How to Enjoy Life and Still Make Progress Decluttering

How to Enjoy Life and Still Make Progress Decluttering
If you are in the beginning or middle stages of your clutter-clearing journey, it can seem like clutter is more “in your face” now than it was before you started getting rid of it.
And it’s very hard to take time out to enjoy life and live a little when you’re so determined to simplify. It’s also difficult not to hold yourself to extremely high standards in your efforts to declutter (perfectionism rears it’s ugly head!) and when results aren’t evident right away, instead of celebrating successes, we tend to reprimand ourselves for not doing enough.
For each decluttering victory you have, it’s important to acknowledge it and reward yourself.
If your tendency is to use these items as a form of procrastination, flip it around so that instead, use these fun suggestions as rewards.
Here is a bit of encouragement to let go of any perfectionism that might be sneaking in. Try to include a little extra self-care and some fun.

Rest, Recuperate, and Have a Little Fun

Some simple ideas to get you started:

  1. Read a book. Escape in a good book. If you borrow from the library or borrow from a friend, you won’t have to spend any money or have clutter sitting around when you’re done with it.
  2. Watch a movie. How about a sentimental movie by yourself or with a friend? Maybe a romantic comedy or action-packed classic with your husband, or have a family movie night. If budget isn’t an issue, go to the theater and enjoy the experience.
  3. Play cards or a board game. Have friends over for a game night or play games with the family. Even little ones love playing games: an intense game of Go Fish will make their day.
  4. Treat yourself to a special beverage. While you’re out grocery shopping, splurge for your favorite tea or latte and enjoy.
  5. Cuddle up by a fire. If you have a fireplace, make use of it. Get cozy and enjoy the warmth.
  6. Turn on some music. Make necessary routine chores less of a drudgery with some music. Dancing around the living room or kitchen, anyone?
  7. Squeeze in a date night. If you are on a tight budget, go out for appetizers and drinks, or dessert and coffee instead of dinner. No babysitter? Put on a movie for the kids and have a date night at home.
  8. Meet a friend for tea or coffee. It’s a bonus if you can time it around your grocery shopping and make it less of a chore.
  9. Call an old friend. Nothing lifts the spirits and soothes like a good chat with a forever friend that you haven’t talked to in a long time.
  10. Take a nap. Yes, a nap. Give yourself permission to rest.
  11. Sleep in. Yes. Again, rest is a good thing.
  12. Take a bubble bath. Adding some lavender bath salts can make it even more relaxing.
  13. Have an impromptu potluck. Forget perfection and enjoy some time with friends or extended family.
  14. Make a fort with blankets. A tent made of blankets can be hours of fun for the kids, albeit messy. Get in with them, at least for a few minutes, and read a book in the tent. They will love it.
  15. Color or paint. Nurturing the creative side is very calming. Adult coloring books are hitting store shelves for a reason. When was the last time you colored or painted?
  16. Knit, crochet, or sew. This is also a very calming activity. If you enjoy this creative pastime, take some time and finish a project you’ve been putting off.
  17. Get crafty with the kids. Find a simple paper craft for the season and decorate the windows. Little ones will love it, and even teens will impress with their designs.
  18. Have fun in the kitchen. Do a “food craft.” Bake cookies, and let the kids decorate. Imperfectly.
  19. Eat breakfast in bed. Surprise someone you love with breakfast in bed. Make some for you too!
  20. Have some fun outdoors. When was the last time you played in the snow, instead of grumbled about it? Jump in the fall leaves, run through the sprinkler in the summer. Your kids will never forget.

When you look at this list, don’t waste any time on guilt or shoulds. You know, thoughts like, “I should read more to the kids,” “we should have game nights more often,” or “we never bake cookies together.”
We’re all different; we have different interests and strengths. If these ideas don’t strike you, what does sound fun and enjoyable? Do that instead. Whatever it is make it a point to carve out some time for you and your family.

About Rachel Jones

Hi there! I’m Rachel Jones, and I founded Nourishing Minimalism in 2012 at the beginning of my minimalist journey. If you're looking for encouragement in your journey, I created a FREE Facebook Group - feel free to join me there: Nourishing Minimalism Facebook Group and I share videos each week on YouTube


  1. Karla on 01/10/2017 at 5:53 pm

    The nearest movie theater and shopping destination is a 70-mile drive, but the woods are all around us. When I need an escape from the house, I take my 14 year-old daughter and we go geocaching. We have a lot of fun together and both of us are tired but smiling when the day is over. I can get back to business feeling refreshed.

    • Rachel on 01/12/2017 at 5:08 pm

      That’s awesome! I haven’t done any geocaching before, but I think my kids would really enjoy it.

  2. Tracy Grauer on 01/10/2017 at 6:09 pm

    i enjoy time creating in my craft room. i do paper crafting/scrapbooking. making little things for others energizes me.

    • Rachel on 01/12/2017 at 5:08 pm

      That’s great Tracy!

  3. Beverly on 01/10/2017 at 8:00 pm

    I just lost my comment because of my internet connection, so I’ll have to start over. I love to read. I have a NookColor and can read for hours. I am working on the Mediterrarean Diet. I love to sew and craft, but my craft room is a mess. I like to color in adult coloring books, Zentagling, playing board games, and putting jigsaw puzzles together. I want to go camping. My husband doesn’t want to do any of these activities. He just nags me about all the clutter and mess. I have Stiff Person Syndrome with parkinsonism. I have been saving money for an adult recumbent tricycle and should be able to purchase it this spring. My balance is poor because of my SPS. My cousin has MS. She travels and told me about transformer scooters. I went to the website and discovered that they make a wheelchair that is powered by lithuim batteries and can fold up as small as carry-on. I have a wheelchair that can be taken apart and is powered by E-motion batteries. I have to use my arms to propell it. I need $7000.oo to upgrade it to lithuim batteries. I am still able to drive. I drive a diseil-fueled, 2001, standard transmission, WV Beetle. It’s a good car. I have three dogs; a Sheltie, Maggie, a yorkie mix, Pebbles, and a Chinese Crested: hairless, Kokpelli, who is deaf in one ear. I have two birds; a parakeet, harmony, and a cockatiel, Buddha. I groom all of my dogs, except Pebbles. Her father was a mix of shih tzu and Poodle mix, so I take her to a groomer. Buddha is so personable. He “cat whistles” and I respond with “cuckoo” or “sexy”. He even makes kissing noises. I need to down-size the items I know longer use. I want to get rid of stuff we don’t use, so that the task will be done when we are able. I have a living will. I also have my paternatal grandma’s treadle wheel sewing machine. I love it. I love music and have a vast collection of musical instruments that I want to learn to play. I’m keeping my Kitchen-aid mixer because I plan on making homemade bread. We have 15 years of clutter, lots we don’t use anymore. When my husband worked, he’d sneaked items in the house. I believe he’s a hoarder. I’m not afraid of getting rid of items. In fact, sometimes I think that I should be getting rid of more. I plan to go back over my house after I have made the first purging.

  4. Dianne on 01/11/2017 at 12:16 pm

    Thank you for this reminder to take care of ourselves. Good ideas, everyone.

  5. Dawn Reser on 01/12/2017 at 10:28 pm

    I read, color, do puzzle books, or craft for me.
    Jan 12. At 900 items cleared from my home in the 2017 in 2017 challenge.

    • Rachel on 01/17/2017 at 8:13 pm

      Awesome job Dawn!!

  6. Melanie on 01/19/2017 at 6:36 pm

    Great Post, Thanks for these nice Tips. I’d love to have breakfast in BED for a change.. I’m super tidy so, So it’s out of question. I feel like I’m Stuck in my decluttering process.. I still have items i want to sell (quickly), since they’re sitting around, in my room.. But selling is a long and annoying process and right now I don’t feel like throwing any more stuff out..
    2017 is gonna be a good year for me, i am sure. I hope you’re doing well too.
    Take your own Tips to Heart and Rest! 🙂

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