Missuswayne writes: I have a clutter problem. My husband and I are way too tolerant of our clutter, but I desperately want to get organized and eliminate (or at least minimize) the extraneous junk. The two things that prevent me from decluttering are 1) lack of time and 2) lack of energy (I'm a stay-at-home mom of a one year old and a 4 year old.) I also have what I call Mommy ADD, where I get side-tracked really easily in the middle of a project, no matter how small - nothing ever gets completed. I'd love some tips on how to conquer my seemingly insurmountable "stuff" problem.
Oh Missuswayne, we feel your pain!
Before we dive into the tips we did want to mention that being tired can really affect our ability to focus. When we're overtired, everything is overwhelming. So, it might not seem like it has much to do with de-cluttering, but we took a workshop a while ago that actually suggested naps to people with a lot of clutter. It seems that being overwhelmed (from being overtired) can contribute to clutter. So if you can, take a nap, hire a babysitter, get your mom to come over, anything to try to get some much needed rest, then read these tips:
Accountability, Babysteps and Focus
First, you have to be accountable. We noticed that when we quit our 9-5 to work freelance, our schedule went out the window and we started getting much less done (when we had fantasized about all the free time we would have). We no longer had an outside schedule to keep ourselves on track. Calling a friend, making a list, posting a list online, can all be ways to hold ourselves accountable for the things we really want to get done.
Next is setting small, manageable goals that can be accomplished in a week or a day, instead of expecting to be able to overhaul a space in a weekend. Set the timer and focus for 5, 10, 15 minutes at a time. Try clearing out just one drawer. You get the idea. Really think about how much time you have to do this so that you don't overcommit and then feel like you've failed. If you hold yourself accountable, you might actually do it!
When you set the timer or open that drawer, you only have to commit to that, so focus! It'll be done quicker that way. If you have trouble focusing, doing something everyday to train your mind to relax can be really helpful. Also, pampering yourself or taking a nap can be a huge boost to your energy. Especially as a mom, you probably need some time for yourself that's just for you and not for the household. So instead of seeing it as a never ending endeavor, seek to see it as a 15 minute part of your day. If it's still too hard to focus, invite a friend over and tell them that you need help getting things under control. Even if they don't physically help you, they can keep you on track with their presence because you can't start doing something else while they're there.
What else? Any other mom's have some tips?
[image from homescape.com]