When we decide to deal with our clutter, we usually have a great expectation that this time it will be different.
This time we feel more focused, determined, hopeful, ready to get rid of things, ready to do whatever it takes to get this done as quickly and painlessly as possible.
We’ve set aside a day, a weekend, maybe even a week. We’ve had a good nights sleep so we’re feeling energised, we might have gone out and bought supplies and storage in readiness for a productive decluttering session, maybe even asked friends or family to help – and this time we’re going to get….it……done.
And we’re off, but before we know it we’re paralysed and unable to make a decision and we’ve ground to a complete halt. AGAIN.
Why is this so difficult?
This really shouldn’t be so hard.
Our expectation was that it would somehow be easier this time. We were ready and willing to have another go despite our many previous failed attempts.
Here are 4 reasons why our expectations don’t match reality when it comes to our decluttering.
1. Decluttering versus Clutter Free Forever
Our expectation – and maybe even our belief – is that we ‘just’ need to declutter and then we’ll be OK. Get ready for me to burst that bubble. Decluttering isn’t the same as clearing your clutter Forever.
Decluttering is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as: the activity of removing things you do not need from a place, in order to make it more pleasant and more useful. There’s no mention of ‘forever’, yet our expectation is that if we finally manage to declutter, it will last forever.
Yet the reality is that because of our habits (see reason number 4), decluttering is only ever temporary because our habits cause the clutter to grow back, slowly yet surely.
Just because you’re feeling more focused, determined, ready to ‘get rid’ of things, ready to do whatever it takes to get this done as quickly and painlessly as possible, nothing will change if you don’t change HOW you’re trying to declutter.
As Albert Einstein said:
doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results’.
Your expectation may be that just because you feel different you’ll get different results, but you need to ‘do’ it differently if you want to get different results.
Motivation and determination aren’t doing it differently. The reality is that you’re going to have to find an alternative method to piling, blitzing, weeding, moving, reorganising and storing your clutter if you want to clear your clutter Forever.
You’re never going to successfully clear your clutter forever in a day, week, month or even a year if you’ve got it in more than 3 rooms or areas of your home, and have had it for more than 3 years. Most people expect to be able to clear it quickly, but even if you were able to dedicate 8 hours a day, 5 days a week to your decluttering for as long as it took to clear it all, your brain won’t be able to focus for more than 30 minutes at a time before it needs a rest, and after 2 hours your brain stops completely because it’s run out of energy.
If you try to do more than 2 hours a day, you’ll be wasting 6 hours a day feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, stupid, annoyed, stressed…. Pick a negative emotion and you’ll be feeling that for 6 of your 8 hours a day – assuming you don’t give up before then.
As much as you may expect to be able to keep going all day, every day for as long as it takes to just get it all done, your brain isn’t going to play ball. The reality is, your brain limits you so you can do no more than 2 hours a day of REALISTIC decision making, which means in reality it’s going to take you way more than a day, a week or even a year to clear your backlog of clutter.
Clearing your clutter Forever is a journey, not an event. Unfortunately – as I you no doubt already know – there are no quick fixes. Yet whether it takes you 2 years or 5 years, clearing your clutter Forever on the Clutter Clearing Journey will still be faster and more permanent than doing it on your own.
Our expectation is that once we clear the backlog of clutter then that will be it – done. Yet if that were true, those TV decluttering programmes would do ‘where they are now’ follow-up series to their case studies. They don’t – because their case studies have habits.
You have your clutter challenge because you have habits you probably don’t even realise you have. We start to find out what some of these are on Step 1 of the 7 Step Journey.
Most clutterholics have is a habit of accumulating more than they NEED or USE, convincing themselves the bargains are saving them money, buying those special offers every time they’re in the store, even though it’s going to take them a year to get through what they’ve already got (that’s assuming they stop buying those bargains and special offers NOW).
Every clutterholic has is a habit of giving up (see 1, 2 and 3 above). Every clutterholic has a habit of diving straight in to the physical clutter rather than finding out what habits they have so they can clear their clutter Forever so they never have to do this again.
The reality is, if you want to clear your clutter Forever, you’re going to have to take the time to find out what habits you have, take the time to work out what habits you need instead, and then take the time to create NEW habits that will enable you to stay clutter free Forever.
It’s time for you to raise your expectations
Expect to clear your clutter – FOREVER because you’ve created the habits to enable you to do that.
Expect to clear your clutter by using a method that enables you to create those habits that will enable you to STAY clutter free FOREVER.
Expect that clearing your clutter FOREVER will take time yet will still be quicker than continuing to do what you’re doing on your own.
If you want to clear your clutter forever without an expensive home visit, the only way to do that is with the Clutter Clearing 7 Step Journey. Find out more here: https://www.clutterclearing.net/7-step-journey/