For most of us we understand the concept of being more organized. We can comprehend that everything needs to find a home. But do we ever stop and think about the mental clutter that is blocking us from our best life. There are things in our life that are like roadblocks stopping us along the way. I call them squirrels or psychic clutter. If you have seen the movie “UP” you understand the concept of having squirrels in our lives; the distractions that keep us from being focused. The psychic clutter just nags in your mind taking up space.
Here are some questions with some examples to help you figure out what is your mental clutter:
What isn’t working? I have friends who hate to do laundry. They get to the point that they have so much dirty and not enough clean that they go and buy new socks and underwear. Clearly this is not working.
Solution: Figure out why it isn’t working. Is it an issue with time? Do you hate the laundry room because it is dark and in the basement? Do you dislike your washer and dryer? Do your kids go through too many outfits in a day? It will take some time to get to the bottom of why things aren’t working. Start asking questions and get to the bottom. Sometimes the solutions are easy and sometimes they will be more difficult. Keep pressing forwards.
What is broken? When I had three little boys at home I would often have a pile of mending to do. Holes in jeans that needed to be patched or a button that needed to be sewn on. There they sat, in their pile in my bedroom on my bench. Taunting me each time I passed it. Making me say to myself that I have got to get that task done. I often would catch myself shaming myself and wondering what was wrong with me. Wondering why I couldn’t get these simple tasks done.
Solution: Make a decision. Either decide to mend or don’t, but the shaming isn’t getting you anywhere. Figure out the next step to get the task done. Do you need to call someone for help? Sometimes it is simply finding the right person to help you. Or it might even be just removing the broken item orm your life entirely and knowing how to properly dispose of it. I think of the broken pair of glasses that I have in my drawer. They are not doing anyone any good in my drawer. But I know of an organization that takes old glasses and repairs them and donates them. In fact there is a drop box for the glasses at my grocery store.
What makes you cringe? I remember owning a set of furniture that I didn’t love. It was in our family room and every time I went in my basement I saw the torn hole in the cushion. Even though he cushion was upside down I still knew it was there. Then one day I got a wild hair and took my furniture down the street to a neighbor’s garage sale and sold the set. I didn’t have the money for the new set, but I was willing to have an empty room that no longer made me cringe.
Solution: Fix this as soon as possible. That energy from the cringe would eat you alive. As soon as I realized what made me cringe it was so much easier to deal with the issue. It is was not until I took the time to figure out could I find the solution and stop having it take up mental clutter in my mind.
What is a commitment you made but have not fulfilled? This is the kind of mental clutter that can eat me alive. I will say things like every Wednesday is family meal night and then something comes up and I cancel. I do that enough and let down the members of my family and they see me as someone who makes empty promises.
Solution: Only commit to things that you know that you can accomplish. It is good to push yourself but don’t bite off too much. Think about taking baby steps. Start with fulfilling smaller commitments and move forward from there, pushing a bit each time. So if your goal is to get healthy and go to the gym, a commitment of going to the gym 7 days a week is not realistic if you are not going even one day. Create ways that you can succeed and have forward momentum. Find pockets of time.
This week take the time to focus on what is taking up residence in your head. Don’t just ignore it and push it aside. Clear out that mental clutter and make room for what is important. Now where did I put the car keys?
To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,
Melissa’s e-book on Kitchen Organizing can be found on Amazon.