Monday, May 02, 2005


Long time, no post

Hello declutterbug readers! It's been a while without a post. I still think a lot about decluttering, and I still actively declutter. I plan to post a heck of a lot more than I have been.

But posting, like decluttering, can be a "fall off the wagon, climb back on" proposition, and as the saying goes, "Fall down twice, get up three times." So, here I am, picking the virtual dust bunnies out of this blog and getting on with it!

Today's thought: In our society we concentrate a lot on efficiency, sometimes to the detriment of actually getting things done. For example, if I feel like I can only run the errands if the entire *errand-running process* is mapped out in an efficient manner, then the liklihood that the dry cleaning and library books continue to hang out in the living room increases.

I fall victim to this. I'll have a chiro appt, and figure while I'm out, I should really return the library books, drop the clothes at the tailor, go to the grocery store, make a bank deposit and buy a birthday card. So, one of two things happen: I either postphone what I was planning on doing that morning to organize my errand run, or I leave it all until later. Neither works well. But the "efficiency" model has been ingrained in me, e.g., don't "waste" time driving around, do it all at once.

I'm trying, lately, to just do what I can, on the assumption that some is better than none. After all, would you rather have two tasks done, or none? Right. This means if I'm headed to the chiropractor and I can scoop up the library books and grocery list, then I'll just go do those two things. Sure, it means another trip for the rest of the stuff, but I live in a small town. The places in question are all between 1 and 3 miles from my house. Is it really a big deal to do some stuff Monday and some stuff Wednesday? No.

This works with cleaning and decluttering as well. Sure, ideally, you will spend a bit of time collecting all the bedroom items that decided to take a vacation to the living room. You'll grab them all at once, go to the bedroom and promptly put them away. But some days, like today, I look around and realize that doing the whole thing at once is too much. I want to make a dent, but don't have the focus to do so. So I make 5 trips with 2 items each. And you know what? I walked a few extra steps, but emotionally, it felt easier. And the task is done.

My advice? When you get overwhelmed, do things in small pieces.

I used to be a slave to the efficiency model. Now I try to maximize walking, because I have more time and health maintenance has become a priority. One errand at a time, at most two, has its benefits!
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