BY KIM HUGHES –
January – the time to start fresh, clear out the old, and get things organized. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? While many people have the desire to get things de-cluttered and organized, it is not always such an easy thing to accomplish. De-cluttering can often be a very time consuming, overwhelming, and emotionally draining experience.
There may be emotional hurdles to overcome before finally being able to let go of your belongings. Others may not know how to de-clutter or where to start. Whatever the cause of your de-cluttering paralysis may be, you need to understand why you are having so much trouble before you can finally move past it.
Guilt – Maybe you spent a lot of money on the item but never really used it, or it was a present from a favorite relative and you did not want to hurt their feelings. Keeping that item in the back of your closet will not help you to feel better. In fact, it will probably just make you feel worse.
The Desire for Perfection – Realize that organization is not the same as perfection. You can always add more or change things up in the future. Be proud of what you are able to accomplish today and let go of that often-unattainable image of perfection.
Emotional Attachment – Remember that you are just letting go of the item – you are not letting go of the person or any of the memories attached with it. Try taking a photo of the item and writing your thoughts about it on the back of the photo or on a journaling card.
I Might Need It/Want It Someday – Chances are, if you haven’t used an item in the past year, you will probably never use it again.
Lack of Time and Energy – Whether you choose to spend an hour once per week de-cluttering or do 15-20 minutes per day, it doesn’t really matter. Any time you devote to the process moves you one step closer to getting things done. Set a realistic goal for what you can fit into your lifestyle and commit to it. Remember that getting things organized will actually free up more time in the long run because you will not be wasting time taking care of things that you do not use or looking for things that are buried in the clutter!