Why is an organized home or an organized life so hard to achieve and so hard to maintain?
There are a lot of different answers I could give you but for me it always seems to boil down to a few main things.
1. Most of us have too much stuff.
We live in a culture that screams, "You are what you have". We see hundreds of advertisements everyday telling us what we need and why we need it. We live in the most wasteful country on our planet. I'm trying hard not to buy into our "next big thing" culture but it is SO hard. If you need help letting go of things, try asking yourself these questions.
A few ways to fight the clutter bug are to....
-Sell things that you no longer need. Craigslist, facebook sale groups, and instagram make it easy to snap a picture and orchestrate transfers of items.
-Adopt a "one-in-one-out" policy. If you want a new dress, give an old dress away. This will ensure that you always have room for the new because you are MAKING room for it. It's really nice to be able to see what you have and have adequate space for it. I strongly encourage people to keep only what they have room for. If you have to cram it in for it to fit, then you have too much. If it's been sitting in a box for 3 years, you probably don't need it. At the end of the day here is what we need to remember, "You don't need more space. You need less stuff."
2. Most of us are over-committed.
When you are over-committed you tend to put things off. Case in point: I could sort through the mail I just got out of the mailbox and throw away the things that are junk, file what needs to be filed, and take care of bills that need to be paid BUT I'm running late to meet a friend for coffee AND I have to write a blog for Help You Dwell AND I need to throw a load of laundry in..... so the mail can wait. Inevitably, this leads to a pile of mail that will take an hour and half to sort through and take care of.
A few ways to combat over-commitment are...
-Stop committing to things on the spot. Try saying "let me think about that and I'll get back to you" about the next 5 things you are asked to do or help with. This is really hard for me because I get really excited about things and volunteer for a million and one things that I truly want to do and be a part of but don't actually have time for. The worst feeling in the world is when you commit to something that you love but don't have time to do well. So often we turn passions into burdens because we take on too much.
-Know thyself. Pay attention to your attitude and your energy levels in a given day or week. How much can you handle before you start feeling stressed out or burned out? Every person is different and knowing what works best for you is key. Also, try not to be hard on yourself for needing a break--resting is a key part of working, living, and loving well.