How To Get Motivated To Clean & Stay Organized

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

What Are the Benefits of Getting Organized?

At the core of all motivation is understanding what benefits or rewards you’ll get from doing an activity. For example, you wouldn’t climb a mountain for no reason at all. You might climb a mountain:

  • To get worthwhile exercise
  • To enjoy the fresh air and see nature
  • For the stellar views at the end of the trail
  • Staying organized means you’ll be on time for social events, your work, and more. That way, you aren’t late very often — or at all.
  • Staying organized also means you won’t forget social meet-ups with your friends or important deadlines for work assignments. This is doubly important for you if you’re still going to school; no professor likes assignments to be turned in late.
  • Staying clean means you can enjoy your apartment or home and invite people over without feeling self-conscious.
  • Keeping a clean living area can do wonders for your mental health. It’s tough to feel motivated to pursue your dreams if your apartment isn’t clean or at least somewhat organized.

Step 1 — Come Up With a Plan

With this six-step process, we’ll focus on motivation at each phase. Technically, you should begin this process by imagining the benefits of organizing or cleaning first. Then proceed to this step.

Step 2 — Include a Deadline

Your next step is to set at least one final deadline for your cleaning project or organizational efforts. The deadline serves a few important purposes:

  • It helps motivate you extrinsically by giving you a countdown for when the work has to be done.
  • It helps you modulate your efforts. With a deadline in place, you’ll expend effort as needed to get the full objective done, not expend a little bit of effort and give up halfway.

Step 3 — Break Up the Work Into Manageable Phases

Speaking of phases, you should break up your massive workload into several achievable phases. Say that you want to organize your bedroom closet. If it’s a huge mess, don’t try to do it all in one day. Instead, break down the work into several phases, like:

  • On day one, you’ll organize all the shoes in your closet
  • On day two, you’ll organize all your pants
  • On day three, you’ll organize all your shirts and jackets
  • On day four, you’ll collect all the clothes you plan to give away

Step 4 — Do the Work

Now all that’s left is to get started! Take your plan into account and get cracking on your cleaning or organizing efforts. As you work, consciously remember the benefits of the job at hand so that you stay motivated. Consider the tips below to streamline your work process or make it more efficient.

Step 5 — Mark Your Progress

As you go along, mark your progress on your plan. It’s a good idea to write your plan in a journal or on a calendar. Each time you complete a phase or objective, you can add a checkmark next to it and feel accomplished even if the work overall still needs to be finished.

Step 6 — Take Time To Review

Treat yourself when the work is done by taking time to review what you’ve done. Pat yourself on the back and bask in your clean room, organized closet, or expertly partitioned calendar.

Tips To Clean and Stay Organized No Matter What

Getting motivated is one thing. Staying motivated is another. If you’re having trouble maintaining motivation in the middle of your cleaning or organizing, keep these tips in mind.

Try the Pomodoro Method

The Pomodoro method is a unique way of tackling major work obstacles. In a nutshell, you set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on a single task for the entire duration. As soon as the timer rings, you give yourself a five-minute break, also timed.

Enlist Help

Some jobs are just too big to do alone. If the going gets tough and you realize you’ll never complete your work before your deadline, try to enlist help from friends or family members. Enlisting help can also be beneficial if you don’t know how to organize or clean something.

Think of Rewards for Yourself

Remember what we said at the beginning of this guide: reward motivation is everything. As you work, be sure to consciously imagine the rewards you’ll gain from cleaning your room or organizing your classwork.


Learning to generate the right motivation to clean, organize, and pursue your goals is a lifelong boon. Motivating yourself is hard, but it’s well worth it in the end. This skill set will benefit you in the workplace, in relationships, and in many other life areas.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


We’re a BIPOC-owned mental health and wellness company. We create expert-driven content specifically designed to help you become 1% better each day.