After giving some serious thought as to why I was not winning the battle against clutter. I came up with 3 reasons why:
I believe each of these are important. Because of this, each one will be presented in a separate article.
I DID NOT SET GOALS
Wow! How could I have missed this? In every other aspect of my life, be it losing weight, learning a new hobby or planning to go on a trip…I set goals. I knew what I wanted to accomplish, when I wanted to accomplish it and how I was going to accomplish it. If met my goals, it was great and I rewarded myself. If I didn’t, I would evaluate it and figure out why and reset the goal. Needless to say, it was time to start setting some “get rid of clutter” goals.
WHY SET GOALS?
Just as Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” Here’s how that applied to me and clutter. As I came face to face with clutter, I would go from room to room thinking that it was time to do away with it. I had no idea how much I was going to do away with or how much time I would set aside to rid myself of the clutter. So, guess what I did? I went out, purchased some pretty containers and stuffed my clutter in them. In other words, instead of ridding myself of clutter, I made it look pretty and, I repeated this more than once. Have you ever done this? Be honest...I can’t be the only one who would make clutter look pretty and called it decluttering. Anyway, my clutter continued to build, that is, until I set goals…SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals that is.
HERE’S WHAT I DID
HERE’S WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE ON PAPER
1. My WHY: I need to get rid of clutter because it is not good for my mental or physical health. It increases my stress level and interferes with my ability to focus. On top of that, I waste time looking for something and I waste money because I usually end of buying things that I can not find.
2. My OVERALL GOAL is to rid my house of clutter by 31 December 2017 (I am being realistic. Just keeping it real. I didn’t accumulate the clutter over night and I can’t expect to get rid of it over night).
3. SMALLER GOALS…clear out each bathroom by 31 January 2017. Dates to declutter kitchen, closets, garage set.
4. My PLAN…work each area for 30 minutes 5 days a week. (Because life happens, I was very aware of the importance of not beating myself up if I fall short of my plan. Instead, I will just, “Get back on the horse” when I can.
5. I stayed FOCUSED! It is important to keep your goals in front of you. It is easy to let old habits take over, ie. dressing up clutter. So I kept these ideas in focus. And, I had 2 accountability partners to help me (more on this later).
There are so many ways to deal with clutter. Needless to say, you have to find what works best for you. But I firmly believe that regardless of the method you use to declutter, you MUST set goals. You have to know where you are going so that you don’t “…end up someplace”, someplace where you don’t want to be.