Ask FlyLady: We Need Help with Decluttering

Dear FlyLady,

I’m 65 and husband 70.  Both retired.  Both able to clutter and hoard stuff.  It’s so hard for me to develop and maintain a “habit” for longer than a week or so.  Then I lose interest and motivation.  There’s always a later time when a task can be done.  We’ve learned we like our home when it’s clean and things are organized (well, somewhat organized).  However it’s so hard to maintain motivation.

There’s nothing in your “Routines and Babysteps” that relates to my group who hope to be good flyers!  Yes, I’ve read through the “Stay at Home Parents” which is what I guess retirees are.  It might help me and others like me if you could write some help for us who have no demands on us; who have no set schedules to juggle, i.e., get the kids up and off to school, etc.  Time is so open-ended.

Please help.

Cheers,  Karen

Dear Karen,

So are you saying that since you have so much time on your hand that you can procrastinate and no longer feel the need to take care of things? Retirement is the time that you have been waiting for to enjoy life. “I will do that when I retire” are words many of us have said.

Putting things off only make things harder. We lose our motivation because the job that needs to be done has become overwhelming.  The reason you can’t maintain the motivation to keep decluttering is that you are trying to do too much at one time.

All I recommend is 15 minutes a day: Focus on one area at a time. This means one table; one shelf, one drawer: NOT THE WHOLE ROOM! Take babysteps and you will see the layers of the onion start peeling away. Use fun ways to declutter: 5 Minute Room Rescues and 27 Fling Boogies. Slowly your clutter will go away and you will not be discouraged.

Making things fun is what we do! This is why we use a timer and a colorful Declutter Kit.

Get rid of your clutter so you can enjoy the next phase of your life! Please don’t leave clutter as your legacy.


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