“It just stopped me in my tracks and then I didn’t know what to do next. I couldn’t get myself back to it.”
I hear this frequently and I get it, but now I REALLY get it.
I had a lightbulb moment over the weekend, as I worked on moving my office to a larger space in my home. I also learned that “moving” means: decluttering both spaces, making lots of decisions, and THEN actually doing the move!
Here’s what stopped me in my tracks and what I did about it. I hope you might take something from my learning and choose to experiment in your own life when you feel similarly.
Best Laid Plans
My corporate background includes early years of project management, so yes, I wrote down all the small steps I’d need to get done to move into my fabulous new space. However, my plan was almost 2 pages long, bullet points. That almost stopped me in my tracks – so much work!
How could I get it all done?
Long, yes, but after I got through the emotion, I realized this plan was the right thing for me, but WHY ?
- It’s a realistic picture of how long this would take. That will help with my patience/impatience.
- It will show me what I HAVE done … and not just what I have not done. Human nature; which do we usually look at?
- It’s easier to get several pieces going on in parallel, saving me time and getting to “done” sooner, i.e., electricity issues.
- It also shows me what I forgot to add to the plan (how long the decluttering would take; the vacuum/dust tasks before painting, not just at the end of the whole process). This will help the next time I do something similar.
- It shows me that I can take small steps during the week, chip away at this, without needing several hours every time I want to move things forward.
Colors – Oh, My!
What Stopped Me in My Tracks
3 things stopped me and here is what I did about each of them. Today’s post is about stop #1 only. I’m doing this to encourage you to get practical value out of this post.
If you’re feeling stopped in your tracks, think about your situation.
See whether you could use these ideas and adapt them to your circumstances. Practice.
If what you’re doing now isn’t working, what will it cost you to try something different?
Stop #1: The afghan and yarn. I came across a very large bin, filled with an afghan project, and the project is not mine, so now I need to find out what to do with it. Afghans are made by various family members, so this might have been a memories issue or an unfinished project. I didn’t know. First thought? I’m stopped. It’s going to have to stay here and take up space the office needs. I want and need to make this space my own.
What I did which you could try:
- Stop. Breathe.
- Take a photo so you don’t get lost in describing it.
- Come up with other solutions.
- Find out. Ask questions. Discuss options.
A few years ago, we did a big declutter here, moving out things from past life chapters from both of us. This afghan project survived, so there must have been a reason.
Lesson learned: Staging some decisions works.
- If you are not sure whether to keep something, and it seems more special than other things, keep it, for now. (I’ve always called this the “No Regrets” way of making decisions on our things.”)
- Wait for round two of decluttering, because at that point, more time will have passed. Your tolerance for how much stuff you have around will likely decline.
- You’ll make a logical decision, rather than one mostly based on emotion. As time goes on, whatever memory tied you to “the thing” will either lessen or get more intense. Pay attention to that for your decisions.
End result this time? The bin is in another room, waiting for our next donation pickup from our local Big Brother/Big Sister.
“It’s up to me and to you to empower ourselves enough to find whatever it is within our current situation that we can control, no matter how small it may be – and start there.”
~ page 31, Nook version, Start Where You Are, Chris Gardner.
Next Stop- My Next Blogs
Stop #2 – the time it took to declutter (coming from an organizing coach!)
Stop #3 – things I really can’t do on my own.
My next post will explain these, plus the solutions I came up with. Good luck with your practice!