New Year Clutter

I don’t know about you, but I ate way too much over the holidays. It started with two Thanksgiving dinners and ended with a three-day New Year celebration.

I was shocked to discover that in less than six weeks, I had gained nearly 10 pounds! At that rate, if I were to continue doing what I was doing, I would gain 87 pounds by this time next year. Yikes!

That’s how it is with clutter. It creeps up on us as the result of all the little choices we make every day. To buy things on impulse or because they are on sale. To drop things anywhere instead of putting them away. To put off decisions about what to do with things we no longer love or use.

All these choices eventually add up to a home that is bulging at the seams in much the same way that I am bulging at the seams! Needless to say, I am now on a diet, which I prefer to call a healthy eating program. It’s a sensible plan that is simple, effective, and sustainable. That’s the kind of plan you want if you, too, want to win the battle of the bulge in your home.

How do you think shedding the excess stuff in your home would make you feel? Happier? Less stressed? Proud of yourself – and your home?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The way get clutter OUT the door is to deal with it the same way it came IN – little by little. Day by day. Room by room. Drawer by drawer.

The hardest part is getting started.

Remember Newton’s first law of motion? A body at rest remains at rest and a body in motion remains in motion at the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an outside force. It may be a bit of a stretch to apply the law of inertia to decluttering. But the truth is that the “body of clutter” in your home is not going anywhere unless YOU set it into motion.  Thinking about doing something is not enough. You have to physically act on it.

That said, getting your brain in gear IS a good start and it’s something you can do right now.

What if you set an intention – right now – to remove one thing a day from your home – or maybe even three things each day?

What if you make a decision – right now – to not buy anything except necessities throughout the month of January?

What if you resolve – right now – to clean out one drawer each night after dinner?

I know that the prospect of getting organized (much like the process of losing weight) can seem overwhelming when you’re looking at months and years of accumulation. So instead of thinking about how long it’s going to take, focus instead on the little things you can do each day that will move clutter out the door and keep it out.

Robert Collier, a 20th-century American author whose self-help books are still popular today said, ” Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out.”

I set a goal to shed 18 pounds. I figure if I can lose 6 pounds a month, I will be at my ideal weight 90 days from today. That’s a pound and a half a week, which is very doable if I stick to my plan – day in and day out as Mr. Collier suggests. That – and the promise I made to buy myself a new wardrobe this spring when I reach my goal weight.

Are you with me? What’s your goal for the next 90 days? And what will your reward be?