The first message about Analyze—How Did It Get This Way?—reviewed how our busy lives, with resulting overcommitments, can get us into deep trouble. Lots of our group members had some “Aha” moments when pondering that idea.
Some other factors affecting our cluttered lives and lifespaces revolve around : 1) how much stuff we have, 2) how easily we become distracted and 3) the amount of energy we can exert until we run out of steam.
Let’s quickly review the first factor. Most of us would generally agree that we have too much stuff—too many knickknacks to dust, too many papers we hesitate to discard, too many clothes clogging up our closets and dresser drawers. I’ve been reading a great book (thanks to Charlotte Shirey for the recommendation) about why people are chronically disorganized and this thought really hit home—each time we choose to put something away, give it away, or trash it we have to make a decision. Duh, of course it’s a decision. However, sometimes we aren’t ready to make the decision so we avoid it for another day in the future. Here’s an example:
I have some shoes that don’t fit, although I’ve sure tried to make them fit. Worn them with insoles, with heel pads, with thicker/thinner socks…they just don’t fit. They’re brand new, should I give them to Goodwill? Oh, come on, they’re too nice for that. How about a friend? Kathy at my old office has fussy feet like me, maybe she could wear them. I remember talking to her several times about how hard it was to find shoes that didn’t hurt. Oh, that won’t work, we both retired and I never see her anymore. Well, how about Cathy back home? She likes low heels and we can often wear the same shoes. Oh, that’s right, I won’t see her for a couple of months. Should I mail the shoes to her?
You can see how a pair of new, black shoes might sit on my bedroom floor so long that I’ve had to dust them at least three times.
I think we can only handle so many decisions in a day. Be kind to yourself, limit your decluttering and organizing sessions to short periods of time.
Next post—the tyranny of distractions and energy depletion.
Be sure to write Karen and Georgia and let us know how you’re doing in your organization quest.
Save the date—Tuesday evening, July 10th, at Kim Newlen’s home. Georgia and Karen will pamper you with homemade desserts and demonstrate some ideas for organizing. Leslie Kuhfuss will share ideas for organizing memorabilia, including photos. The evening will be open to friends, so invite them early!