We all have those moments where our homes look like a bomb went off. We all have those things that throw us out of whack. These trigger the clutter bugs to come out in our homes and inside ourselves. We can quickly see how they lead to chaos and disorganization. In having awareness we can tame any situation to get back to organized. For me personally, having this awareness has been tremendously helpful in maintaining the organized systems in my home.
I’ve identified four of the bigger clutter triggers along with strategies on counteracting their effect. Certainly, there are plenty more ways we can let in the clutter bugs.
This for me is where it starts. Instead of putting things away, they lay where they fall. The clutter bug starts out as one and quickly multiplies into many things not put away. Sometimes, being tired can lead to “I’ll get to it later” and later comes several days or more later. Well, you can see what this looks like after a few days.
Strategy: Give yourself a 15 minute push through. You can do just about anything for 15 minutes! In all likelihood, this probably won’t take more than 15 minutes to do anyway. To be effective with your 15 minutes, set a timer and declutter one area in need of organizing. That’s it! If you have more than one area, move on once you have completed the first one. Make it fun, put on some music and move quickly. This all triggers the brain to engage in the activity rather than the thought or feeling of being tired.
My clutter bug really makes a big mess when I am overbooked. This is not conducive to anything healthy-physically, mentally or spiritually. When I feel this happening, it’s time to STOP and RESET!
Strategy: Start by looking at your schedule to see where the time abuse is happening. Maybe a simple adjustment will have you been on track with your chaos under control or maybe you need to have an honest talk with yourself.
One of the easiest ways to get your time under control is to overestimate the amount of time it will take you to do each task or appointment. This will easily grow little chunks of time throughout the day with ten minutes here and 20 minutes there. Just think about what you can do with twenty minutes, I bet you could fold the laundry and put it away? Ta-do the bedroom closet is not back to organized!
“Can’t”, is the word you need to ban from your vocabulary. All it does is get into your head and wake up the clutter bugs to work from within.
Strategy: You have the ability to turn this around by focusing on what you can do. I may not have the time to declutter the entire house but I can tackle the stack of papers on the kitchen counter. Just by doing this, I am now in “ can” mode! The “can-do” disrupts the “can’t” thinking. This allows your rational brain to do its job and make good decisions.
Completely understandable that you might not feel like putting things away when you are under the weather. Sometimes, there is extra laundry and disinfecting to do on top of the usual daily chores. Very easy to see where the clutter bugs come into play.
In sickness, especially a minor one, it’s likely to be temporary.
Strategy: So think in temporary terms, this will be taken care of as soon as I am feeling better. Let it go out of your mind so you can rest and get better. If you have the luxury of asking for help, you could do this here to stay on top of things. It’s bad enough being sick but then tackling the clutter bugs, ugh! The bonus to having a simple and easy to maintain system of organizing is that other people can help and will be more willing to help.
If you are suffering from a long term illness or injury, this may be a good time to ask for help. Family and friends can be really useful in times like this, especially with keeping up with the laundry, your mail, kitchen decluttering. There is no reason to allow the clutter bugs to rule the roost. If you don’t have friends or family you can lean on, then hiring a Professional Organizer may be your best bet. This is what we are trained to do and we love it! Living in an organized space alleviates stress piled on top of illness.
As you organize your space in simple and easy to maintain ways, take note of your clutter triggers. What is it that throws you completely out of whack? Then create work arounds for those periods of time when you are caught up in the quagmire. Perhaps, you have some of the ones I listed or maybe you have something else. Now is the time to put in a safety net for those times when the clutter bug infestation comes. We know they will but how will you handle it?