If I’m going to succeed at my decluttering goals, I’m going to have to look at the decluttering process the same way as I do with exercise. I don’t really enjoy exercising, but I get up 5 mornings a week and exercise. Why? Because I know that exercising makes me feel better and helps keep me healthy. I will use some of the same principles that I use to get myself to exercise to get myself to declutter.
Find Your Reason to Declutter / Clean / Organize
Just as I exercise to stay healthy, I need to find my reason(s) to declutter. Why is having a clean and organized environment important for me? For one, all of the clutter in my house is driving me crazy. I’m tired of looking at it. I’m tired of searching for things. I’m tired of not being as efficient as I should be. I’m tired of dusting around the objects. I’m tired of not having a place to put any new items that I buy. The clutter is in my way. I believe that once the clutter is gone, I will have better focus and more time to do what I enjoy.
Commit to Decluttering
Without a commitment, it’s not going to happen. Without a commitment, you will find every excuse as to why you can’t find the time to declutter. Make it important. Make it a priority. I’ve learned to make exercising a priority because my health is important to me. I need to make this Decluttering Project a priority because of the reasons that I listed in the above paragraph.
Come Up With a Plan
In the past when I decided that I would declutter, I ended up worn out and with a bigger mess than with what I started with. I would start by emptying out one shelf/drawer and putting all of the objects in a pile to deal with later. Before I figured out what to do with those objects, I would start emptying out another shelf/drawer. That would continue until I had a bunch of empty shelves/drawers and a bunch of piles of stuff sitting on the floor. By then I was too tired to continue and would end up putting everything back on the same shelves and in the same drawers. I don’t want to go through that again. This time, I am planning my Decluttering Process so I don’t end up overwhelmed like I did before. This is my plan (may change later though):
- Use Michele Connolly’s Get Organized Wizard as my guide. Last night I started her “7 Days To An Organized Home Office” plan.
- Commit to working on my Decluttering Project for a minimum of 30 minutes, 5 times a week. I know that I may not finish Michele Connolly’s plan on her seven day schedule, but I’m okay with that as long as I make progress each week.
- Rather than tackle the whole home office area at once, I am starting with my desk. Once my desk is clean and organized, I will move to a different section of the room.
- Focus on the objects that I am not attached to emotionally first. Get rid of the trash and the things that I am okay with donating.
Make Yourself Accountable
This blog is my accountability partner. Every few days, I want to report that I made progress. The last thing that I want to do is to write an “I Did Nothing” post. I am not suggesting that everyone create a blog, but you should find a way to make yourself accountable. It can be as easy as putting a red star on a private calendar page for each day you decluttered. With my exercise, I belong to several Health and Fitness Facebook groups where group members post their daily workouts. It’s a simple way to stay accountable.
Without a good reason, a plan, a commitment and accountability, most projects/goals can be nothing more than a fleeting thought. But remember, you also need to take action. You can read all of the “How to Exercise” books that you want, but until you actually start exercising, you won’t make any progress. If you desire a clean and organized house, I suggest that in addition to making your plan, that you also get started today. I challenge you to get off of the computer and spend the next 10 minutes finding 5 things that you can either throw away or donate.
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