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The most important thing I had to do before I could really sink my teeth into changing myself was get rid of clutter.
That meant cleaning my house. My entire, overly messy house. This disaster was distracting, exhausting even. The clutter in my space was taking up all of the time I should have been working on myself. It was holding me back!
This wasn’t messy due to my lack of cleaning. In fact, I felt like I spent the majority of my time tidying and cleaning, but every time I turned around it all needed to be done again.
One of the things I know best about myself is that I was not going to be able to move ahead with my life if I didn’t move the mess. I’m sure of this because I use it as a procrastination method. More than one day in university was spent cleaning my apartment from top to bottom as a way to ignore the paper that was due the next day. I am a procrastinator and I like to declutter as an excuse. In fact, I spent time watching “Clean with me” videos on Youtube before actually getting down to business. Who doesn’t need to procrastinate about cleaning by watching other people clean?
It was at this point that I realized how badly I needed to get our cluttered, messy house under control. I needed to be able to breathe and focus on what I was trying to accomplish. I felt like I was trapped by the mess and needed to get out of it. Realizing this helped me understand that I needed to put my own foot down in my life and declutter. Unless I got my shit together, all of the important things I wanted in my life weren’t going to happen.
5 steps to cut clutter in your space and have a fabulous, productive life:
Just get it done– I finally had to look hard at myself, realize that I was the one standing in the way of having a clean space, suck it up and do it. That first “big clean” is always dreadful because you are tackling so much at one time. It gets easier, I promise. Your house will not get clean watching other people on Youtube, so it turns out.
Decide on your methods- Are you going to clean room by room or layer by layer? Everyone has something different that will work for them. I prefer to go room by room so that when I look around, one thing is completely done!
Enlist Help – Unless you live on your own, you didn’t make this mess by yourself. Enlist your partner, kids, whoever is able to help. Delegation is an acquired skill, but one that needs to be acquired fast.
Set a Timer – The thing that really changed the way I clean my house is setting timers. I hate cleaning, so breaking it up into short bursts instead of a cleaning marathon helps keep me motivated. I give myself 15 minutes for really messy rooms like the kitchen or playroom, and 5-10 minutes for rooms that need less work.
Accept that it won’t be perfect – You may not need to have an immaculate house. Just clean it to the point that it won’t distract you, and you won’t take up all of your time trying to maintain it.
Several resources really helped motivate me to get my cleaning game on. Clutter Bug Youtube channel, Unf*ck Your Habitat: You’re Better Than Your Mess, and How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing with Your House’s Dirty Little Secrets were of particular help to me!
Do you use cleaning as a procrastination method? What’s your best method for moving past your mess?