In my last post, I confessed that one of my newly made Life Resolutions was to begin the process of de-cluttering my home (and ultimately my life). Knowing that this would not be a quick or easy process, (yet at the same time not wanting it to drag out to eternity), I decided that in order to see significant progress I would need to set some goals. Not my usual high, lofty, unattainable ones, but reasonable ones that would keep me in check with the promise I had made to myself. Originally I had intended to deal with one area per week. Normally I would have set the goal at one project per day and have the whole house completed within two weeks. But the ultimate result of this goal would no doubt be failure. Knowing myself all too well, I decided that even one per week may not be doable. With all of this in mind, I have come to the conclusion that one project every two weeks would be the slow, yet steady, pace necessary for me to take. Anything more (or less) would be my downfall.
All of this being said, I am proud and even excited to announce that I have successfully completed my first project. Before and after photos follow. Of course, the before photo looks more like the pages of an ‘I Spy’ book…. Can you find my daughter’s 6-year-old Egypt project, my hand painted 40th Birthday card (signed by all the guests at the party), loose computer paper, an empty box, a box with who-knows-what inside, an overstuffed bookcase and far too many jackets? That’s OK, neither could I!
The majority of the project was completed in one day, however, it was a LONG day. I am a steamroller when I start out, but by the time I am near the end, my steam has pretty much all evaporated. Any time I start to sort (keep, give away, throw away) it is easy in the beginning. But then I begin to question my decisions to give away. I guess you could say that I get emotionally attached to ‘stuff’. I keep things for so long that I just get used to having them around and find myself dreading the thought of being without them. Before long (if I think about it too much) the dread turns into anxiety. My pace slows even more, and pretty soon I find that I have a project that is about 95% complete. With this project, all the little odds and ends I didn’t know what to do with ended up on top of the bookcase for a solid week. I did finally manage to put them in their proper places (and yes, some of them went in the trash). I am learning, and I hope you will learn from this too, that my projects need to be of a manageable size. If I get overwhelmed, my two week deadline allows me the time I need to step back, take a breather and get a fresh start in a day or so. If I stick with my plan, and I believe I will, that means I will have completed 26 de-cluttering projects by the end of the year. And who knows, maybe before the end of the year I’ll get so good at it that I will be able to do more than that.
Little by little and bit by bit.