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!