It's in the corner. Over there. Buried under the mountain of clutter. The mail you innocently tossed on the table in your hallway. You meant to read it but were too busy at that moment. No matter, you could read it later. But then dinner had to be made, laundry had to be done, lunches needed to be made for the next day. You said you'll read it tomorrow.
Tomorrow came, and so did the mail, just like yesterday. More junk mail, a magazine, and the newspaper. You tossed it on yesterday's mail and said you'd read it later...maybe tomorrow.
After many tomorrows, the pile grew so high that mail was falling off and your floor became an innocent victim of clutter. You grabbed three bags from the pile of plastic bags that had amassed in the kitchen, and told yourself you would organize the untamed mountain of paper that had accumulated on your table. One bag for garbage, one bag for items to be shredded, and one bag for mail that needed to be dealt with. Yes! You were on your way to organizing the ever growing mountain of mayhem on your hall table.
Then the knock on the door came. In one swift moment you grabbed the three half-full bags, tossed them into the large cardboard box your new microwave came in, and shoved it over to the far corner where prying (judging?) eyes wouldn't see it. Now there was a place to put 'stuff' you would deal with later. So the pile in the corner grew, and grew. Used wrapping paper along with sales receipts, shopping bags and shoe boxes were all tossed into the box, until the box itself was overflowing. Time to start a new box.
Don't forget about all that clothes strewn around your bedroom that you haven't had time to deal with. Or the dirty dishes that have been accumulating on your kitchen counter that you will do 'tomorrow'.
Without realizing it, and certainly without meaning to, your once innocent clutter had turned into chaos. Where do you start? How do you begin? Panic set in. You couldn't breathe. It was all too overwhelming. Does any of this sound familiar?
The most common reason we become overwhelmed is because we simply don't know where to begin. Maybe you keep telling yourself that you waiting for the right time. It could be that you have a fear of letting go. Perhaps you think you may need it some day, or, someone else may need it.
Instead of looking at the big picture and being overwhelmed by everything that has to be done, break it down into small, manageable pieces. Is there a particular area that is bothering you more than another area? Start there. Clean a counter. Organize a kitchen drawer. Declutter your table. That pile in the corner. Pick one area and stick to it. You can start in the kitchen with the goal of cleaning the table. The next day you can choose one cupboard, and so on. Don't overwhelm yourself by thinking big picture; focus on accomplishing one task at a time. If you get discouraged, go back to the area(s) you've already decluttered. It will give you the extra boost you need to stay focused on your goal.
In order to keep the clutter under control, ask yourself how things got so out of control in the first place. If you don't identify how you got here, how are you to prevent it from happening again? Is it a time management problem? Is it an issue with your family not helping? Could it be a sign of depression? You need to have an honest discussion with yourself and if need be, with your family and/or doctor.
Most of us enjoy our personal comfort zone and resist the temptation to change, however, if you want to be a clutter buster you are going to have to start new habits, use new organizational practices, and create new household routines. If you don't change your mindset, nothing else will change.
As basic as it sounds, schedule 15 minutes a day to declutter. Again, don't overwhelm yourself. After a couple of weeks, you can change things up a bit by scheduling 30 minutes every other day. Find something that works for you and stick to it. You can set up a reward system for yourself when you accomplish your week(s) of decluttering. What would your treat be? Mine would be a beautiful candle for my bedroom!
To give you a little help in getting started, I've included my favourite list of questions to ask yourself:
If you need us to give you a hand, don't hesitate to contact us. We are professional organizers and organizing is what we love to do. We can help develop a plan that best suits your needs, or we can do the organizing for you. We offer a free 30 minute consultation so give us a call, send us a tweet, or drop us an email and see how we can help Organize Your Chaos!
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