That’s why I pursue simplicity.
That’s why I battle clutter.
There are times when I begin to feel overwhelmed with all of the stuff around me.
- Too much to do.
- Too much to manage.
- Too many things to think about and discuss.
Do you relate? Do you ever feel overwhelmed with clutter?
If you do, here are a few suggestions on how to push through it:
1- Don’t start with the clutter. Start with focus.
When we find ourselves overwhelmed with endless clutter, it’s easy to put all of our focus on the clutter. But it’s not usually the best choice. When we do that, it only adds to our feeling of helplessness.
Rather, you should let the things you care about drive your actions. Learn to see past all the extra junk lying around until you have time to deal with it. Keep things in their proper perspective.
The most important thing is not cleaning up the mess. The most important thing is to do the most important things.
Sometimes, people fall in love with the idea of being clutter-free. They worship blank spaces and get upset if anyone threatens to place an item on it. I don’t think that’s what most of us are looking for.
It’s our love for the important things in our lives that drive us to eliminate the unnecessary things. Why? Because they hinder us from focusing on the people/things/ideas we love.
So, get crazy focused on the important things and stop letting the clutter drown you.
2- Find what motivates you and use it.
When you feel overwhelmed, THAT’S when you need other voices to speak into your life. You need to be reminded that it is possible to live a simpler life.
You need to hear other people’s common struggles and successes. You need to watch/read/listen to that video/movie/book/blog/podcast/song/speaker that inspires you to live differently.
Feeling overwhelmed is a feeling.
So, you have to get to work on your mind.
You know what works for you. Go for it!
3- Be careful with comparisons.
This can be tricky.
We definitely need to expose ourselves to other people’s perspectives and lifestyles. We can be challenged to “step-it-up”. We can be encouraged to keep going on the path we’ve chosen.
But…if we’re not careful, we’ll compare our life to their life in unhealthy ways. You can learn from a variety of people without imitating all the details of their life. You can also learn from people without fully agreeing with them.
A single guy with 10 possessions in a backpack can be very motivating to all of us. But your life won’t necesarily look just like his. I love to read about those guys, and it pushes me to reconsider what I really need. In fact, I’m going on a trip this week and I’m only taking one backpack. But I have 8 people in my family. 10 possessions obviously won’t cut it for us.
So, learn from people, but understand that your life isn’t their life. That’s okay.
4- Take baby steps.
We often feel overwhelmed because we’re looking at the whole pile.
Whatever jungle is in front of you, cut through it in small chunks.
- One drawer.
- One room.
- One closet.
- One project.
- One stack.
Pick one small area, take 10 minutes, and process it.
Then do it again when you get more time.
You don’t have to do it all today. Every little victory will give you confidence to press into the next one.
5- Enjoy the process.
Take a moment to think about the things you love about life. Decide to enjoy them now. Not after you declutter, but now.
Decluttering is about getting rid of the excess so you can live life fully. It’s about taking attention OFF of stuff. When we’re overwhelmed with clutter, our attention is all ON our stuff. Don’t let it win.
If you don’t enjoy life now, wherever you are in your journey, you risk missing out on life while you’re preparing to live it. So live!
Do you ever feel overwhelmed with clutter?
Do you think these tips above are helpful?
What else should we consider when clutter is getting the best of us?