I got to thinking the other day, as I was cleaning up the clutter in my garage from a recent camping trip and a business event, on how it must feel being the client when needing to stay motivated. Yes, I am getting organized at home all the time yet even my garage has been known to get out of control.
Oh the garage, that catch all place for things to find, things to put away, and things to boot out. As I was looking at the camping tent and business trip swag my eyes began to see belongings meant for other rooms, and the items forgotten to be unloaded to the donation center before the holidays.
This all happened because I got busy. I had a lot of fun along the way, in the meantime my garage became a dumping ground into the abyss. This led to a buildup over a couple of months and an overwhelm that almost stopped me in my tracks.
I was exhausted, at the thought of having to deal with it all. Just like I encourage my clients I told myself to put one foot in front of the other, and focus on how happy I will be when it was all done. So after having a brief split personality conversation with myself...
“But …. Buffy I would rather binge watch Netflix.” “Now Buffy you can do this. Let’s just set aside an hour.” “Fiiiine.”
I got to WORK!
Honestly, it took me a couple of days. An hour apiece to complete the task. Two days later I was celebrating. Of course, I always put myself in my client's shoes when trying to figure out how to get organized. Thinking about how to approach where an item belongs, what the history is behind it, and how can I give everything a home.
I get feelings of guilt and indecision too which often arises when confronting letting go of my items. I push through. I force myself to make a decision. Even if the decision is not being ready to let go of my vintage hanging lamp that has been needing rewiring since I bought it 5 years ago.
I may not be ready to say goodbye, except now I am on the clock to fix or re-purpose my lamp in some way. There are no hard-and-fast rules to these deadlines. That's the beauty of organizing, you are in control. You get to choose. Only there are deadlines. You must stay accountable if you want to keep clutter at bay. You have to be honest with yourself. After I've had a few months to realize I don’t need some of the things I've held onto, then it is time to give away, donate, or toss.
Unexpected good things came after my organizing session too. I hooked up a printer I’ve had in my garage for over a year. I'm thrilled that I can both scan and print without issue because my last printer was nothing more than an ink guzzling menace.
Getting started was the hardest part. Once I got going on my garage makeover it became easier because I got a wind of motivation by seeing how a little focused effort goes along way. Thinking about the thousand steps to get where I was going was nothing short of terrifying. Taking the first step was easier than I thought.
Do you have an area that has become a dumping ground? Do you have a case of analysis paralysis? You are not alone. You just need to start by making only one decision. Just one. Walk into the space and listen to your gut. What is the first thing that jumps out as oh no, why do I still have that or oh no, why is that still there?
Decide about the first thing you see. Do you need it, how will you use it, where does it live? If you can't answer these questions it's unlikely you need it. If you can answer the questions, give this item a home. Good job you've done it! Reward yourself and repeat.