I have always been a relatively neat person. Neat…with a lot of stuff.
When I started teaching, I became affectionately known as the “hoarder”…people always came to my room when they needed something because 99% of the time, I had it! I tended to amass a lot of things but lacked the space to house them all. Enter stage left: PILES. My classroom had tons of piles. I knew what was in each and every pile…they just weren’t pretty to look at.
Fast forward to life with littles. Things are no different other than a slight venue change. I’ve still managed to amass a lot of stuff. And I have a major lack of space.
I am surrounded by PILES. Piles of laundry, piles of mail, piles of books and magazines, piles of toys…
I’ve read about how the energy or “chi” of your home becomes stagnant when you have clutter. How decluttering helps the chi to flow. And how living in clutter kind of zaps your own energy. I feel like all of this is so true! When I look around my house lately, a feeling of defeat settles over my soul…and I resign myself to the fact that it looks the way it looks. After all, my #1 priority is raising and spending time with my daughter, right?
Right. But…we still have to live. I must find a balance between time spent with Nugget and maintaining a livable home.
My strategies for clawing my way OUT of a decluttering funk are as follows:
- Pretend my home isn’t mine. Sounds ridiculous but it helps. I am SO good at helping others clean and organize their homes…but I get stuck at my own. Take a step back and try to see things through unbiased eyes. One of my problems is that I’m attached to all of my stuff. I need to literally “let go”.
- Make a list of goals and check them off when I’ve met them. Personally, I feel a great sense of satisfaction whenever I check things off a list.
- Make sure goals are attainable. I am more likely to continue moving through my list of goals if I can check them off one by one quickly. Want to clean out the attic and have a garage sale? That probably won’t happen in a day (or even a week). Want to clear off the dining room table? DONE!
- Choose one goal per day. Especially if you have little littles (like under the age of 2). Let’s be realistic. Between cleaning (a task I consider separate from decluttering) and daily life with littles (cooking, feeding, naps, diapers, spending quality time together), there is little time for much else. BUT…if we can squeeze in 5 or 10 minutes here and there…it can be done. Start small. Today, my goal was to clean out our island storage, after thinking about it for literally, years. (I had vitamins in there from 2013.) After an hour and a half (with diaper changes and snacks and singing in between), Nugget and I got the job done!
- Ask for help. So this bullet point comes with a caveat…only if I want help and am willing to accept it in whatever form it comes in. Asking for help requires a level of letting go…letting go of my pride…acknowledging that I need help. I did this…and it kind of backfired. Let me explain.
I asked a friend for help and she graciously agreed…at the end of the day though, my things had been moved/rearranged/put away in places I could not find or reach and I ended up feeling even more frustrated. I realized that I did not want to give up control over my way of doing things in my own home. And that’s ok! It’ll just take me longer to achieve my goals but they’ll be done my way.
- START! The most important part of getting out of a funk is STARTING the project, be it exercising, studying, or decluttering. Just start somewhere and keep that momentum going.
Today was Day 1 of Project Declutter at the Smith Residence…I shall keep you posted on our progress. 😉
(After you declutter, LOL.)