Procrastination feels good, right? It must or we wouldn’t do it.
Sunshines, cut that crap out. Stop delaying the inevitable. One of the worst things you can do in facing your clutter is to not actually face it. There’s a phrase my clients hear a LOT when they don’t want to do something. So often in fact that I can just give them “the look” and they’ll say it for me:
“Suck it up, Buttercup.”
Rip off the band-aid, hun. Blast some music, pour a cocktail, hire help be it professional organizer or even a shrink. Do whatever it is you need to do to face the mess because here’s the situation:
It. Will. Only. Get. Worse.
Not to be all doom, gloom and destruction but it’s just a fact. When we don’t face the problem, it doesn’t go away. Magic elves will not appear in the night and fix it for you. (Though let me know if they do…I want to hire them!)
You know what will happen?
- First, things will pile up.
- Valuables my accidentally get stepped on and broken because someone (maybe even you) thought it was “safe” to step on that pile of trash.
- Valuables may be scooped up and thrown away because they blended in with the trash.
- Valuables may become trash because they deteriorated at the bottom of a pile.
- Underneath the deteriorating piles, the house will start to deteriorate and decay. A handyman can’t get to an area to fix it. Perhaps it was a teeny leak that becomes a pervasive mold problem. Whatever it is, the home gets worse and worse until eventually it’s unlivable and becomes condemned by the city. Nothing will delight your neighbors as much as lowering their property values.
- Speaking of delighting the neighbors, when we have excessive amounts of clutter, other creatures like to move in. If you’re lucky it’s just fleas and spiders. If you’re not, it’s cockroaches and/or rats. Once they’re there, it’s hell, high water and soooooo much money and hassle to throw those party-crashing pests out of your house. Plus, because they’re not lovely guests, they invite themselves over to crash at your neighbors’ homes as well. Those critters have no etiquette at all!
The problems will compound and grow exponentially. Overall, the longer you put things off, the longer and more hassle it will take to fix.
Am I taking this to a worst case scenario? Sure. (Though I’m still keeping it on the mild end of bad.) However if you never face the clutter, these are things that are possible and highly probable. I can’t tell you how many once, truly monetarily valuable items have been ruined due to neglect and clutter. And not all of the homes were really that bad on the major scale! It may have been from years of non-use, broken under the weight of piles or because they were accidentally stepped on while trying to dig out, but simply facing and caring for the situation would have prevented all of that.
Bottom line, if you don’t do it, it won’t get done. But guess what? If you do it, then it’s done!
So stop delaying the inevitable!
What would happen if there were an accident? A fire? A burglary? Sure, the clutter would be gone, but not on your own terms.
Own your hot mess!!! Then take control over it!
How do we do that?
- Set a realistic end goal for the house. How do you want to live in each room? How do you want to feel? This will be your guiding line while you decide what to keep and what to toss.
- Pick a room and start removing the things you no longer need, use and j’adore. First step first is always to create space. If it doesn’t serve a necessary function, make you feel fabulous or bring you joy, it goes. With the new space, you can more easily play with sorting like with like, additional purging and then creating systems to support your needs.
- If you have multiple projects, do a massive brain dump and create a master list. From the master list, order tasks by importance and/or what needs to take place first to accomplish larger tasks. Then start attacking that list, one item at a time.
- If things need to and can be fixed, get them fixed. If not, ditch it. If you’re unsure, set a deadline. Pop a sticky note on it with its “expiration date” so you’ll know when you can toss it guilt free. If it were important, you’d have done it before deadline. If your home needs repairs, clear a path so the repair can be made and then get it done. Don’t worry about being embarrassed. Repair people have seen EVERYTHING. I know. We discuss it every time I meet one. You’ll be really embarrassed if that simple fix turns into a massive issue and expense because you put it off. Don’t let that happen.
Please stop lying about doing it “later.” Later doesn’t exist. Instead, take small steps. Small steps made daily will give you big gains over time. Celebrate all of those small wins. Remember, productivity rocks! So suck it up, Buttercup! Stop delaying, rip off the band-aid and take control over your clutter!
Melinda is the sassy, redheaded best friend you always wanted. Called everything from slave-driver to life-saver to organizing ninja, her natural organizing skills and vivacious attitude will make getting organized suck less.
Melinda works with mildly cluttered to mildly hoarded people all over the country. She’s also teamed with extreme-cleaning crews to safely clear out massive clutter situations. She was named “Best Personal Organizer” by Fort Worth, TX Magazine and her tips have been featured in Shape, Woman’s Day, and WeTV as well as many other local and national publications.
When not clearing clutter, Melinda enjoys performing as a supernumerary with the Fort Worth Opera, yoga, cooking, and eating indulgent food, and believes that champagne is meant for the everyday.