toss That Clutter Until It Is All Gone

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Have you tried to declutter your home once and for all only to get about halfway and lose steam? I have a tip to share with you today that just might help you finally toss that clutter until it is all gone.

Toss all that household clutter with the power of one word. Declutter until it is gone this time.


I am sure by now you have seen “one word” quotes or perhaps you have heard of people who have picked “one word” to inspire them throughout the coming year. One word can carry so much meaning for a person that they are willing to tattoo it on their bodies permanently.

Don’t worry–I am not going to ask you to get a tattoo, but I am asking you to pick a word.

How One Word Can Motivate You To Toss That Clutter Until It Is All Gone

Decluttering can take a long time and when goals take a long time, we sometimes get lost. We are not even sure where the finish line is. A single word is an easy way to remember what the finish line will feel like for you.

Take a few minutes to visualize what your home will look like when it is clutter free. Now imagine how it will feel to be standing in your clutter free home. What one word best describes that feeling? That vision is your finish line and that word is your vision prompter.

Yes, it might sound a bit cheesy, but it works. Here is a quote from Live Simply: Declutter Your Environment, Unload Your Mind And Simplify Your Life As Much As You Want that backs this theory up.

” Instead of brewing and stewing over all the clutter you currently have, start visualizing your house as clutter free… This particular rule may take some getting used to. But I have tried it — and it works. After a while you have an image of your house, as it should be, clean and without useless stuff strewn around. And the next thing you know, you’re taking steps –sometimes just baby steps –towards your vision.”

With a word tied to your vision, you have a simple reminder that will help you make tossing clutter a part of your everyday routine.

How One Word Can Motivate You To Toss That Clutter Until It Is All Gone

 A Few Examples Of One Word Quotes That Motivate

A while back I asked my Snail Pacing Clutter Removers Facebook Group to describe in one word how they thought a clutter free home would make them feel. These are the words they shared: open, content, calm, peaceful, free, ecstatic, relieved, liberated, happy,  proud, relaxed, lighter. And then there was the comment that made me laugh–Confused. I would think someone had robbed me and cleaned up. Lol!

How One Word Can Motivate You To Toss That Clutter Until It Is All Gone

Make Your Word Highly Visible

Okay so you don’t have to write your one word quote everywhere, but I do want you to keep it visible in the places you tend to escape to the most when you don’t feel motivated. Perhaps that is the couch in front of the TV? The car that takes you out so you can avoid dealing with the mess? The bedroom where you cuddle up with a good book? The kitchen where you look for snacks to pass the time? Only you know your favorite spots–make your word extremely visible in those areas.

How One Word Can Motivate You To Toss That Clutter Until It Is All Gone

A Few Ideas For How To Display Your Word

The simplest way to post your word is to grab a stack of sticky notes and a pen and write the word you choose on several, then stick them up in all the places you know you like to go to when you want to avoid decluttering.

If you want to do something a bit more permanent, use a cute font in your word processing program or on picmonkey, then print it out on cardstock and frame it. If you don’t want an 8×10 print, you could make a 4×6 print by just placing the frame on top of the word and tracing around it with pencil and then cut it to fit the frame.

For an ever visible yet less permanent option than a body tattoo, you could write the word on your hand in permanent marker before you start your weekly decluttering session. That way each time you struggle with letting an item go you will see the word on your hand and remember that the hard work will be worth it in the end.

Okay, now spill it! In the comment section tell me what your word is. Or better yet click over to Facebook and join my Snail Pace Clutter Removers group and then add your answer to the string of comments I got when I asked the group what their word was.

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10 Ways To Keep Clutter Away For Good: Tips That Really Work!

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Have you been working hard at eliminating clutter? Are you now shifting from tossing clutter to keeping clutter away for good? If so, these 10 ways to keep clutter away for good should help.

Keep household clutter from ever coming back!


These clutter controlling steps are ones I have been using lately to keep my own clutter from growing while I was tossing and now from growing again. The 10 steps are vital for keeping your clutter gone for good!

10 Ways To Keep Clutter Away For Good

1. Make And Keep A Decluttering Routine

Above are five different decluttering routines that can help you to not only make your home clutter free, but to keep it that way. There are more ways; the key is to find the way that works for you and stick with it–even when you don’t feel like it.

2. Open Your Doors

The anticipation of having a guest in our homes tends to make us see building piles of clutter that we might otherwise be blind to. So if you want to keep your home clutter free, invite someone over at least once a month or better yet, twice a month. That way clutter won’t have time to build.

10 Ways To Keep Clutter Away For Good

3. Stay Accountable

You are not the only one out there struggling with clutter, join a facebook group that holds you accountable to keep working at obtaining and keeping a clutter free home. I have one called Snail Pace Clutter Removers and it has some very active and encouraging members. (click here to hop over to Facebook and join)

4. Give Collections Firm Limits

Love books? Put them in a small bookcase and when they start overflowing those shelves sort through them and toss until you have room for at least six books or more in the bookcase. Love knitting? Buy a good sized plastic tote with a lid to store your future projects in a closet and a basket to store your current project close to where you knit and don’t let yourself collect more yarn at one time than what fits in it. Hate going through receipts? place a small bowl or basket near where you tend to throw them and when they start to overflow discipline yourself to take few minutes to go through them, keeping only those you really need. Toss or shred the rest and then file those you kept.

10 Ways To Keep Clutter Away For Good

5. Set A Resale Goal

Some clutter does have significant value and if you are on a tight budget, it can be tough to just give those items away to charity. If you really do need the money from the items you no longer need, then I suggest that you create a reselling plan that works for your life and stick to it.

6. Stop Buying

Yes, I know you can’t stop buying thing altogether. Food gets eaten, clothes wear out, things break–but chances are if you have a clutter problem, you have been buying more items than you really need.

Before you buy anything, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I really need this?
  • Where will I store it?
  • Is something I already own serving the same purpose?
  • Do I have the cash to buy it right now?


  • 10 Ways To Keep Clutter Away For Good

7. Stop Accepting (Most) Free Items

As a blogger who also writes about thrifty topics, I can’t tell you with a clear conscious that you should avoid all free items you are offered. After all, I love my free books from Tyndale Rewards and my free magazines from Recycle Bank. I also find the free samples I acquire from various sources to come in handy.

However, there are some free items you should stop accepting–but only you can decide which ones they are. For me I no longer accept free flyers, brochures, water bottles, plastic cups, and I even turn down the odd free t-shirt. I know that once I get home these free items turn immediately into clutter.

8. Make Rewards Moments, Not Things

If you are the type of person who loves to reward yourself for a job well done, you might want to spend a bit of time thinking about the clutter you are creating with your rewards. Perhaps instead of a new journal you know you won’t really use you could reward yourself with a trip to get your nails done. Perhaps instead of yet another kitchen accessory you could reward yourself with an afternoon of hiking with a friend. Spend sometime brainstorming rewards that won’t create clutter in your home or on your hips and it truly will be a reward instead of something that was in the moment, but soon became a frustration.

10 Ways To Keep Clutter Away For Good

9. Ask Others For Clutter Free Gifts

Another source of clutter for many is gifts from friends and family. If those you love do ask for gift suggestions, steer them toward items that won’t become clutter in your home. Do you love lighting scented candles, but you rarely splurge on them? Add them to your gift list. Have you always wanted to try the local climbing wall but never got around to it? Put a gift certificate to it on your gift list. Do you love a certain coffee, but rarely treat yourself to it? Add it to your gift list.

1o. If It Takes Less Than A Minute To Attack, Do It Right Way

I really struggle with this one, but when I stick to this rule our home’s paper clutter stays fairly tamed. Basically if you see a pile of whatever building somewhere in your home and you know it would take you less than a minute to return the items to their proper places or to recycle or trash them, then stop what you are doing and do it.

Obviously you can’t do this all day long or you would never get to the priorities on your to do list. However, typically there are only a few times during a day that you might see a pile you can knock out in under a minute and my guess is you can make up for those few minutes each day without it getting in the way of completing your main tasks.

How do you keep clutter from piling up?

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I Don’t Iron! Plus 5 More Homemaking Confessions From A Good Enough Homemaker

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If you scroll Pinterest in the homemaking category you would think that in order to be an excellent homemaker you need to have a sparkling home from top to bottom, make all your food from scratch, dress like a superstar, and always, always wear a smile. Confession–I have been a successful homemaker for over 20 years now and I don’t do or have any of the above.

Homemakers you are going to want to read this. Homemaking advice at its best.

My homemaking attitude could be described as “good enough”.  A living room is “clean enough” when you can get to the couch without tripping on something and sit down without having to remove items. A dinner is “good enough” for my family when it contains all four food groups and is served at the dinner table where we are all seated together. An outfit is “presentable enough” when it is free of holes, rips and stains, fits well and makes me feel good about myself.

“Good enough” allows me to spend time on what matters most and be okay with letting what doesn’t slide to acceptable standards. Below are a few example “confessions” of what I mean.

I Don’t Iron! Plus 5 More Homemaking Confessions

1. I Don’t Iron

I own an iron and an ironing board and I have used them on rare occasions–extremely rare. I think the last time I ironed a shirt was back when my now 16 year old son was playing a business man in the church Christmas play and needed to look the part. He was probably nine at the time.

Perhaps I might iron more if my husband had a suit and tie style job, but then again I have seen my hubby use the iron and he is pretty good with it so probably not.

Related  confession: I don’t fold the laundry straight out of the drier to avoid wrinkles either. If something I want to wear  seems too wrinkly to be presentable I simply hang it on a hanger while I have my morning shower. If the steam doesn’t release enough of the wrinkles I put it in the drier for a few minutes then hold the garment by the top and give it a good shake or two. But normally I just buy wrinkle resistant fabrics to begin with so I might have to do this trick perhaps once a month, if that.

2. I Don’t Make My Husband’s Lunch

My husband does pack a lunch for work, but I don’t pack it. Considering I always put leftovers into meal size containers and stock the cupboards with grab and go lunch items I don’t really see the point. I mean I don’t know if he feels more like the leftover  crock-pot beef stew or the leftover simple layered taco pie and in the time it takes me to ask him he could have gone to the fridge himself, grabbed what he wanted and put it in his work bag.

A few of my husband’s  favorite grab and go lunch items:

  • Trail mix sleeves–The ones at ALDI are so inexpensive it is hardly worth me making my own, although I did when the budget was tighter.
  • Cubed cheese–I buy a big block of cheese each week and cut it into bite size pieces that he can grab and place in a sandwich bag for work.
  • Nature’s Bakery Bars–These are two fruit filled type cookies in one sleeve. My husband likes them because he can grab one between work tasks and then go back and grab another later. Making it a great after lunch snack for him.
  • Fresh fruit–I buy whatever fruit is in season and unless it is an apple or an orange I cut it up into bite size pieces and place it in a glass container with a lid. My husband simply places what he wants into a smaller, travel friendly container.

Related confession: While we are on the topic of lunches I haven’t made lunches for my kids since the youngest was old enough to assemble a sandwich and I really don’t remember what age that was–six maybe?

I Don't Iron! Plus 5 More Homemaking Confessions From A Good Enough Homemaker

3. I Rarely See The Bottom Of My Laundry Pile

We always have clean underwear and socks, but 95% of the time we also have at least three loads of dirty laundry in the basement. The way I see it the main goal for a homemaker when it comes to laundry is to make sure that their family always has clean clothes available. My family  always has at least several clean outfits in their closets and and at least one clean pair of underwear in their drawers.

Related confession: We all share socks–as in we have around 20 pairs of identical white socks  and 20 pairs of identical black socks and they are all kept in a wicker box near our family room for people to grab as they need. We all wear the same sock size and neither my daughter nor I are into girlie colored socks and none of my boys care for guys fancy dress socks so no show sport socks for the entire family works.

4. I Make Cleaning Routines, But Rarely Follow Them

I have tried several times to follow a cleaning routine that either I made up or one that was made up for me. I usually manage to follow it for a week or so if it is made up by someone else (another blogger, etc.) and perhaps a month or so if I made it up.

A few years back I just stopped following one altogether and guess what happened? My home got cleaner even though I was doing less housework. Yes, you read that right. My home got cleaner even though I am spending less time cleaning. How?  Instead of following a set list  I simply spend a few minutes each morning walking through my entire home and noting what is visibly dirty that day, then I assign much of the work to my kids.

My kids are 15 and up and always looking to make some spending money and we live in a town where jobs for teenagers and young adults are hard to find. I am always looking for more hours in the day for blogging related tasks. So I use some income my blog creates to hire my kids to do chores so I can blog more and therefore earn more. As a bonus my children are learning how to do every task they need to know to be successful homemakers, including how to manage money. The system seems to be a win-win for everyone.

Related confession: In case you think my home is perfectly clean from top to bottom, you need to know that I am not that picky. Bathrooms and the kitchen are always high on my “must be kept clean” list. The other rooms of the house can stay at “could be picked up and company ready within five to 10 minutes” and I am fine with that.

Homemakers you are going to want to read this. Homemaking advice at its best.

5. I Don’t Spring Clean

I don’t spring clean my home from top to bottom as winter thaws into spring. Instead I Christmas clean. I make up a plan the week of Halloween that will help me catch up areas of clutter and dirt within our home between the day after Halloween and American Thanksgiving. If things have gotten really bad, I will make the plan a little longer, going perhaps until two weeks before Christmas.

I find that I am going to rearrange rooms for the Christmas season anyways to put up our decorations so why not deep clean as I am doing it? Plus, I would rather have my home sparkling clean before winter when I spend all my time in it than in the spring when I am starting to spend way more time outside of it. In spring I clean the porches, put out the patio furniture and replant my flower boxes, but that is as close to spring cleaning as I get.

Related confession: I don’t have an annual or monthly chore list I follow. Have you ever read Martha Stewart magazine? If you have, you might have read her monthly calendar in which she lists household tasks that should be done that month like “time to perform the quarterly wiping of the blinds” or “May is the month to rotate your wardrobe”. I don’t do anything like this. If something looks dirty I clean it, or as I confessed above I assign the kids to clean it. I don’t rotate my wardrobe or my decor (except at Christmas) because quite frankly I don’t have that much clothing, nor do I have seasonal decor items.

6. I LOVE Being A Homemaker

Despite being seen by some as a homemaking slacker I really do love homemaking. In fact I don’t see my “good enough” attitude as slacking at all; I see it as essential because it allows me to do my number one homemaking tasks to the best of my ability–and that is to make my husband and my children feel loved and valued. You see, to feel loved and valued my family needs my 100% presence when they are sharing funny stories about their day, disappointments about their week and frustrations with their current tasks. They need hugs more than drawers full of perfectly folded, straight from the drier laundry. They need eye contact more than they need 100% dust free at all times ceiling fans. They need a fully listening ear more than they need ironed clothing.

What is your BIGGEST homemaking confession? Share it in the comment section!

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