I am in a facebook group dedicated to followers of the Flylady. A woman posted this morning about one of her rooms, looked like a garage maybe. She said she felt way too overwhelmed to start. I know exactly how she felt. You take one look into that room and know you don’t have enough energy to make a dent in that large pile so you just walk away.
I had the same situation with our home office a year ago. I couldn’t deal with it. One day I made a pact with myself. I would walk away from the mess without feeling any guilt but I had to deal with 5 items in the room. Everyday. So everyday I would walk into the room and somedays I did actually feel like working on it but most days I didn’t. So most days I walked in picked up 5 items, put them in their rightful place (trash, donate bin or just put back in its correct spot) then walked away. I never felt overwhelmed because it was just 5 things and I was able to walk away feeling successful. It made me feel good and not like a failure like I so often did.
It allowed me to come back the next day, still feeling successful, and do the same thing. Before I knew it a week had passed and I had picked up 35 things and believe it or not I actually saw a dent! Then a month passed and two months and the room actually had a floor again!
Everyone has a number that works for them. FlyLady suggests 27 things. Thats crazy overwhelming for me. Some people set a timer and do 15 minutes, or 5 minutes. The point is pick a number that works for you. Of course the higher the number, the quicker you will see progress but don’t pick too high a number that you never want to do it. Pick a number that seems TOTALLY doable for you. Ideally that number is higher than 1 but if 1 is all you can handle, then that is certainly better than zero. So start with 1 and go for it. Maybe on some days instead of picking up 1 item, you go for 1 minute! One is better than none!
I’m 33 and am only now finally getting a handle on how to keep myself organized. Am I perfect at it? Not even close. In fact the other day I bounced a check and paid a $35 returned check fee. Yikes. But I’m getting better and better and each time I make an error like that I have the space in my life to fix it so that I don’t allow that to happen again. In fact, I’d like to talk about this “space” concept in more depth.
Feeling inadequate in any area of your life can lead you to buy things to fill that void. Boy oh boy did I do that. For years I pressured my husband to buy a bigger house because surely, not having enough storage space in our 1300sqft home was our biggest problem. Not the fact that we were storing all kinds of stuff we didn’t need.
I wish I had a better sense of the timeline of my decluttering process but if I had to guess I’d say I started about a year ago. Once my twins were 3, and in preschool two days a week, I had some more time to reflect on my home and really got cracking on making it into a livable home for my family.
If my experience can help anybody struggling with ADHD in keeping their home clean or their life more streamlined then sharing my story will be worth it. For so long I have held the ADHD badge in shame. No longer.
(our trip was cut short due to a sick child and it certainly was nice coming home to a clean house!)
We are going away this weekend. I love traveling. We haven’t been able to do it as much lately so its such a treat to get out of town and change up the routine every once in a while. Prior to most trips I’m usually in a fog, depressed or just stuck in whatever muck my brain is swimming in. We usually leave with the house a complete nightmare.
As I have been going thru my routines this past few days, our house is actually floating somewhere right below clean. If I dusted and fully cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen it would almost be completely clean. Wow.
It’s not just the routines that have gotten me to this point. A major part of it is all the decluttering I’ve been doing. When you have less stuff there is simply less of a mess to clean.
Back to my point. The best part of traveling….is coming home. Not only that but coming home to a CLEAN home. Coming home to a complete disaster isn’t nearly as fun. It occurred to me today that we leave in less than 48 hours. There is only so much my kids can tear apart in 48 hours. If I don’t bring down the toys with the small pieces, clean up will be even easier. Of course we have a tiny home. I did a 15 minute hot spot pickup this evening. I was able to pick up all the toys in the living room and dining room and get them back into the playroom. Are they put away? No. They are scattered about all over the playroom floor. But I let that go a long time ago. As long as I am not constantly tripping over their toys, I do not care how the playroom looks.
I’m very optimistic about this homecoming being a delightful one!
I’ve been meaning to organize my Project Life supplies for some time. I was able to get started on the project last week.
Take a look!
I am really excited to start on Ali Edwards One Little Word® project this year. Ali Edwards is a major creative force in the scrapbooking and Project Life world. I’ve known of her for awhile now and followed her blog. I’ve seen this project and known other bloggers that do it each year but it always just felt like something extra on my plate, something that I didn’t want to add to the mix. This year though, it felt right.
For whatever the reason, it feels like my life is finally coming together. I went back and forth on what word I was going to choose and the word CLEAN was really speaking to me. Initially I thought about simple or simplify or cleanse but the word CLEAN is just what I needed I believe. CLEAN out my old life, CLEAN out the mistakes I’ve made and am still holding onto (thus punishing myself continuously). CLEAN out the old Erin to make way for the new. I could make New Year’s resolutions that I won’t keep, more promises to break. Or I could start a journey of figuring out who I am and where I want to be.
With the kids starting kindergarten in just under two years, things are really moving forward for us. The kids are getting more mature and taking care of more and more on their own. I can actually ask them to complete tasks on themselves (brush teeth, put on socks & shoes, hang up coat, etc). They no longer nap so they go to bed early which gives us a nice long evening to relax. But also it has made us realize they will be at Jackson Elementary soon enough and we would like to stay in this house longer. If that is going to happen things will need to change a bit. The house needs to be CLEAN. We need to make it work for our family of 4 which includes 2 rapidly growing children.
Of course that is not the only explanation for the word CLEAN. I’ve been working at staying on my medication which helps me have a CLEAN mind. I haven’t been running although I really hope to return to that. It has many meanings to me. CLEAN in the home, CLEAN of the mind, CLEAN of the soul, CLEAN of the body, CLEAN of the heart, a CLEAN slate in my relationships CLEAN bed to get into at night, CLEAN kitchen to cook CLEAN food in, CLEAN spaces for my children to play in, CLEAN office for my husband to work in
CLEAN attitude in disciplining my children, CLEANing out the bookshelves by removing those I’ve read and reading those I haven’t, CLEAN out the office and my crafts stash by using only supplies I have on hand for OLW and other scrapbooking projects.
I know there are many more ways to describe how I plan to see the word CLEAN be used in my life but I think this is a pretty great place to start. I can’t wait to see where this word takes me on my journey this year. This is the year to be CLEAN.
Please stay tuned for updates on this project on my YouTube channel which you can access HERE.