Cures For Too Much
May 2nd, 2014
I’m wrapping up my three-part series today with Too Much.
I will fully admit that I had no idea this was going to turn into a series. I was simply writing about the three things I hear most often from clients; Too Much, Overwhelmed, Not Enough. The words flowed and viola! It’s a blog post with sequels.
I must thank all of my readers who sent me encouraging emails, FB messages and my neighbor for a shout out on the street no less. It really seemed to strike a chord with a lot of you and that’s a good thing.
When my clients mention Too Much what exactly are they referring to? I wish it was that old Styx song (Too Much Time On My Hands) but unfortunately it’s all about stuff.
Everywhere we turn it seems we’re bombarded by an over abundance of stuff/things and we feel pressure to accumulate even more of it. I’m not talking about hoarding here. That’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed by a team of specialized organizers and health professionals. I mean the “I had no idea I had so many of these” stuff.
We are consumers here in the USA. It’s true. We can’t turn down bargains or BOGO offers. 99 cent stores are everywhere. Dollar bins are placed at store entryways to entice us the minute we walk in.
We’ve been told to show our patriotism by going shopping. We shop when we’re happy, sad and bored. We revenge shop and practice retail therapy. Shopping is a major hobby for some. There are now TV shows all about shopping and bargain hunting.
And let’s not forget another driving force behind our buying obsession….marketing geniuses. They make us feel ugly, fat, old and unworthy but “If you just buy this one product all of your dreams will come true and men will fall at your feet.”
What does all of this mean for you?
Well for one thing, an accumulation of too much stuff becomes clutter and clutter is draining. It’s draining your bank account and your energy. It’s a time waster and makes it difficult to get things done. It adds to your daily frustrations which raises your stress levels. Then you become frazzled and lose patience with everyone in your household including yourself.
Get off the merry-go-round once and for all!!!
Things You Can Do To Cut The Clutter
- Ask Yourself These Two Questions:
1. How do I want this space to look and function? You may want a serene spa-like bedroom so let that be your guide as you work through that room. Post some inspiration pictures to serve as a motivator.
2. What do I want my life to look/be like? Maybe you long to entertain more in your home but stuff is stacked on the dining table. This would then be the room to start in.
- Schedule It – Are you serious about getting rid of the clutter? Then mark blocks of time to sort/purge on your calendar. Treat it just like any other important appointment in your life.
- Baby Steps I say this all the time – start small. You will get overwhelmed if you look at tackling your entire house. Begin with a shelf or a drawer and work your way up from there. Shut off the TV, computer, your phone and focus your energy to avoid distractions. As you move through the process you’ll get in a groove.
- Dump Duplicates, Anything Missing Pieces or Broken – This is a simple rule. Let go of broken electronics, toys missing parts, etc. Many of us have good intentions of fixing some of our belongings but never truly get around to it.
- Keep Moving – It’s important to move through your belongings quickly in the sort/purge stage. If you stop and read cards, notes or look at baby pictures of your kids you’ll get side tracked. Put the sentimental stuff aside for when you have more time to reminisce.
- Give Everything A Home – I do mean everything. A place for your keys, phone, office supplies & so on. This is the goal you are moving towards. If everything has a specific home, you will not lose stuff again or waste time looking for things. Which means more time for you!
Stop Too Much Stuff From Creeping Back In
- One In One Out Rule – Once you’ve tackled an area remember the only way to keep the clutter from coming back to get rid something old whenever you bring in something new. Yup ladies, even shoes.
- Purge Before Big Gift Giving Holidays – There are a couple of times during the year that an abundance of new gifts come in at one time like birthdays and Christmas. If you and your family do a purge of clothing & toys before, you’ll have space for those things.
- Say No to Freebies – Sure you can get a free T-shirt or coffee mug for your donation but do you really need it? Say no and do not bring unneeded things into your house from the start.
- Make Decisions And Take Action Right Away – This is especially true with mail/paper. Instead of piling immediately toss/recycle all junk mail, old magazines and newspapers. In fact, paper is such an issue for many that it’s a good idea to sign up for paperless billing and put a stop to catalogs and magazine subscriptions.
- Beware of Hot Spots – Every house has them. They are areas or surfaces that become dumping grounds for stuff. Peter Walsh: flat surfaces are not storage spaces. That means counters, dining tables or beds. Get in the habit of clearing these areas daily.