Monday, August 29, 2016

What is the Goal? What is the Reward?

Decluttering can feel like such a big chore, right? One has to take time out of their day to physically touch everything they already know they probably don't want. It is overwhelming mentally to make decisions over and over again during the decluttering process. We usually would rather be doing something else. Something more fun!

Have you thought about what the end goal is for your decluttering? What reward will you get by decluttering your garage, or living space? Focusing on the positive results can help remind you why you are doing this possibly unpleasant task.

For example, some people can't park in their garage because of all the items in it. The end goal or reward might be to declutter that space so you can park your car in there. Parking in your garage might be safer, warmer or cooler than parking outside depending on the weather. It might save you time to park in the garage. If you live in a winter climate, you often have to defrost your windows before you can drive away. Parking in the garage eliminates the time needed to complete that task and the reward is more time in the morning. Who doesn't need that?

If it is your living space you find cluttered, ask yourself what you would do in the space if it wasn't cluttered. Would you invite people over? Would you have more room to play games as a family? Would you just feel more relaxed in the space upon returning from work? The time with friends and family is the reward for putting in the effort to get the space free of the clutter. The feeling of peace and relaxation is the reward for clearing the excess and unneeded items out.

Another place I've noticed can be cluttered for people is the kitchen. Often the kitchen counters have a lot of items left out, usually these are the most used items. The less used or never used items are hidden behind the cabinet doors.  The act of digging deep into the kitchen cabinets and pulling out the unused items is creating space for the items being stored on the counter! And therefore, uncluttered countertops! The reward of uncluttered countertops is more space to prepare and wash dishes. The reward saves time not having to find space to use for cooking preparation. The reward may even be eating more meals at home because it is more pleasant to cook in an uncluttered kitchen. That may result in money saved, which is another kind of reward!

My kitchen example above with things left out can apply to almost every room in the home. If excess items are visible it likely means the storage areas are full. The closets are full in a bedroom when piles of clothes are found on the floor, piled on dressers and in laundry baskets. The stuff in the closet is overwhelming. It is too hard to find anything because the hanging clothes are in there so tight. It's possible that these items in the closet are not even used because they can't be retrieved. Eliminating the excess, the unlike and unused, the stained and torn, too small or too big and out of style items opens up space to store the items that are used. The items that may previously been stored out in the open can be hung in the closet. If you have piles on the floor, you are now rewarded with more walking space. Or safety, if you found yourself tripping on these things. If you find yourself moving things around a lot to find other items, you likely will now have extra time since items will be put away and more easily accessible. There are rewards in decluttering!

So what areas do you need to declutter? What do you gain by completing these task? What benefits do you see to doing the work? The work will be work, but the reward will be a blessing to your life.

Focus on positive rewards. You can do this! I'm cheering you on!!

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