How To Overcome Decluttering Paralysis

Decluttering was on my list of New Year’s resolutions two years ago. Then again last year. Each year I only managed to go through a few shelves and drawers before giving up. It took forever, I felt like I was hardly making any progress and when I thought of how much work I still had to do, I wanted to run.

This year I haven’t picked any resolutions, but the desire to have a more spacious, clutter-free home is still there. So I’ve been trying out new strategies to overcome decluttering paralysis and they’re working!

RELATED: Clutter Crazy: How To Declutter (And Save Your Sanity)

Get inspired

I can recommend a couple of books on decluttering and organising your home that will inspire you: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo and Soulspace by Xorin Balbes.

I know what you’re thinking now. “But decluttering frustrates me, why would I want to read books about it?” At least, that’s exactly what I thought when I came across these books. Then a friend mentioned that her mum had read just 80 pages of Marie Kondo’s book and that was all she needed to find motivation and get her home oranised in no time. I thought I could probably cope with 80 pages, so I gave it a go.

At first, I was amused. The author was obsessed with tidying and I wanted to have nothing to do with it. Her methods were never going to work for me, we were too different. Then, when I was one third through the book, something shifted and I couldn’t wait to get stated!

Get company

Decluttering is more fun when you’re not doing it alone. If you have children, ask them to help and then you won’t have to spend your child-free time tidying up. Having kids around can make it difficult to discard any clothes (my kids seem to love the way I look in pretty much anything), but it gives you a boost of confidence!

If you don’t have kids, team up with a friend and make time for some decluttering parties. When you’re having a great time and interesting conversations, you’ll get everything done quickly and effortlessly.

Keep up the momentum

If your place is anything like mine, you won’t be able to complete your decluttering mission in one go. Don’t leave too much time between your decluttering sessions or the area you tidied up last time will get messy again and you’ll get discouraged. Instead, do as much as you can every day or at least a few times a week. You’ll be able to see that you’re making progress and you’ll find motivation to keep on going.

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September 2, 2015

How To Get Motivated After A Holiday

Holidays are there so that we can rest, have some fun and get fired up to return to our everyday life, right? Only it rarely works out that way. Holidays never seem to be long enough and getting back to our routine can feel like an ordeal. It’s hard to get up in the morning, we have tons of work to catch up on and our mind is still back there, at the beach, on the slopes or in Paris. If this is happening to you, here are some tips on how to get motivated after a holiday.

RELATED: All Work And No Play… Creating Balance In Success

Get some rest

“What? But I’ve just come back from holidays. I don’t have time to rest”, I hear you say. But often we come back from holidays tired. Not the same tiredness that you feel after a hard day of work, but tired nevertheless. You may be jetlagged or you may have engaged in more physical activity than normal, or you mind might be full of new impressions. So don’t push yourself too hard for the first few days and take as much time for rest as you can.

Set your priorities

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the mountain of work that’s waiting for you, so your first instinct is to start doing stuff as fast as you can. A couple of hours into it and you’ll get frustrated that your to-do list doesn’t seem to become any shorter. Instead, spend some time evaluating what’s most important right now and do those tasks first.

Start small

Understandably, you’d want to get up to date with everything immediately, on the very first day. And this is the quickest way to burnout. Remember, you’ve just come back from a holiday, your next one is probably not coming for a while, so you need to pace yourself. As long as you get the important tasks out of the way, it’s OK to give yourself some time to catch up with everything else.

Focus on what you love

As much as you’d rather be on holidays, there’re probably plenty of positive experiences in your day – being able to eat your favourite food, sharing your memories with a colleague, getting a new client who loves you. Acknowledge these special moments and you’ll find that your day flows with a lot more ease.

Do you have more tips on how to get motivated after a holiday? Please share them!

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February 15, 2015

Get your arse into gear!

We all have dreams lying dormant inside us. We’re often too busy dealing with daily life to pursue them, until something happens to remind us of what we really want out of life.

There are many events in life that motivate us to pursue our dreams – a high school reunion full of successful ex-classmates; your ex-boyfriend marrying a television weather girl; your assistant being promoted above you. It’s moments like this that shake us up and remind us what we really want from life. But often we don’t get much further than that. We lose the motivation and end up stuck in the same spot.

When you realise that there are major things in your life you’d like to change, it’s time to act. If you don’t, another year will roll by and before you know it, nothing has changed but your age. If lack of willpower is holding you back, there are plenty of other ways to get motivated, from the bargain basement to the deluxe. Here are just a few:

Some Friendly Advice

Your best buddies are usually your first port of call when your life is looking less than rosy. Unfortunately they may have just one intention – to pick you up off the floor by convincing you that your life is fine the way it is. Sure you’ll feel better, but you’ll lose your incentive to improve anything. And there’s a few other possibilities to be wary of. Talking about your imperfect life may force them to contemplate their own lives, something they may not appreciate! And you don’t want to gain a reputation as a whinger, or you may find your friends are always too busy to catch up. Nonetheless, it’s a cheap option, costing approximately one bottle of winefeel  per session and a sympathetic ear in return.

Wise Words

Wander through the self-help section of any bookshop and you’ll be amazed at the range. The best thing about using a book for motivation is that you can work through it as slowly as you like, and choose which advice to follow and which to discard. But does it work? Well yes, and no. It depends how much motivation you have to begin with. The book may be full of great advice, but it only works if you actually take action. Lose the book behind the washing machine before you’ve finished chapter one, and nothing in your life is going to change. A fairly cheap option, and you’ll always have the book to refer to.

Visit a Professional

When you hook up with a life coach, you’re employing someone to keep you on track over a series of sessions. It’s personalised, so the help they give is tailored specifically towards achieving the things in life that matter to you. “And the aim of any successful coaching series,” as Results Life Coach Christina Grant says, “is to winkle out those underlying habits that are holding you back in life – and replace them with new habits to keep you on track towards the new you.” It’s especially effective if you were one of those kids that always did their homework. Not so effective if you’re the master of excuses. The best part is that you can talk solidly about your own future for one hour a week, without boring your friends stupid. It can be an expensive option, but it’s worth it for the personal attention.

See a Motivational Guru

Depending on just how famous the guru is, attending a motivational seminar can be the most expensive course of action. But if an immediate wake up call is what you’re looking for, this could be it. You’re not just paying for their words of wisdom, you could read that in their latest book. The value is in the atmosphere and excitement the speaker can generate. If the excitement doesn’t kill you you’ll be filled to bursting with motivation. Just be aware that these kind of events often include lots of participation, and some are not for the faint hearted! This can be an excellent way to make major change in your life, but only if you manage to take some positive action before the excitement wears off. Otherwise you’re just left with the t-shirt and some catchy one-liners.

Taking action to improve your life can leave you feeling empowered and excited about your new future. Just remember, no matter what tools you rely upon, you’ll still have to do the hard work on your own.

By Louise Pattie

March 10, 2003