If you are in the beginning or middle stages of your clutter-clearing journey, it can seem like clutter is more “in your face” now than it was before you started getting rid of it.
And it’s very hard to take time out to enjoy life and live a little when you’re so determined to simplify. It’s also difficult not to hold yourself to extremely high standards in your efforts to declutter (perfectionism rears it’s ugly head!) and when results aren’t evident right away, instead of celebrating successes, we tend to reprimand ourselves for not doing enough.
For each decluttering victory you have, it’s important to acknowledge it and reward yourself.
If your tendency is to use these items as a form of procrastination, flip it around so that instead, use these fun suggestions as rewards.
Here is a bit of encouragement to let go of any perfectionism that might be sneaking in. Try to include a little extra self-care and some fun.
Rest, Recuperate, and Have a Little Fun
Some simple ideas to get you started:
- Read a book. Escape in a good book. If you borrow from the library or borrow from a friend, you won’t have to spend any money or have clutter sitting around when you’re done with it.
- Watch a movie. How about a sentimental movie by yourself or with a friend? Maybe a romantic comedy or action-packed classic with your husband, or have a family movie night. If budget isn’t an issue, go to the theater and enjoy the experience.
- Play cards or a board game. Have friends over for a game night or play games with the family. Even little ones love playing games: an intense game of Go Fish will make their day.
- Treat yourself to a special beverage. While you’re out grocery shopping, splurge for your favorite tea or latte and enjoy.
- Cuddle up by a fire. If you have a fireplace, make use of it. Get cozy and enjoy the warmth.
- Turn on some music. Make necessary routine chores less of a drudgery with some music. Dancing around the living room or kitchen, anyone?
- Squeeze in a date night. If you are on a tight budget, go out for appetizers and drinks, or dessert and coffee instead of dinner. No babysitter? Put on a movie for the kids and have a date night at home.
- Meet a friend for tea or coffee. It’s a bonus if you can time it around your grocery shopping and make it less of a chore.
- Call an old friend. Nothing lifts the spirits and soothes like a good chat with a forever friend that you haven’t talked to in a long time.
- Take a nap. Yes, a nap. Give yourself permission to rest.
- Sleep in. Yes. Again, rest is a good thing.
- Take a bubble bath. Adding some lavender bath salts can make it even more relaxing.
- Have an impromptu potluck. Forget perfection and enjoy some time with friends or extended family.
- Make a fort with blankets. A tent made of blankets can be hours of fun for the kids, albeit messy. Get in with them, at least for a few minutes, and read a book in the tent. They will love it.
- Color or paint. Nurturing the creative side is very calming. Adult coloring books are hitting store shelves for a reason. When was the last time you colored or painted?
- Knit, crochet, or sew. This is also a very calming activity. If you enjoy this creative pastime, take some time and finish a project you’ve been putting off.
- Get crafty with the kids. Find a simple paper craft for the season and decorate the windows. Little ones will love it, and even teens will impress with their designs.
- Have fun in the kitchen. Do a “food craft.” Bake cookies, and let the kids decorate. Imperfectly.
- Eat breakfast in bed. Surprise someone you love with breakfast in bed. Make some for you too!
- Have some fun outdoors. When was the last time you played in the snow, instead of grumbled about it? Jump in the fall leaves, run through the sprinkler in the summer. Your kids will never forget.
When you look at this list, don’t waste any time on guilt or shoulds. You know, thoughts like, “I should read more to the kids,” “we should have game nights more often,” or “we never bake cookies together.”
We’re all different; we have different interests and strengths. If these ideas don’t strike you, what does sound fun and enjoyable? Do that instead. Whatever it is make it a point to carve out some time for you and your family.