If you go into any of the discount stores you will find 3 things:
- tax preparation stuff
- Valentine’s stuff
- Organizing totes and tubs
I have several small plastic storage containers from when my kids were younger. larger than a shoe box by about double. I suffer from stuffitis. My house is overflowing with stuff. Kid’s stuff, husband stuff, my stuff – it’s coming out my ears. Hence the reason for goal number 1. The dilemma is not whether to get rid of stuff, it’s a matter of I can’t stand it anymore and it’s got to go. My dilemma is where to begin. Do I start with the coat closet? A small little area that would give a sense of accomplishment, or do I begin with the kitchen, the place where everyone gathers. While sipping a cup of Earl Grey, I pondered what plan of attack I should use. After the second cup I decided that I would do one room per month. But which room to start with? I wrote each room down the side of a piece of scrap paper and numbered them then asked the kids to pick a number. It may sound silly, but it gives me a plan of attack. In the process of this organizing and decluttering I’ll get our house ready for sale to move as well. Planning ahead for when my youngest graduates high school, it will be a good time to move. I can write from anywhere in the world, right? I can also do my job from anywhere within the state. If we don’t move, then at least my house will be in order. One thing can be certain about making plans – inevitably there will be things to derail you and keep you from being able to follow through on the plan. Right, so taking this into account at the beginning is why, when you don’t achieve a particular goal you don’t beat yourself up over it. In the past I’ve done that very thing, bat myself up over not accomplishing the task that I had determined to do. But as it happened on the particular day that I decided to tackle project x, I got a call from school to get my daughter that was sick, and of course stop at the gas station to get some 7Up, and then the afternoon errands didn’t get accomplished and in the end nothing was accomplished. Getting upset with myself helped a lot now didn’t it? Life is too short to beat ourselves up over things that we cannot change or control. I found a plaque that a friend gave me years ago of the Serenity prayer. If you are not familiar with it, it makes a lot of sense. If we focus on the parts that we do have control over and can change, and spend less time stressing over the parts that we can’t change we will all be much happier and content. Life deals us some pretty rough hands at times, it’s up to us whether we play them or fold. Sometimes they are so terrible you just have to laugh and say GO FISH! Clutter in the home is often indicative of procrastination. Procrastination is often associated with being overwhelmed – I can’t deal with that now. Soon, it becomes a habit to ignore and not deal with the accumulated stuff whether it be junk mail, books, or “stuff” purchased on impulse. We fall into the pattern, into a rut of existing in the status quo even though we don’t like the state of our existence. We walk past the stack of junk mail and think ” I need to deal with that” then sigh and think ” not now”. By not dealing with it, we find less energy to deal with it, and eventually it becomes overwhelming. Do you think that the hoarders on those shows started out as hoarders? They quite obviously can’t deal with the stuff in their houses. I know there’s a psychological disconnect somewhere along the lines, but I can’t let it go that long. Things pile up and then I start to feel choked by the clutter and I know it’s time. Time to tackle those undesirable tasks, time to take care of the accumulation of stuff and time to remind myself to reduce my carbon footprint. My home will never be museum or show house clean, we live here. It gets messy. The carpet has stains, the walls need paint, and the blinds need to be replaced. I have suddenly become acutely aware of every article that is out-of-place, or piled in a stack to deal with. I’m aware of the repair that needs to be done in every room of the house. I’m keenly aware to not purchase anything on impulse. What I am not aware of however, is where this cognizance goes while in the cluttering stage. The part where it accumulates, what part of my mind shuts down to ignore it? I’m aware that last week, the stack of papers in my deal with it later pile had grown to about 4 inches thick and that I shrugged and decided to put it off for yet another day. What triggers the switch? What part of my brain kicked in and why wasn’t it active last week when I didn’t care? OK, well to be fair let’s go back two weeks as last week I had the flu and I really didn’t care about much of anything. My goal is a comfortable state of livability. It won’t be sterile, it won’t be cluttered. Improving the environment around you helps your mood, clutter gives a sense of stress where noncluttered gives a sense of calm relaxation. I’m looking to reduce the biggest clutter producer there is in my house – stress. Less stress in all our lives! What are you doing to reduce your stress? Write on my friends, and be stress free!