Is motivation the key to managing stuff?

All out of... motivation

All out of… motivation

You might remember I attended ARCVic’s annual seminar recently, and was most interested to hear Dr Chris Mogan speak.

Dr Mogan said there were 4-500K people with hoarding behaviours in Australia.  Hoarding has also recently been listed in the DSM V as a ‘formal disorder’.

Dr Mogan also stated “I would close op shops” (yes, that won’t benefit anyone with collecting and hoarding behaviours!)
“reducing harm is important” but that “motivation is key.”

I was reminded of how important motivation is when I received this lovely feedback from an audience member at one of my talks last week:

Hi Lissanne

I just have to email to let you know how much I enjoyed your session in Geelong on Thursday night.
I wanted to start as soon as I got home but had to get to bed (work the next day) however my head was spinning all night with what I would put where and what I would ditch and where I would start…….
I also put the light on again and had another read of your book.
My eyes were hanging out of my head on Friday morning.
So Friday I flew home from work ….was going out at pm set myself 10 minute time frame but it ended up being an hour and was very pleased with my efforts and heaps STRAIGHT into the bin and pile for op shop and pile for the kids.
I have been at it again today – I used to do some folk art……. I picked up the container of paints which I probably haven’t used for at least 15 years ..straight into the bin.  
Picked up a folder with patterns for all sorts of STUFF that yes I will never be doing and had your voice in my head saying if you need to make it you can get it on the net… another folder I picked up I said to it “I don’t even know whats in you that’s how important you are, sorry you have to go”.
I am so pleased and I stuck with following a plan and not trying to do to much and be overwhelmed by it.
Anyway onwards and upwards and thanks again.
What do you think?  What motivates you (or doesn’t motivate you) to deal with your stuff? It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself to have hoarding behaviours or not – we all have too much stuff – me included (I’m just more practiced at managing it!).
What motivates me is that I want to have control over my stuff, not it having control over me!

10 responses to “Is motivation the key to managing stuff?

  1. Yes. I hadn’t opened the spare room door for ten years, more or less. It felt quite freeing to realise that I could throw out the boxes of bits and bobs without looking through then, because if I had not used it in ten years, I didn’t need it? I want to use the spare room for a sewing room, not the dining room table. That is a big motivation. Though I do have to feel well to tackle it a little at a time.

  2. I agree on the need for motivation. I go through fits and spurts in terms of my organizing. When I am on a roll I am ruthless and get rid of stuff.

    I don’t know how he justifies saying op shops should close. Yes, there may be some people with hoarding behaviours that shop there but there are many others who are on a tight budget, want something a bit different, etc. I know that I would develop hoarding behaviours if there were no op shops – where would I get rid of the stuff that I no longer need but is still of use to someone else?

  3. Little things motivate me – the day I finally say “must get rid of that” and mean it; someone turning up to buy something I have for sale, which motivates me to find other stuff to send out the door; tripping over something once too often; running out of clothes hangers; remembering what the place was like when I took it over and not wanting it to get that way ever again; dusting the ornaments on the sideboard once too many times.

  4. I find I must sidle up to motivation. I trick myself into just doing it rather than thinking about it and it works for most things. However for larger projects and longer to do lists, I write it down and then tell someone as I am more likely to do it if I know I will be asked about it later.

  5. Motivation is great, but I also found the best thing, when my children were young, was the family holiday that I absented myself from. Stayed home for a week, and after two of three days of uninterrupted time, had the spare room done, the old files sorted, and was then free to go out and enjoy the movies with friends. The family merry-go-round just hadn’t left much room for a clear head.

    • That’s clever! At first I thought, oh, you’re missing out (on the holiday) and then I thought, bloody brilliant that you’re not *working* on the family holiday – after all, travel has it’s own work, particularly with young kids. Thanks for sharing, Karen!

  6. I think the best way to get motivated is to clean up one room that isn’t overwhelming, this acts as a fantastic motivator to get started on the rest of the house because you just can’t substitute that amazing feeling of a clean and decluttered house that only has useful and beautiful things in it that you use regularly and have their place in your home.

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