Need motivation? Send an invitation

One of the most fun ways to motivate yourself to unclutter your home and/or office is to invite someone to visit. Whether you decide to throw a party or just ask your cousin over for tea, it’s nice to have a reward for getting your space into shape.

During the fall and winter, I often nest. Stuff comes into my house, but it’s difficult for me to get equal amounts of stuff out of it. My solution is to throw a holiday wine and cheese party every year. I have to clean out the refrigerator to make space for the hors d’oeuvres, I purge all the clutter in the house, and I make sure that everything I own has a “home.” I also call in a service a few days in advance to help me get all of the nooks and crannies that usually get overlooked a good cleaning. Then, after all of my hard work, I get to celebrate my orderly space with my friends.

When I worked in a traditional office, I would set up a meeting time with my boss and invite him/her to my space. The day before the meeting I would dust, go through what was on my bulletin boards, and get my office into its best state. Sure, my boss came by my office every day, but he/she didn’t usually spend more than a few seconds relaying information to me. The sit-down meetings were motivation to really improve my office.

If you’re looking for a push to get you uncluttering and organizing, check your calendar and send an invitation.

22 Comments for “Need motivation? Send an invitation”

  1. posted by Imelda on

    Nice idea. My excuse this month to clean is my housemate is moving out at the end of the month, so I’m using that as an excuse to do some serious cleaning – at least in the common areas.

    I’m getting rid of the sofas (they’re super bad) and other random stuff that was left over from previous tenants. It’ll be nice to start over on a clean slate and get rid of things that are just taking us space.

  2. posted by J.P. on

    This is an excellent point, but it has a dark side as well. My wife and I have a group over every Tuesday night for a Bible study and while it does tend to keep us on top of dishes and general straightening, on busy weeks it can also lead to grabbing piles of stuff and shoving them into our office, thus creating more unorganized clutter than we had before. Just a little word of warning about a generally great motivational tool.

  3. posted by Diann @ The thrifty Groove on

    I try to keep in mind the whole idea of “company can stop by at anytime” mentality. Sometimes it works, sometimes no so much. LOL But, I do agree, this seems to be the best motivator to get things cleaned up.

    On that note, I guess I should go do some cleaning! LOL

  4. posted by Jessiejack on

    The absolute best my home ever looked for cleanliness and organization was when my mom and dad flew in to Florida to “see the house for the first time” though we had lived there for 2 years. I cleaned and decluttered the entire house–every drawer, every cabinet even the garage. It was ready for major mom inspection! They came, they saw, they complimented but my mom never did want to check out the cabinet beneath the master bath sink or my underwear drawer. She actually acted like any other normal visitor! the house is not as perfect as it was that day but I feel pretty comfortable about company looking any where except–don’t go near the office closet!!

  5. posted by Jessiejack on

    PS It took me three weeks of prep time

  6. posted by Michele on

    I think this is a great strategy for motivation!

  7. posted by Karen on

    I love it, funny because it’s true.

    I recently cleaned the basement up because I was having some work done on the house and they would need to be down there. I forgot that the dump was closed because of Labor Day, so ended up with a pile of trash in the garage, where they set up their table saw…I can’t win!

  8. posted by knitwych on

    This rarely if ever works out in a positive way for me. More often than not, it leads to the grab, stack ‘n stash reaction(as J.P. pointed out), which is why my garage is a [email protected] place filled with stashed stuff. It also doubles the stress. First, there’s the stress of getting everything tidied up and out of sight, and then there’s the post-visit “Where did I put X???” stress.

    Of course, I could just be if a foul mood about guests right now. We’re having guests tomorrow (NOT *MY* IDEA!!), I’ve had no time to do anything all week, and I’m sick as a dog today – spiking fevers around 102. Bleh.

  9. posted by The Everyday Minimalist on

    Definitely an excellent idea to kick your butt into gear.

    I cleaned the bathroom, vacuumed and organized the little areas of the apartment just because we had friends coming over.

  10. posted by Another Deb on

    I guess this is similar to any deadline. I have to get things graded becuse progress reports are due, or parents night is coming up so I have to get the room in order. External “peer pressure” works well for some things, but it adds to my stress.

    I love cleaning before going on a trip. That way I can come home to a clean house. Also, my desk is always empty before I leave school for the day so I can start fresh the next. At home, not so much!

  11. posted by OXM on

    I guess that’s not for everyone, but I like asking people to help me organize. It’s just a fun way of spending time with friends (as long as the work is not too hard).

  12. posted by Sarah G on

    Having guests for lunch today inspired us to pack away summer jackets and shoes that had been cluttering up the entrance area, so that was good. However, we have ended up with lots of bottles of beer that we don’t like, as we find our guests always bring way more than they intend to drink. We’ll have to save them for our next visit somewhere, but as we have small children we don’t get out much so will need to find storage somewhere.

  13. posted by brittany on

    Oh, Erin – you can come to my house for a “jumbo shocktail party” anytime!

  14. posted by Minimalism Blog on

    Great idea!

  15. posted by Dee on

    This is such a great idea and so true!

  16. posted by Vanessa on

    This is how my boyfriend gets me to clean. I’m super messy (and lazy, I admit it), and our small apartment is cluttered and messy 90% of the time. So when it starts getting really bad, my boyfriend invites a friend or two over for dinner. That sure gets me moving! I hate when people SEE my mess, so I clean and organize like a madman until they arrive.

  17. posted by Use Regular Invitations to Keep a Messy Space Clean [Supercharged Workspace] · TechBlogger on

    […] opinions, especially the picky ones, to overcome our own worst let-it-ride instincts. Need motivation? Send an invitation […]

  18. posted by Use Regular Invitations to Keep a Messy Space Clean [Supercharged Workspace] | Key To Eden on

    […] opinions, especially the picky ones, to overcome our own worst let-it-ride instincts. Need motivation? Send an invitation […]

  19. posted by Anita on

    This was my strategy through my teen years. I had no problem being in my messy room, but I’ve been brought up with the stigma that people shouldn’t *see* your mess, so my room became spotless whenever company was coming.

    The problem with that, of course, was that when company showed up either unannounced or with very short notice everything got shoved in the closet. Nowadays I try to always keep my place company-ready. Which basically means everything looks clean and neat on the outside, but some of my drawers are still a disaster. And since most guests won’t go snooping around in there, I need a different kind of motivation to deal with that… which I’m hoping to find, some time soon! 🙂

  20. posted by Kate on

    We are in the process of doing a major cleaning for parents coming to visit in a few weeks. We have not had visitors in a LONG time because we do not keep our place particularly neat, plus I am very self concious about anybody seeing ANY mess. We have decided that after the parents’ visit, we are going to make much more of an effort to keep up the neat and organized home so that we don’t have to do a complete overhaul everytime someone wants to come over (or us make excuses why they can’t come over) plus I am going to have to get a little less crazy about people seeing our lived-in home… I want things to be neat and straightened up, but things don’t have to be PERFECT!

  21. posted by chacha1 on

    This works SO WELL for me, but like Anita I try to keep up with it.

    My husband and I both sometimes have clients at home (he does physical therapy/personal training and I do dance lessons/personal training).

    Neither of us necessarily knows which evening the house might need to be clean enough for someone to get down on the floor, so surface clutter is always under control, cat-fur tumbleweeds are adequately corralled, and the “guest” bath is always decent. But motivation to dust the tops of the bookcases, etc., comes from setting up a dinner party.

  22. posted by Use Regular Invitations To Keep A Messy Space Clean | Lifehacker Australia on

    […] Need motivation? Send an invitation [Unclutterer] Tagged:cleaningclutterhousehold […]

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