Saturday, April 5, 2008

Ever felt afraid to declutter?

Or felt any kind of apprehension about dealing with your clutter? It’s not a glamorous job and many times we feel that doing it is going to make us feel bad, one way or another.

Looking at the clothes in my closet is just going to make me feel bad for not wearing them, and wasting that money.

If I even think of giving away that gift my Aunt gave me, I will feel so horrible.

I don’t have clutter.

(Everything is stuffed & hidden away in closets and cabinets.)

So, we put the job aside for another day…and another passes, and another.

My best advice is to allow yourself to do it little-by-little so that you don't feel you gave up or lost so much. For example, set up a declutter system. Choose 1 thing from each room or 7 things in one room, etc. Then, do that each week (or each day if you feel that motivated). That way you're not faced with a huge declutter process, i.e. declutter a drawer.

I'm the type that will pull everything out, reminisce about the stuff or somehow get lost in daydreaming about it…I need to replace these bath towels but when can I go? Well tomorrow I have to... and then Friday's no good because....Then I snap back and am in left field because one thought leads to another. I also see the huge mess that I’ve made and feel deflated that I now have to clean it.

If all else fails, remember to start small! Don't have an "all or nothing" attitude. Adopt a babystep...anything I do today is better than yesterday, kind of mentality.

TODAY choose one thing...tomorrow one more…and on and on. Decluttering doesn't have to be "a project" or something to set time aside for; it just has to be started. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. To me, decluttering is about A CHANGE OF PERSPECTIVE OR ATTITUDE more than a project that gets crossed off a "to do" list.

AND...the one thing counts if it was something small, huge, garbage anyways, etc. If you deal with a piece off the desk pile, or table pile, etc. it counts. If it's a holey sock in the laundry that doesn't just get thrown back into the drawer but in the trash (over here they get a new life as a hand glove for cleaning), it counts!

In my experience, and even for others that I know, we have found that decluttering is liberating, a bit addicting and, yes, fun! So much of our responsibility in life feels hard. Doing this one thing that frees our life from visual clutter, mental clutter, etc. is absolutely terrific! Serious.

I dare ya....can you find one thing to declutter today? :-)

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  1. Excellent point about everything counting, big or small. Sometimes we put such silly requirements on ourselves about whether something is good enough. I know I have days when I feel like I 'only' decluttered something tiny... but it all counts and all streamlines our home.

  2. I'm married to a hoarder. The attic, basement, enc back porch, and storage room are all filled with boxes of things he can't let go. They aren't visible in our daily life, but they're "there" and it bothers me. He has saved the baby food jars we used when our children were small because these containers were "nice" (?) and would "be useful for something someday". The baby is now 43, and so far the baby food jars are still lying fallow in the attic. He also saves empty paint cans and old magazines. I'm trying to get him to read your blog and he's trying to give me sixty reasons why he's too busy right now, har, har!


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