Every object you own is an item on your to-do-list…
… that is, unless you are completely comfortable living amongst clutter, and aren’t troubled by being late, missing appointments or paying extra fees. But most people aren’t comfortable with this “too much” situation – not in our social environment.
There are various reasons you feel down when you have too much stuff:
- You can’t find things when you need them, so you are constantly purchasing things you know you already have (somewhere)
- Your thoughts are constantly occupied by the clutter and the huge task it will be to conquer it. Your mind becomes preoccupied by it and you can’t focus on anything else. To-do lists should be realistic, not overwhelming.
- You forget things – appointments, payment dates, deadlines – and incur late fees.
- ‘Can’t-have-anybody-over-syndrome’ – you don’t want to have friends or family over because you are too embarrassed to let them see your house. This can be particularly distressing for kids, if they are not able to invite friends over to play.
- Some of the above costs actual money – which you could save if you were better organised. Knowing that can be a huge burden.
So why don’t you ‘just do it’?
”This is going to take forever!” “I don’t know where to start.” “It’s all just too much”
The sense of overwhelm is real. Here are some tips to get you started
Some quick tips on how to start your spring clean:
Overcome mental blocks around dealing with your stuff at home. Don’t overthink it.
- Spring is the perfect time to get going as most of us feel a burst of energy with the change of seasons, and having the entertaining and festive times ahead of us serves as great motivation.
- Take an honest look at your expectations: does perfectionism hold you back? Do you always aspire to organise everything perfectly and then don’t start at all because you know “perfect” isn’t possible? Sometimes good enough IS good enough!
- There is no time like now.
It doesn’t matter where you start – it matters THAT you start!!
Make a declutter game plan
- Start small. Even if the garage is your biggest worry – don’t go there. It’s much more rewarding to declutter a small area in your immediate living environment, get it done and finish it, than to not have enough time and energy to tackle the big things.
- By starting small, you will learn to declutter. Later, you will know how to divide that big task into smaller ones and get it done that way.
- Start with something easy. You’ll be amazed what a difference half an hour of focused organising in a wardrobe makes.
- Don’t be a perfectionist. It’s more important to get it done than to get it done perfectly.
- Organising is a skill that anybody can learn.
You may have some excuses why you shouldn’t start now. Debunk them.
“I can’t do this,” “I don’t have the money”, “I don’t’ have the time.”
- Decluttering is not expensive at all – and by decreasing the number of items you need to store, you spare yourself from having to buy any organising containers or gadgets. No money spent.
- If you can’t find the time to do it, that may be an indication that it’s not important enough to you – which, really, is fine. Not everyone needs to live in a clutter free, organised home – we are all different. There may come a point when enough is enough, and then you will find the time.
Be accountable or get help – you don’t have to do this alone.
- Make a plan and schedule it in your diary – and take those appointments seriously.
- Tell a friend about your mission – having someone else to hold you accountable will make you much more likely to succeed.
- Don’t just shift stuff from one area to another. Be realistic and know that things have to go.
- Hire a Professional Organiser.
Easy hacks to get you started on your spring clean
- It takes 7 ½ minutes to declutter and clean a shelf in the fridge.
- Declutter your handbag and purse when you are waiting for something.
- Sort your email by sender and start deleting your digital clutter while on hold on a phone call.
- Flip your wardrobe from winter to summer NOW. There is no point in wasting valuable ”real estate”, meaning eye-level space, in your wardrobe, with anything you’re not going to wear for the next 6 months.
Easy targets to start decluttering your home
- Sort one toy box
- Sort and chuck cleaning products (laundry and kitchen)
- Sort, chuck, and categorise your medications
- Tidy one bedside table
Please remember: it’s better to get it done imperfectly than not done perfectly.
Start today, tell a friend, enjoy the small wins together.