Accountability and getting shit done go hand in hand.
Without accountability we are lost at sea.
How many times have you walked past the cluttered spare room and thought “I must get onto that”? Then shut the door.
Or shoved aside the piles of paperwork on the dining table and promised yourself you would go through it after dinner – then didn’t.
Or fantasised about clearing out the external storage unit to be rid of the financial burden of all your extra stuff.
It’s one thing to know about your household tasks. It’s another to actually do them.
Accountability and getting shit done
It’s really easy to blame external factors for our lack of decluttering success. Work has been busy, the twins just had a birthday party which saw an influx of stuff, life just … gets in the way.
There is no way to completely eliminate these outside factors and as many of us learned during lockdowns, sometimes they are not the issue at all. We know what to do and we can make time if we have to – we just don’t like doing hard things. Human beings are predictably fallible that way.
Waiting for motivation to strike is an exercise in futility – to get shit done we need accountability. Accountability can be the most important ingredient in decluttering success.
I’m going to list accountability options from most to least available / affordable. Tick them off and see how far you need to go to achieve success.
Self accountability and getting shit done
Some of us are accountable even to ourselves. I find that writing myself a to-do list at night for the next day, works wonders. Just a little sticky note with two or three jobs on it inspires me to listen to my past self, the self that jotted this down last night. “Clean out the cutlery drawer” and “see which op shops are open” are bite-sized jobs that are easy enough to tick off.
Also I love the process of crossing them out and then tossing or deleting the sticky note. It’s a simple decluttering job in itself.
Taking before-and-after photos is a terrific way to keep the accountability momentum going. Share them with your friends. Or just gaze at them adorably later when you have a moment. If you take them from the same angle and distance, you will see how great your results are.
Decluttering is very bloody satisfying, we promise!
Cost: 10 minutes per day in planning, some paper and pen and your phone camera.
Results: Depend how self-accountable you are.
Social accountability and getting shit done
There are some great decluttering Facebook groups to gain support from your decluttering peers. Or your could enlist a friend, your mum, or your partner to help you get cracking on your decluttering to-do list.
Cost: 20 minutes per day gathering your support systems.
Results: Depend on your social group, community, how much you ask and how much they give.
Financial accountability and getting shit done
It can seem silly to pay for something you can, in theory, do on your own. Studying, exercising, learning a language and much more can be done via free YouTube videos. But with no financial commitment they are easy to put off.
The same applies to decluttering and organising your stuff. There are lots of books and reality shows for Inspiration, but shoving your items in the spare room or junk drawer allows you to put it off until later. Paying upfront makes you more likely to follow through.
There are plenty of paid online courses you can do which are self-paced and come with remote support via coaches and peers.
Better still, if you want hands-on assistance AND accountability, The Decluttering Co is great at helping you every step of the way. And if you have tried everything else and are still reading, what are you waiting for?