I’m doing great! I’m doing terribly! Can I be both?

On the one hand, I’ve nearly got 100 bags out of the house already. On the other, it just seems to be highlighting just how very far I’ve got to come.

Sometimes, I’m enthused and determined and I will get this mess sorted. But others I freeze in utter despair and overwhelm.

This is horrible. I live in horrible surroundings and it’s all my fault. And I just don’t know what to do about it.

If it was someone else I’d advise them that the only way to do it was bit by bit – the only way to eat an elephant is bite by bite, right?

But then I look around myself and it feels utterly impossible. That nothing other than a massive bulldozer could ever get this place sorted.

It makes me scared.


Including Time to Reset at the End of Tasks

Inspired by this video by Gayle Goddard, I have been thinking a lot about what she said about including ‘time to reset’ at the end of a task. This involves making sure that the last few minutes of the time you’ve allocated to a task are given to tidying up after it.

So, if you’re going to do some arts and crafts for half an hour, the last five minutes should be given over to cleaning up and putting things back where they belong.

To naturally neat people, this is probably just common sense. But for people like me, who gave up trying to have any order in her home for far too long, it feels a bit like a revelation.

Often, it seems pointless (oh hi, overwhelm again!), and yet, if we don’t, things get worse, not better. Progress is not just halted, it’s reversed.


Getting Over ‘Overwhelm’ When Decluttering My Hoard

One of the biggest barriers I face when I’m trying to ‘dehoard’ is that I get overwhelmed, I don’t know where to start, and I give up before even trying.

I look out at the mounds of clothes and the piles of black binbags and the broken shelves of books and the wardrobe that I can’t even get to, and any small action I can take seems pointless.

What’s the use of picking up that book or that pair of jeans when the house looks like this?!

I know I need to get over this, and I know that it is a matter of hundreds and hundreds of small steps in order to make a big difference.

This video has some interesting tips. The audio quality isn’t great, but Gayle Goddard (aka the Clutter Fairy) does seem to understand the problem of feeling overwhelmed when you’re trying to declutter, including sabotaging yourself, making things look worse than before you started, and feeling defeated.

She looks at taking small bites and consistency as ways to beat the sense of overwhelm when decluttering.