Perfectionism is a trap.
I received a comment from Jo a couple of weeks ago which underlined the connection between perfectionist tendencies and uncontrolled clutter. Here is what Jo wrote…
Being a perfectionist, oddly enough, can also contribute to not starting. I spent years waiting for a block of time to tackle some jobs (so I could do a good job, by which I meant a thorough job from start to finish in one go), but now I find breaking the job up into smaller parts – and being willing to do a good rather than perfect job – is the only way I ever accomplish anything – whether it’s decluttering, housecleaning, reading – just about anything. Having blocks of time is a luxury not often found if you’re working long hours/have kids/have aging parents/have health problems.
Jo is so right, the idea that you need to tackle the entire task all at once plus the need to do it perfectly can certainly make a person hesitant to even think about beginning their declutter mission. The prospect of not organising perfectly or there being no perfect decision as to what to keep and what to part with can paralise a person from even attempting the task. The fear of getting rid of something that “May be useful one day” can create such fear of loss of control that it can make the situation worse rather than better.
The fact of the matter is there is no perfect decision and yes sometimes we might regret having decluttered something but in reality those regrets are only as big as we build them up to be in our minds. I am sure we have all discovered something that we could have used after removing it from our homes. If it was being used that infrequently it makes more sense to borrow one occasionally from a neighbour or friend or find an alternate way around the situation.
As for being perfectly organised — I have said it before and I say it again — once you declutter your home, the organising almost takes care of itself. If something is being used on a regular basis you will naturally store it in the most convenient location. However, even that isn’t an exact science but since you will now have less stuff and more space, moving things around will be so easy who cares if you have to do a little tweaking every now and again.
Considering the method of decluttering that I promote here at 365lessthings I don’t think I need share my thoughts on how disruptive it can be to attempt a large scale — drag it all out at once — declutter. I have done plenty of these in the past and cleanly I learned nothing from it otherwise I wouldn’t have needed to start my current declutter mission. This time I believe that my slow and deliberate approach has taught me so many lessons about conscious consumption, pointless attachment and the freedom or living with less that in future I should l only need a little maintenance occasionally. I hope never to have to conduct a big purge ever again.
I googled the words hoarding and perfectionism together is found a couple of links you might be interested in checking out…
Today’s Declutter Item
I am sure this isn’t the last you will see of the baseball souvenir clutter. Slowly but surely we are breaking the ties with this kind of clutter.
Things that made me happy, made me laugh, made me feel grateful, fascinated me or I thought were just plain awesome.
- Ignoring my perfectionist tendencies and delivering some of my handmade craft samples to a local store for consideration.
- Having the car for a change.
- My ability to improvise.
- Sharing creative ideas with my son.
- Finally making a decision on what stick blender to buy to replace my broken one- Another perfectionist tendency I have is trying to make the perfect choice when buying things. Though it is admirable to be a conscious consumer it almost paralises my decision making process.
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow.