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Decluttering And How To Improve Procrastination

What is procrastination? Oxford Language is credited for the following definition: pro·cras·ti·na·tion, noun, the action of delaying or postponing something. Example: “your first tip is to avoid procrastination”

Are you a procrastinator?

Most of us answer ‘no’ until we sheepishly admit to ‘yes’. After all who wants to do a dreaded task? Not me! Putting off tasks and delaying decision-making can lead to a buildup of clutter and disorganized physical spaces over time, not to mention add nothing positive to our mental health. This buildup of physical clutter can lead to piles of mental clutter. See if any of the following sound familiar.

Do you experience difficulty Letting Go?

Do you have trouble parting with your belongings even when they are no longer needed (maybe never were!), have no practical or sentimental value? Are you tired of seeing too much stuff in your living or work space?

Lack of organization

If you don’t have organization systems in place you will likely find organizing difficult. I am not talking about running out and buying costly snappy containers and hiring carpenters to build built ins for you! I have always lived within a tight budget and those options were unavailable to me.

Gutter pieces cut to desired lengths are a cheap way to organize

Still I have always been ridiculously organized and clutter free. I have well established routines and (cheap!) systems to be organized and to maintain my organized and clutter free home and art studios.

The alternative would be living in disorder and chaos and I would find this an impossible space in which to focus. I think few would consciously choose clutter over being organized.

Picture of sorted glass in my studio. I found a bunch of lengths of PVC gutter and tubes and it works perfectly to sort colors of glass etc. The tubes fit nicely in clear totes as they would in a recycled carton.

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Time management

Many people have difficulty managing time effectively. To make matters worse we are so easily and constantly being bombarded with new information to distract us, not necessarily valuable info. This results in tasks being left unfinished or forgotten, which adds to the overall disorganization.

Decision making

Feeling overwhelmed by the volume of items or tasks is one of the reasons we may procrastinate organizing or decluttering. Even deciding what to declutter first is a challenge to some folks. This is real and there is no need to feel shame. Believe me you have many positive attributes. Right now organizing is not one of them. This can change if you want. Deciding to change is all that is necessary for this most important first step.

Clutter Blindness

Disorganized individuals may get used to their cluttered surroundings, becoming “blind” to the extent of the problem and its impact on their well-being. Maybe a new pair of eyes is needed. Can you enlist a friend to help? A friend that has great organizational skills will take a look around and make suggestions.

We have a free Facebook private community group where help is available too. We all help each other.

Prioritizing:

Do you struggle to determine priorities and allocate time and resources appropriately? This is a contributing factor to a lack of organization.

Inefficient Storage and Space Utilization

Failing to utilize storage spaces effectively or lacking proper storage solutions can exacerbate clutter issues.

Many of these things are causes of clutter. How many of these things ring true for you? Here are some helpful suggestions.

Yarns organized by color in free corrugated boxes

Start small

Procrastination more often than not stems from feeling overwhelmed by the size or complexity of a task. My suggestion is to concentrate on one object at a time. If you are feeling ok with 1 box of objects or 1 drawer of things that is good too.

By breaking the task into smaller chunks the task immediately becomes more manageable. Focus on completing what you consider one object at a time, which can make the task feel less daunting and easy to achieve.

Set a timer

Set a timer for 20 minutes (or more!) to start decluttering. Pick up the first object and decide if you are going to keep object, discard, donate or sell. Anyone can get through a 20 minute task, right? Maybe when you see how manageable and fast it is to declutter you will choose to pick another object to focus on.

By setting a 20 minute time limit the objection of not having enough time to do a given task is removed. If all you can devote to the task at hand is 10 minutes set the timer for this.

Set a clear and concise goal.

You are on your way to a win now! You have set a goal of decluttering 1 object, spending 20 minutes or more time. Yeah you! I believe that if you focus on keeping, tossing, donating or selling the object you will achieve a win.

Priorities

What is the most important thing in your life you want to declutter today? This is your priority. If you are hemming and hawing on what this priority is pick up the first object your eye sees or your hand touches and make this your priority. If this object is sentimental and is going to cause you stress deciding into which category it goes put it down. Pick an easy object to decide where to relegate to.

Visualize

I am a big fan of visualizing my goals! Because it works for me! They said I was nuts when I decided to buy my first (and only!) home many years ago, by the ocean. I kept visualizing this. I had a picture of the ocean view I was insisting on posted where I could see it many times daily.

The win!

After dragging Norma the kind real estate agent around for a year I finally found the best house in the world for me! I decided to buy before I even opened the front door. The home is surrounded by the sea on a little peninsula with a working lighthouse in a quaint town in what is now a hot real estate market.

I still have the picture I looked at as my visual aid and if you held the image up to my view they look quite alike. Visualize your decluttered and organized new space! Find pictures for inspiration!

Visualize yourself doing the happy dance in your sparkly new environment! Imagine winning what you were sure you could not!

2 minute rule

I am also a fan of the 2 minute rule – before I even knew there was a name for it. At the end of the day, even when I feel very tired, I still for example take a minute or two to clean off the kitchen counter if there is anything on it. Why? I don’t want to be greeted by a mess in the morning. Same in bathroom.

Accountabilty

When I have a daunting task I always set what I call a drop dead date meaning the task will be done on whatever date I decide. This date is recorded on my calendar. Then I work backwards in my mind to make a manageable time frame to achieve my goal. This is all recorded in my calendar with alert notifications set.

The most important part is telling a friend, an accountability buddy, my goal and my deadline date. I now have to be accountable to another. This technique is tried and true and works every time for me.

Focus

You may be distracted unless you plan ahead. When I only have so much time and need to really focus. I mute my devices. For most chores I prefer to work in silence because I find music and podcasts distracting. I don’t answer calls, I can’t hear notifications because I have turned this feature off.

Be good to yourself

I cannot stress this enough. Go easy on yourself. You are doing the best you know how to do today. Please stop any negative self talk you may tend to do. If you would not allow a friend to speak to you this way you should not allow yourself to speak unkindly to yourself.

Go easy on yourself. When you know better you will do better. I am sure of this.

Overcoming well ingrained procrastination habits is a process. Some days will be good and others not so much. By practicing these techniques consistently and staying committed to the task at hand you will gradually get to where you want to be.

You will notice increased productivity and an overall lighter feeling due to your accomplishments. Don’t look back. What is done is done. Stay focused on this day! One day at a time, one object at a time you will create the environment you visualize living in.

Marj pic

Marj Bates is a life long ridiculously organized declutterer and artist. Less is more are words Marj lives by in everything she does except collecting dogs. “Dogs are like potato chips! Can’t have just one.” says Marj. Marj wonders if growing up with a fanatically clean Jewish mom means her decluttering and organizational skills are in her blood.

For more Declutter Buzz & Freebies check out our safe and private Decluttering community on our Facebook page. We are a safe and private space of like minded folks tackling this all encompassing clutter thing once and for all. No shame allowed! We will have a few laughs too!

To see more articles like this, please like and follow me. Thank you!

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