What Now? How Long Do I Declutter For?
Our What Now? Series continues. This is #9 in the series. I really encourage you to check out all the episodes I have created. I have Where Do I Begin? that helps you in beginning the process of decluttering. The What Now? Series continues the process of decluttering. You can check out all Hoardganize episodes here: http://hoardganize.libsyn.com.
I get asked this question all the time: “How long should I declutter for at a time? A day? An hour? A week?” I recommend that you declutter every single day. It sounds like a lot and an overwhelming amount of work to do. Take a deep breath. Even though I recommend decluttering daily, the amount of time you should spend is only 15 minutes before you take a break, especially if you are not used to decluttering.
Fifteen minutes might not sound like a lot, but it will add up. Where did my recommendation come from? It’s a combination of my personal experience, colleagues, classes and hoarding books that I have read. I would like you to work 15 minutes and stop or take a break. It is up to you and your schedule where you fit the time.
Are you easily distracted? Set a timer, or use a visual timer, so you will know exactly when 15 minutes is up. It’s easy to get absorbed and lose track of time. Make sure you work on one task at a time. Especially if you have ADHD: one task at a time!
Not sure what area to work on? Go back to Episode 3 Where Do I Begin? and get a refresher. It is okay to be unsure of where to begin later in the process. Maybe you know where to begin and find it hard to prioritize. Fifteen minutes might not be enough. Begin with one task. Don’t get caught up in: “Should I start there? Or should is start here?” As Tony Robbins says, “Don’t should all over yourself.” Don’t waste your time in the “should” land.
Work one area for 15 minutes and stop. What do I mean by stop? Maybe you are on a roll and don’t want to stop. A stop can simply mean taking a deep breath, closing your eyes, shifting your seated position, getting water, eating a snack, going to the bathroom, petting your cat, dog or bearded dragon. You don’t have to stop completely what you are doing and abandon ship!
Collectors, remember to not make it all or nothing. Get out of this thinking pattern that is has to all be done at once or I won’t do anything at all. Or I am not going fast enough so that must mean I won’t ever finish and should quit now. Stop beating yourself up! Give yourself a break and acknowledge all the work you have done and how far you have come.
Keep focused on where you are. Do not start a new pile or project. And please try not to have multiple projects running at once, it will make it hard for you to focus. It’s especially important to finish one project before you start the next.
If you are done for the day after 15 minutes, congratulate yourself. You dedicated time and worked on your home. Fifteen minutes adds up and is a great way to start building new habits and routines. In the future, add more 15 minutes sections. Remember, you don’t have to go hard or go home; it is not all or nothing. Understand you are learning new methods of dealing with clutter. This clutter didn’t get in your home overnight, so it might take longer to get out of your home. That’s okay; tackle clutter 15 minutes at a time.
Are you shoulding all over yourself? Does the thought of spending 15 minutes working on decluttering overwhelm you? Collector Care can help! We can help you with getting organized, hoarding or decluttering your home or business.
Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email email@example.com to schedule your free 30-minute consultation and learn about how we can help you need a little support or a whole team.
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Clutter and anxiety frequently go hand in hand; clutter can create a lot of anxiety.
Clutter is a constant reminder of things that you haven’t completed yet. Do you have stacks of laundry you haven’t washed? Do you have a lot of mail and packages that need to be opened? Most likely you are feeling a lot of anxiety, consciously or unconsciously, whenever you walk past these items.
Besides the clutter there is the added anxiety of “What will people think? What will family and friends think if they come over and see my mess? What would neighbors think if they could see the inside of my home?” If you were not anxious before the clutter came, you are likely to be anxious now.
Through the years I have learned some very valuable techniques to help manage anxiety. This post comes straight from my heart. Here are my five tips on easing the anxiety from clutter.
Deep breathing. Try doing this away from your clutter. You can practice this in a car, park, or quite place. Inhale through your nose for a count of four; hold your breath for a count of five; and release your breath through pursed lips (like you are blowing out a candle or making a wish on a dandelion). Repeat until you feel relaxed. Try and keep your mind free and clear of intrusive thoughts while you are practicing deep breathing. If your mind starts to race, gently redirect it back to a place of peace and quiet.
Journaling. Write down how you feel in the moment of anxiety. Write down all of the reasons why you are anxious. Release all of the clutter and anxiety you are hoarding in your heart by journaling and letting go of all of that tension.
Exercise. Burning off that anxiety helps release all of that pressure. Exercise stimulates your nerves and circulates your blood, allowing you to relieve tension and gain clarity. I know many of my readers are retired, disabled or injured. Exercising doesn’t mean you have to go out and get a gym membership or start skiing again. I am not talking about overexerting yourself. Trying walking around a bit or wiggling without your walker. Gentle stretching is also a form of exercise.
Seek professional help. Cognitive behavioral therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) are some possible holistic ways to deal with anxiety. You can see a psychiatrist who would help you find medication to deal with your anxiety. You don’t need to suffer any longer! By seeking professional help, you are going let go a lot of the added anxiety and depression that you are carrying with the clutter.
Affirmations. You are what you believe. If you are terrified and anxious, then your physical self is going to respond accordingly. Every day tell yourself you are strong, you are brave and you deserve to be happy. Try and tell yourself affirmations for five times a day, for two weeks, at least. Write affirmations on your mirror, put a post note it in your car. Do whatever you can to try and change your negative thinking patterns.
Does clutter make you anxious? Would you like to clear clutter to reduce you anxiety? Would you like to walk into a decluttered and peaceful home? Collector Care can help you with extreme clutter, regular decluttering work, and work with you if you are a hoarder.
Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free 30-minute consultation and learn about how we can help you!
For more information about EMDR: http://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/
For more information about EFT: https://www.emofree.com/eft-tutorial/tapping-basics/what-is-eft.html
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