15 July 2008

I’m always struck how clutter gets in the way of life. I have many clients who constantly feel an obligation to deal with their clutter. They plan to devote a weekend to decluttering, then they start to feel overwhelmed, so they don’t actually deal with it. (Until they call me.)

So for weeks, months, even years, they decline invitations to do fun stuff on their off hours because they should stay home and “get organized.” They don’t treat themselves to a movie, a vacation, or a bike ride because they feel an obligation to stay home and tackle what’s become for them a giant burden.

It breaks my heart.

I’m a big believer in self-care. Maybe because I don’t have kids and therefore have more free time than many women, I have no qualms about taking time away from the “shoulds” and enjoying myself. It happens that I’m easy to amuse—I’m thrilled to sit in front of a DVD of a favorite TV series and knit. That’s my idea of a great time. And I consider that self-care.

Last Sunday I spent the afternoon with some great women, chatting, laughing and doing crafts. Does my bathroom closet need sorting and purging? Oh yeah. It’ll get done some day. But I don’t let it get in the way of the very important hours in the day where I relax and enjoy myself. Getting together with my “craft sisters” nurtures me. And that’s really important.

If you’re reading organizing blogs because you’re feeling disorganized or frustrated by clutter, please don’t let it take over your life. If necessary, seek help (you can find a great organizer via NAPO’s website), and set aside time to work on your organizing project. The key is to actually do the work, rather than intending to do the work and being paralyzed in the process.

And then, please, find time to take care of yourself, rejuvenate your spirits and do something fun. Your idea of fun might be climb a mountain, like my amazing friend Shannon Wilkinson or it might be to take a bubble bath. Maybe you can make a list of things you’d love to do if you only finished getting organized. Then use the items on your list for rewards for the progress you make.

Don’t let clutter get in the way of life. Chip away at it, 15 minutes at a time. Then focus on some self-care. You’re worth it!

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OMG! Janine..that is right on the button. You put that in such a concise and seemingly accurate way! What really is the use in being so attached to a task..that we take a burdensome attitude into it. We even carry the guilt of not completing it when we are away…free of charge. There has to be a balance with just taking time out to rejuvenate! And who knows maybe when you come back to the will feel stronger and more energized to begin again. Thank you Janine.

Jewel 07/15/2008 01:12 PM

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About Janine

Janine Adams

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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