Do you even know where to start?
Unless you have a looming deadline (like a move, or a collective challenge!), getting started can often be the hardest thing. Why?
Well, for starters, you can pretty much guarantee that things will get worse before they get better. The very nature of decluttering will have you dragging things out from musty corners, from the back of closets, from underneath sofas, or wherever it is that you stash away what you don’t really need. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
Maybe. But just like unwanted emotions or past traumas that we compartmentalize in our psyche, the stagnant energy attached to unwanted or superfluous things continues to loom in our space whether we see it or not. To quote Ann Wilson, The Wealth Chef:
I really believe there is some strange quantum physics thing that happens in cupboards, lofts, garages, wendy houses, garden sheds and bascially all those places where stuff gets stuffed. Stuff in these spaces and places breeds and as it does, it causes a negative vaccumn in our lives, not just sucking our money quicker and quicker into a black hole but our energy and vitality too.
So yes, in the process of unearthing your hidden ‘treasures’, you might create more mess than you signed up for, initially making you feel worse than before you even started.
If that’s the case for you, STOP. BREATHE. RELAX… and trust that it will be worth it in the end.
One of the best things a mentor told me about avoiding overwhelm is to start with just one space at a time: one specific cupboard, closet, or even drawer. One corner of one room. Start with a small space, and you’ll quickly see progress whilst avoiding turning your entire house into a tip and becoming despondent with the project.
Keep it fun by putting on some funky music (Black Eyed Peas, anyone?), get your groove on, and stay hydrated. Shifting your body as opposed to getting cramps crouched on the floor will help you shift and sift your belongings. Lilly is just learning to rock it out to Sleeping Bunnies – perfect time to widen her repertoire! (sorry, insider parent joke)
Also remember that our goal is about 5 things a day (or whatever target you have set for yourself). Keep it simple, focus on the end result, and celebrate your successes, no matter how small.
On my end, I was quickly able to shift a dozen items of clothing and a pair of boots to the charity shop. These were items that I had previously slated for disposal, but never actually gotten rid of. A job half done, basically.
As for my next move, I have set my sights on my desk, aka my residential dumping ground, and the top of a closet, home to my collection of handbags.
So far today, I’ve succumbed to the avoidance bug, mainly getting distracted changing sheets, doing laundry and other thieving little things.
I am confident I am not contagious across the ether though, so don’t let yourself get infected, share your successes… and watch this space for progress!
PS: I also have five items listed on eBay but the auctions are still live so not counting them just yet!
Images: elca.org, author's own