De-cluttering can be such an overwhelming task. The visual impact of all those seemingly random items can initiate a fight, flight or freeze response for many; flight and freeze being the most common.
There are the challenges of lack of space to work. Bodies get sore from awkward positions and standing too long.
We don’t know where to put things. Decisions about what to keep, what to donate, and to whom.
Unearthing long-forgotten items unblocks floods of memories. Even if the memories are good, just the volume can be exhausting.
No wonder so many people just shut down when it comes to de-cluttering! And now, I’m going to overwhelm you even more. De-cluttering takes a long time.
A very rough estimate is one half hour of work for each month that clutter has built up, per room. Has it been 10 years since you tackled the garage? That translates to 60 hours. Yes, 6-0 hours. More than an entire work week! A modest seven-room home that hasn’t been de-cluttered for just 5 years could add up to 210 hours. Of course, there are many variables, and your situation could take more or less time, but my point is that de-cluttering is time consuming.
Why do I deliver such discouraging news? Because we can be more successful when we prepare appropriately for the realities of the situation. Many believe a weekend or two of serious work will solve their clutter problems. And if they hire a professional organizer, then one or two appointments should be sufficient, right? If only it were so easy!
But it’s not hopeless. The finish line is just a bit further away than you thought. Instead of expecting yourself to de-clutter in one weekend, view it as a long-term project, like getting fit or learning to play an instrument. On any given day, you may not notice much change from the day before, but repeated actions over time will gradually make a difference.
Here are some ways to sustain yourself during your de-cluttering journey:
- Practice excellent self-care. De-cluttering can deplete your resources. Maintaining your good health will serve you well.
- Focus on why you want to de-clutter and start living that life now. Don’t put your life on hold until you de-clutter.
- Practice preventive measures. If you do nothing else, start practicing the “one in, one out” rule. For everything that comes into your home, get rid of an equal volume.
- Experiment with ways to integrate de-cluttering into your life. Figure out how to do a few minutes a day, or an hour or two each week.
Let me know what else helps you sustain your de-cluttering efforts.