Why is Decluttering So Hard?

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Why does decluttering and organizing take so long and why is it so hard?

BOOM. I just spent my morning planning out a year's worth of content for my blog.  I did it using the " batching " concept: doing a singular task that requires that you only use one skill set so you instead of switching mental gears over and over you just stick with one.

Switching gears takes A LOT of extra mental energy so avoiding doing that is a far more pleasant and satisfying way to work. Batching is great because you get RESULTS. And when you get results you feel more successful. When you feel more successful you are more willing to keep going.

Batching is very relevant to decluttering, organizing and cleaning. If you are constantly switching between those tasks it takes more effort to get something done and it usually takes a lot longer.

For instance, Amelia* is working on her paperwork. She has a 5 inch pile of papers in front of her; some of them are hers and some are her kids' papers and she starts to sort them into piles. She works for a few minutes and then she notices that her files are kind of a mess. She starts tidying them up and grouping them together. As she moves them around, she can see that her desk is covered in dust bunnies and old coffee cups so she decides she wants to put those mugs in the kitchen and grab some cleaner to clean off the desk properly.

She leaves the room, goes to her kitchen with the coffee cups and realizes that she's hungry. So she fixes herself a snack and then she sees that her mom texted her a while back so she sits down at the table to text back...

Annnnnnd she comes back to her desk at the end of the day and realizes that she didn't get anything accomplished earlier, which reinforces her internal story that says,

"I suck at organizing. I will never get a handle on my paperwork. I don't know why I even bother. What is wrong with me?"

Nothing could be further than the truth. Ain't nothing wrong with Amelia. She just hasn't figured out that it takes both FOCUS and a willingness to STAY IN THE ROOM (literally and figuratively) to make progress.

Batching is all about FOCUS. It can be learned and it is a game changer.

Use devices to bring your attention back to the activity at hand if you are prone to acting like Amelia.

  • Write FOCUS on a bright post it note and stick it right in front of where you are working.
  • Or set a timer on your phone to go off at 15 minute intervals. So if you start wandering away the timer will remind you of what you were working on. 
  • And think about what activity you are focusing on. Are you cleaning/tidying? Decluttering? Organizing? Those are all different activities even though we think of them as one category.
>>I'll show you how to create your very own Clear Calm Space in just 15 minutes a day. Join the Blueprint and get started now!<<

Always, always, always clear a space in this order:

  • Declutter: start with the big, easy stuff, then medium, then do the details LAST
  • Organize: like items with like items, contain whenever possible
  • Beautify: edit out what doesn't light you up, fewer colors are easier on the eye and read as "calm", ditch the packaging, less is always more

Otherwise you will spend waaaaaaaaay more time than is necessary organizing stuff that you really don't love/need/want/use. Which is a waste of your precious time. Pluck out the stuff that you KNOW you don't want. Add it to your "charity" basket. Get it out of the space. Otherwise you are just moving stuff around.

It's all about redirecting your focus. That's it. There's nothing wrong with Amelia and there's nothing wrong with you, even if sometimes you feel like you are the mouse in, "

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

."

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(A totally delightful kids book that you should read if you haven't already.)

*Amelia is not a real person but Amelia Bedelia did pop in my mind. My former-public-librarian mind is apparently in juvenile fiction mode today.

Clear Calm Space
Clear Calm Space

PS What do you think, Snickerdoodle? Do you ever batch things like cooking, yard work, filling out paperwork, or doing laundry? How do you stay focused on the task at hand? Let us know your best tips in the comments below!

PSS Are you ready to finally stop the endless cycle of spending your weekends decluttering but not seeing great results for your effort?

Then I invite you to join the Clear Calm Space Blueprint, the monthly online decluttering program for smart, busy women just like you who need:  1) a plan to follow and 2) accountability.

You'll have access to assignments that will help you to:

-declutter and organize your bedroom

-declutter and organize your closet

-declutter and organize your paperwork

You pick which of these you'd like to work on. Each month we are adding on new projects and will tackle the whole house!

You'll get the exact step by step plan to get your entire house decluttered in just 15 minutes a day.

It's your time to get this problem solved once and for all!

Click here to join and get started today >>> http://bit.ly/1RdVSqW

 Or if you'd rather work one on one with me to get you where you want to go FAST,  click here to work with me in Atlanta or here to work with me online