Have you decided the answer to your organizational woes is to become a minimalist?
You’ve been getting rid of items by the hundreds. Filling out your beautiful chart, proudly coloring in box after box, and your house still isn’t clean and organized.
Maybe you even already know that routines are the key to keeping your home clean and clutter-free for good, but you haven’t been able to establish them.
Consciously, it seems so easy:
- Sort your stuff
- Put it away, give it away, throw it away
- Create a home for everything
- Keep your routines
- And so on
You’ve read all the great advice; you’re making some progress, but you just can’t get there day in and day out. You certainly haven’t experienced any minimalist utopia, or any of Marie Kondo’s “Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”
You find yourself in a swirling mess of chaos, no matter how hard you try to escape it.
If so, you are not alone. Some struggle with organization and routines, no matter how few possessions they have. And with a family, you are always going to have some stuff to manage. Cutting the excess makes it easier, but it doesn’t solve all the problems.
It doesn’t have to be that way forever. In order to makes some lasting changes, you first need to start paying attention to what’s getting in the way.
So what is getting in the way?
Some of us spend far too much time (years even!) on something that doesn’t have to be so complicated.
Why? Because we don’t address the root problem.
We get in our own way; we self-sabotage!
There are some definite ways that we sabotage our own cleaning efforts. If you struggle with creating routines that tackle the mess consistently, and have trouble beating the chaos in your life once and for all, you will probably relate to more than one.
As you read them, really think about which ones might pertain to you. In identifying them, you can begin to overcome them.
Here they are:
With perfectionism, no matter how hard you work, it never feels good enough. You take the picture as a whole, so even though you are working in the kitchen, you are also thinking about the mess in the basement, and the closets, and under the beds.
As soon as you make progress you feel good about in one area, someone messes it up, which is really frustrating! As a result, eventually you give up and don’t try at all, because you just can’t deal with the fact that, try as you might, it never feels finished.
2. Trouble setting boundaries
You set your boundaries. For example:
- Eat only in the kitchen
- No food in the car
- No accepting bags full of hand-me-downs
- Saturday is “Clean and wash the car” day
But these “rules” only last for a few days or weeks, and as soon life gets busy, they get thrown out the window.
Or you have trouble saying no to others when they make requests of you. This causes your schedule to be too full, which makes it difficult to keep up with your home, and to keep the other boundaries you’ve set.
You change things up frequently, which makes it impossible to establish routines. You start a system, it works okay, and then it fizzles out and you create a new one. Or you work really hard on a project, then give up before it’s finished, and move on to another one.
You know what you need to do, but for some reason, you avoid doing it.
For example, keeping the dishes washed, dried, and put away is the most important chore to complete to feel good about your home each day, but you save it for last. Instead, you do something counterproductive first, such as sorting bins of Legos by color.
5. Lack of focus
Instead of cleaning one drawer, or one room, or one area, you flit around the house doing a little bit here, and a little bit there.
The result: you don’t have anything concrete to show for your efforts.
Often indecision is the reason we have boxes and bins full of items sitting around for far too long. Instead of taking items right to the car for donation, we hold on to them because we can’t decide.
Will you need it someday? Will you regret getting rid of it?
So you keep it, for now, and it interferes with your progress.
7. Limiting beliefs
These are false beliefs that we replay in our heads, often subconsciously.
- “I’m just a messy person.”
- “I’ll never get it together.”
Limiting beliefs keep us from making positive changes.
8. Unrealistic expectations
You expect too much of yourself.
You think it’s possible to go grocery shopping, steam clean the carpets, wash all the dishes, pay the bills, clean out the closets, and do the carpool all in the same day.
By creating a list of to-dos a mile long, you set yourself up for frustration.
You try to do it all yourself, instead of requesting, or accepting help from your husband or children.
Instead of doing it now, you put it off until another time.
It can manifest in many ways:
- leaving the clothes in the dryer instead of folding and putting away
- soaking the pans instead of washing them now
- hopping on social media instead of running errands that need to be done
You hold onto things because you might need them someday. You don’t trust that your needs will be met.
The result: a cluttered home, full of things you don’t really need or love.
The simple first step to overcoming
What’s the simple first step to changing lasting patterns of disorganization? Awareness.
Yes, that’s it!
Start paying attention, and identify the patterns. Once you identify what’s getting in your way, you can shine some light on it.
You can start asking yourself “Why?”
You can start to challenge yourself. There are some great books and resources out there to empower you with knowledge, and of course, it’s always good to connect with others who have the same struggles to see what’s worked for them. You are definitely not alone!
Then you will be on the road to making changes that will finally lead to achieving your goal of a clean and organized home.
Which one of these sneaky things are getting in your way of a clean and organized home? Have you noticed any others?