Remember how the doctor gave our kids lollipops after administering a shot? Those poor wee ones might have still been scared, but knowing there was a lollipop at the end helped to make the process easier.

Who can forget how we would motivated our children to clean up by promising them a treat: a half hour of television, a cookie, running with scissors. OK, maybe not running with scissors. But, they certainly moved faster to clean up the room than if we just said, “Clean up this room right now. It looks like a hurricane hit it.”

Sometimes it takes more than just the desire to tackle a purge job to “git ‘er done.” The key, I’ve found, is to reward yourself with something small, but satisfying, after tackling a tough task. Surely the regular feelings you feel at the end of the task won’t be enough of an incentive to declutter. A reward helps get you started and the sheer longing for to it serves to ease the pain along the way. And there’s nothing wrong with rewarding ourselves for approaching a dreaded job.

You can make the reward commensurate with the size of the job. This will help you to stay on track. Giving yourself a small reward for having purged your entire house isn’t going to be enough incentive. But, taking baby steps and rewarding yourself with a pedicure after purging an entire room? That would work! And if you do get the entire house done, I’d say go ahead and book that full body massage. Not only will you need it… you’ll also be more than a little deserving of it.

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