Often when I talk to people about home organization or de-cluttering they will indicate that there is just too much stuff to attend to. They seem to have slotted themselves into the “too far gone,” “not worth the effort,” or “way passed saving” categories. What I have come to realize is that they think that this daunting situation that has taken years, if not decades, to develop, has to be tackled in one fell swoop. This is just not true.
Let it be said here and now that the one fell swoop technique is not the only way. Granted, it may work for some, but for many it does not. Guess what? That is perfectly okay!
Actually, I am a big advocate of the slow and steady method. You could compare it to weight loss. Losing weight in a slow and steady manner makes each pound seem attainable and thereby sustainable. Do it too fast and the rates of rebounding are off the charts. Organizing and de-cluttering too much too fast can lead to filling those newly cleared areas with more stuff in order to treat the shock and sense of loss than can often come with a big purge.
A term that I like to use when approaching this subject is “persistent effort.” To me this means that you accept that the task is hard, you will fail along the way, but being persistent despite all of the setbacks will get you there. I smoked for 16 years and started making attempts to quit 2 years in. That's where I learned about persistent effort. It took fourteen years of trying and failing, but still I persisted. I tried cold turkey, trickle down, pharmaceuticals, patches, gum, and laser therapy. Despite being skeptical, I finally ponied up the $250 and tried laser therapy. To my surprise it worked, I haven't had a smoke in four and a half years. The fact that I kept trying and never gave up on myself got me there. This can happen with organizing and de-cluttering. Some days you'll win and some days you'll lose. Forgive your loses. Pick yourself up and brush off the dirt. Celebrate the successes!
So what does this persistent effort and slow and steady look like in action? Here are a few Ideas to get you brainstorming:
1) That thing that your are about to throw on the floor, table, in a pile...STOP! Put it where it belongs (More on everything needs a home in the next blog). Clean a drawer, a shelf or the table.
2) Do you have that thing? you know that thing. It is forever in your way and you move it more times than you care to count. Give it a home or answer the question, “does it even have a place in this house?”
3)Feeling a little more confident? Want to tackle something a bit bigger? How about a closet, a pantry, or even a shed? Just remember...you own your house, it doesn't own you.
Does this still seem too daunting? Call Free Time Manufacturing Inc. if you want to start taking steps to organize and declutter. We can do a few hours a week to completion. Another strategy is to start with the smaller spaces and work our way up. Whichever way you are most comfortable with. Let's achieve your goal together!