Do you KISS? You know the phrases – Less Is More, Do More With Less, Keep It Simple Stupid.
We hear these little sayings so often and we get it (though I object to the Stupid part, fine, I get it! They needed an S word to make the KISS acronym. I can think of other words…)
Want to glide through your life like a Frozen Princess On Ice? (Long braid not required.)
Start with simplifying easy routine things. Simplify your schedule. Simplify your daily tasks. Start shedding all the non-essential things in your day-to-day life. Stop doing extra things that cause you to be stressed, rushing from one thing to another. Stop being the everything-to-everyone person in your life.
You’d be amazed how much time you end up with when you’re not being a Super-Person. Time you can dedicate to simplifying other things in your life. Like decluttering your home.
But you’re stuck right?
What’s the problem?
You’re wandering around your house with a bag of stuff in your hand. There are piles of Stuff To Put Away in random corners. You have piles of Good Stuff that’s just a little bit broken, so you can’t donate or gift, but you can’t throw it away either. You have SO many bags of decluttered stuff lined up waiting to go to friends and family. You feel like you’re stuck in quicksand. Why is there still so much clutter!!!
This might be what you’re thinking:
I need to find the perfect place for this stuff – But I can’t because first I need to get the perfect storage boxes, but I can’t do that because the cupboard needs to be painted, and I can’t do that because we need to re-carpet that room. Sometime.
What if I need it! – Terrible Things will happen if I declutter this. I’ll never have anything like this wonderful, amazing and useful thing ever again. I must never, ever spend even more money on anything, ever again. It’s such a waste to donate it!
Where am I supposed to put it?! – There’s no room! I need to move EVERYTHING! I can’t move these things into this room, because THESE things have no home, but I can’t get rid of them, so I have to move them TOO!
I’m personally responsible for this stuff! – I must make sure everything is perfect in every way. It’s criminal to throw things out. I can’t fix these things, I can’t donate them and I can’t give them to anyone I know that would be too embarrassing. I have to keep them forever.
Someone I know will love this thing – It makes me feel good to give things to my fav people. It’ll make me feel so much better about getting rid of this stuff if it’s going to someone I know. I haven’t seen the person this would be perfect for in two years but… and this person lives in another city but they’ll visit later this year!
No wonder everything gets shoved back in or you feel like you’re not making any progress! You’re stuck – overthinking is creating a big wall of what-if’s and I-cant’s and one-day’s.
I know what you’re thinking, “Planning? Easy to say Liz, but how?! I’m dropping the kids off at school and the kitchen is chaos, the washing needs doing or I’ll run out of knickers and my mum is texting me every 15 minutes…”
Just start. Start small.
One thing at a time. One small space at a time.
Many people start their decluttering journey at the wrong end. Look at the first small space you’re going to declutter as a test case. There will probably be things there that are easy to get rid of. But there will be things that are hard to let go of. There will be things that you know don’t have a proper home but you need to keep. Use your overthinking to analyse the problem, but in a practical, goal focussed way.
Before you even touch the thing you want to declutter, look at it and think about where you want it go. Where is the best place for it? Somewhere else in your home that makes more sense? Out of your house completely?
What do you have to do to make that happen?
Do NOT think about what you CAN’T do. Think about what has to happen to MAKE it happen. Then think about how you can make THAT happen A.S.A.P. You still haven’t touched a thing. You’re planning in advance, so when you do touch that thing you know exactly what you’re doing with it.
You can plan big and you can plan small. You can work out which Op Shop you’ll be taking certain things to. You can gather boxes and bags. This is big planning. Small planning is deciding where each thing you touch is going to go.
Think about your overthinking. Maybe it’s really a reaction to the anxiety of the situation. It relieves you of actually having to do the anxiety causing thing, or at least delays it. Overthinking can be a cousin to worry. Habitual negative thoughts causing negative, unhelpful feelings that use up energy but do nothing to fix the situation.
When you find yourself struggling with tough feelings, even exasperation or irritation at yourself, focus on your goal.
You’re doing all this work for a reason. You might be feeling claustrophobic in your home. You might be needing to make some positive changes in your life. Or you’re just sick of the mess. What ever the reason, you have a vision in your mind of what you would like to see instead.
You know yourself best.
What form does this vision need to take to be a helpful prompt when you get stuck in the quicksand of your overthinking? Maybe you need to:
- Call a friend and tell them your goal. Book a visit to see your progress.
- Keep in mind the dream of simplicity and order that you long for.
- Have a photo of your dream space on the door of the room you’re working on.
- Keep an item in the decor that you adore right in your face, you can use it when you’re done.
- Book a ticket to an event where you can wear your most glam outfit, when you can find it.
- Plan a dinner party for a time when you know you’ll have everything done.
- Simply keep in mind that you want your life at home to be easier.
Do what ever you need to do to keep yourself on track, moving forwards and making small (or big) but visible progress.
Just imagine… You wake up and your room is tidy, you get to do the thing you want to do, first. The kitchen is tidy, you’re dressed in moments and the kids are mostly ready to leave… The surfaces in your home only have beautiful things arranged on them. Your cupboards and drawers are gorgeously organised. Your life is so much easier.
Guess how much better you’ll feel, every single day, if everything in your home (and your routine) was designed to make your life easier? EXPONENTIALLY BETTER!
Do it. Start decluttering. Plan. Keep your goal in your mind. Use your clever, overthinking mind to make your life easier, a little bit at a time.
When you catch yourself overthinking in an unhelpful way, remember your goal. Remember your vision. Work out a way to make it happen.
When it gets too hard, remember – the goal of decluttering is to have objects flowing OUT of your home. To keep a lot less. A LOT less.
Liz The Tidy Lady.
PS. If you need a hand with any part of making your life easier just message me