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Why It's Easier to Help a Friend Organize Than to Tackle Your Own Clutter (and How to Beat Decision Fatigue)

bedroom brain closet declutter psychology May 19, 2024

Ever notice how it's way easier to help a friend organize their house than to deal with your own mess? That's decision fatigue at play. But don’t worry, I've got some practical tips to help you power through those tasks at home!

What is Decision Fatigue?

Decision fatigue is when making too many choices wears down your mental energy. By the end of the day, even simple decisions, like which Tupperware lids to keep, feel overwhelming. It's like your brain just wants to shut down and avoid making any more choices.

Why Helping a Friend is Easier

When you help a friend organize, you don’t face the same emotional attachments or endless options that you do with your own stuff. It’s easier to see things clearly and make decisions quickly because you’re not emotionally invested in their items. Plus, it's fun and social!

Meg's tips to beat decision fatigue at home

1. Start small: Instead of tackling the whole house, focus on a tiny area. This could be a single drawer or a specific shelf. Small wins build momentum.

2. Set a timer: Give yourself a set amount of time to make decisions. Try the 15-minute rule—work for 15 minutes, then take a break. This keeps you from feeling overwhelmed.

3. Limit your choices: Reduce the number of options. For example, only keep Tupperware that has a matching lid. Simplifying choices makes decisions easier.

4. Make a list: Write down what needs to be done and prioritize. Checking off tasks gives a sense of accomplishment and keeps you focused.

5. Use the 3-Box method: Label three boxes as "Keep," "Donate," and "Trash." This helps you quickly categorize items without overthinking.

6. Take breaks: Decision fatigue gets worse when you're tired. Take regular breaks to recharge your mind. A short walk or a cup of tea can work wonders.

7. Ask for help: Sometimes, having a friend or family member there can make a big difference. They can offer a fresh perspective and keep you motivated.

8. Celebrate small wins: Celebrate each small accomplishment. Whether it's clearing off a table or organizing a drawer, recognize and reward your efforts.

By understanding decision fatigue and using these practical steps, you can make the process of organizing your own home less daunting and more manageable. Remember, it's about progress, not perfection! Happy organizing!


Read through all of the steps above. Then start organizing an area of your home. Scroll down for products to help you get the job done!
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