fight your feelings
times recently have you decided to have a decluttering session and then
found it either impossible to start or lost concentration within minutes
and given up? If all your good intentions are coming to little, spend
a few minutes today considering what's really standing in your way.
Negative emotions can sabotage your desire to have an orderly home and
streamlined life. Let's look at some of the most common feelings that
decluttering brings up:
Are you afraid of making a mistake and living to regret the day you got
rid of your spare suitcase or those old work reports? Perhaps you're worried
that people around you will interfere or criticise you for the changes
you are making. Do you worry about the future and fear an uncluttered
life will leave you vulnerable if you lose your job or go through a period
of ill health? Or do you worry that if you let go of objects from your
past you will somehow lose your identity.
Are you fed up with the sheer amount of time and energy decluttering takes?
Do you wonder why your organised friends have inviting homes that are
not sinking under a sea of paperwork and ironing? Do you think there must
be better ways to spend a Sunday than sorting out your kids' wardrobes?
Are you angry at yourself for letting things get into such a state? Or
do you blame someone you live with for the chaos? Do you feel overwhelmed
at the endless flow of stuff that seems to be taking over your life? Do
you sometimes fantasize that your home will burn down and you'll get a
chance to start afresh?
Do you hate waste and feel guilty if you let go of something that still
has wear in it? Even if you sell it or give it to charity is there a nagging
feeling that you somehow have been profligate and wasteful? Or do you
feel guilty about no longer wanting sentimental items that were once important
Working through these feelings
It's completely normal to experience the feelings that I've described
above and I'm afraid there is no magic solution that will eliminate them.
The reality is that decluttering is an emotional process. I've just put
a brand new tweed skirt (unworn) that I bought last winter in the charity
bag. Yes I felt a tweak of guilt - why did I buy it? What on earth was
I thinking of? Then I thought I should sell it on ebay and try and recoup
some of the money. Before this negative spiral got out of control I reminded
myself that I was perfectly happy to let Cancer Research have the money
and yes I was going though a stressful period when I bought the skirt.
So my decision is to let it go and to let myself off the hook.
If you find that feelings are stopping you in your tracks - grab a notebook
next time you get stuck and try and work out what's really going on. It
may be that you hear your mother's voice telling you to waste not want
not. Or there may be a lot of sadness involved in moving on from your
children's baby days or in saying goodbye to a much loved home before
I'll leave you with these thoughts and would love to hear how you've overcome
emotional blocks to decluttering. My favourite will be published in the
next newsletter and will win a copy of my new book Hoarder
to Order. Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would particularly
recommend my first book no
more clutter if you are determined to come to grips with the psychological
aspects of clutter as well as the practical issues.
My new book Hoarder
has just been
published. It's part of a series called Get a Life and takes a straightforward
100 day approach to sorting out your home by spending just 30 minutes
a day getting organised. I know a hundred days sounds like forever but
if you started now think how great your home will look by Christmas! And
don't forget my first book no
more clutter !
Finally, take a look at this month's tip - kick-start
the weekend with some decluttering
Sue Kay works
with a wide range of clients to organise home offices, small businesses,
declutter before a house move, prepare your spare room for a new baby
and organise your wardrobe ready for the new season. If you're selling
your home, she can help you present it clutter-free for the market to
achieve a quick and profitable sale. For practical sympathetic help call
Sue on 020 8444 5149 or check out the website at www.nomoreclutter.co.uk