Life happens and often at the most inconvenient times. The flu bug sweeps through the house. A big project comes up at work. A family vacation is on the horizon.
How do we manage keeping our decluttering project on task when these other pressing needs start screaming for our attention? How do we maintain our momentum but still tend to those things that, well, just happen?
There is no clear-cut strategy for managing the unexpected. I have no single tip I can share with you that can make everything run smoothly. What I can do though is share some strategies you can use to keep your decluttering projects on track even during busy and often stressful times.
Start by Making this One BIG Decision
Decide today that you will never give up on your decluttering goals. While it may take longer than expected, it is important to stay steadfast in the vision you have for your home. Far too often we let outside circumstances lead us astray from our heart’s true desire. Decluttering can be a difficult process and often one we want to avoid. Don’t let an unforeseen event allow you to wiggle your way out of the promise you made to yourself. You may want to take a moment to write down the reasons why you are completing the decluttering project and what benefits you hope to receive from it. This will help to reaffirm your initial commitment to the project.
Know that Small Progress is Still Progress
When we begin a decluttering project, there is often a big wave of enthusiasm. We are ready to jump in feet first and dedicate all of our time and energy to clearing the space. When a decluttering project has to take a backseat, there might simply not be enough hours in the day to work as fast as we would like. This is where we need to reevaluate our own expectations. Try breaking your project down into smaller, easier steps. This may mean working in 15 minute spurts every couple days. It could mean maintaining the space you have already completed. It could also mean setting less lofty goals…. at least for the moment. Just remember to always keep moving forward.
Do What Matters Most
When you have limited time to dedicate to a decluttering project, it may be smart to do what will give you the biggest bang for your buck. What problem area bothers you most? Use the time you do have to work in that section. While we would all like to be Superwomen (or Superman), it isn’t helpful to set unrealistic expectations on ourselves. Completing the projects that matter most to us can provide the motivation we need to keep moving forward. Make a list of your biggest problem areas. What bothers you most on a daily basis? Start with the most annoying one.
Taking care of own health and well-being is often one of the hardest things to do. We want to be strong and determined and tough. But failing to practice some self-care only leads to further disappointments. Make sure you are getting enough rest, eating well and exercising. While it may feel like you don’t have the time or energy for any of these things, doing them actually better prepares you for handling everything else. They can also help maintain a better life balance. And don’t forget to take time for fun! Enjoying a favorite hobby or activity can be re-energizing giving you the fortitude to accomplish both your to-do list and your decluttering project.
Lean on Others for Advice, Support, & Help
When life hits you hard don’t forget the village around you that can offer support. Be humble enough to ask for help from others. They can be there to do a quick “power hour” declutter in the garage. They can offer advice on how they have gotten through times of stress. And they can provide comic relief when you are feeling overwhelmed. Friends and family are great resources for providing that much-needed support but so are others in your community. There are support groups for hoarders. There are online resources. There are also professional organizers like me that can help you at wherever you are in the process. Lean on them to see your project through.
Don’t let life’s ups and downs keep you from accomplishing your next decluttering project. Learn how The Decluttering Queen can help keep you on track by visiting my Services page.