Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom
We all want to succeed. We all want a clutter-free, clean, and peaceful home. Yet sometimes we struggle. What are some of the stumbling blocks to success?
Making Excuses Instead Starting
“I’d like to start.” “I’ll get around to it soon.” “When things settle down, I’ll declutter.” Those are excuses, and if you’re using them, they’re getting in the way of your success. One of the beauties of one-thing-a-day decluttering is that it hardly takes any time, especially in the beginning. In the beginning (which is when excuses are their strongest) nearly anything you touch or see is a candidate for decluttering. Even people who have been steadily decluttering as long as Colleen and me rarely need more than 5 minutes to find something else that needs a new home – outside of our home. Stop making excuses and just start.
An Attack of Negative Thinking
“One thing a day? I’ll be decluttering for the rest of my life?” “What’s the use? There’s too much stuff.” “It probably won’t help anyway.” Stop! No more negative thinking! If you never get started, it won’t ever change, and even one thing less is better than one thing more. We all know that every journey begins with a single step and that a giant tree began as a tiny seedling. Your decluttering journey is no different. Stop thinking and start acting.
Stuck in Your Comfort Zone
You say you want a decluttered home, but really, you like being surrounded by all that extra stuff. Besides, what if you need it some day? Being comfortable is comfortable and wanting to change can be hard and scary. I used to work with a psychiatrist who said, “People don’t change until they’re sick and tired of being sick and tired.” How true. But if you’re here, searching the Internet for inspiration in your decluttering journey, I’m going to believe that you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired and that today is the day you’re going to make your first change. You’ll be leaving your comfort zone one step at a time, one day at a time. Don’t be afraid to take the first, small step. You may be amazed at how many steps come next.
A Second Attack of Negative Thinking
“I’m not getting anywhere.” “This isn’t working.” “It’s too slow, maybe I should just quit.” We’re not running a sprint in our decluttering, not even a marathon. This is a long, sometimes meandering journey on foot, and you won’t get from point A to point B in a single day. That’s okay. Your house didn’t get cluttered in a single day, and it’s not going to get uncluttered in a single day. Write down everything you do get rid of. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the numbers add up.
Input and Output
And if you truly, sincerely feel that you’re getting no where, start writing down the number of non-disposable items (not food, toiletries, etc.) that you purchase. If your incoming goods almost match your outgoing goods, that’s going to slow you down significantly. Purchasing excess to your needs and not purging is how we all got cluttered in the first place (or inheriting a boatload of stuff from someone who purchased in excess to their needs and never purged). You’ve got to stem the inflow, too. As a bonus, your bank account will thank you.
Get a Goal
Maybe “to have a decluttered house” is too vague for you. How about setting a specific goal? “To have company over at any time without feeling embarassed.” “To sell my excess and use the money for XX (mortgage, vacation, private school, credit card debt).”To reduce my china until all of it fits in the china cabinet.” All these are specific, quantifiable goals that may make it easier to get on track and stay on track.
A Final Attack of Negative Thinking
“Stinkin’ thinkin’ ” is what I called this when I was a therapist. This is any thinking about yourself as a person that holds you back. “I’m not worthy” or “I made my bed, now I have to lie in it.” This type of negative thinking is hardest to detect and most insideous, because rarely do we say right out loud to ourselves, “I am not worthy.” Of course you’re worthy! We’re all worthy. Maybe you did make this bed, but you darn sure don’t have to keeping lying in it. Get up! You’re never too far off course that you can’t start to make a change, and it can start today. Say it with me “I am worthy. I can correct any mistakes I have made. I can change what does not work for me and make it better. All of these things are fully within my power. I AM worthy and I CAN do this.”
Today’s Declutter Item
Rather than waste time and effort trying to sell these last few records on ebay it is time to set them free the quick, easy way and more generous way, off to the thrift store they go.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
I think I have finally found just the right sandals. Being a conscientious consumer is hard work sometimes. I needed sandals but I wasn’t going to settle for second best, I needed them to be comfortable, versatile and cute and after trying on just about every sandal in town I think I have found a winner. Now all they have to do is pass the husband test.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast