When you first decide to simplify your life and home, decluttering is pretty exciting. It is so immediately satisfying: the sense of lightness, the newfound space, the feeling of calmness and peace that comes from deciding to step away from consumption and accumulation.
It’s giddy stuff, but momentum can only carry you so far. There will be days when you feel like no matter how much clutter you toss or give away, there are roomfuls still waiting you (…because maybe there are. Sigh.). It’s easy to get discouraged, particularly if you’re the lone declutterer in your home. My husband is the quintessential
hoarder keeper of all things; he doesn’t like to get rid of anything, and we have the crammed storage spaces to prove it. So I feel like Sisyphus most days, just pushing that darn rock up the hill one more time.
So my rule is this: Just do something every day.
One day I might feel really motivated and tackle a closet, but the next morning I may wake up and feel overwhelmed by everything that’s left; it’s tempting to just take a day off, but I think forward-motion is really important when you’re trying to establish new patterns of living. If you want to be a runner, you’ve got to run; if you want to simplify your life, you’ve got to clear out the clutter. So, even on those days when I feel like the whole minimalism thing is senseless and never-ending, I pick one area to declutter and just do it. I might gather up magazines for recycling or zip through our shop out back to fill up a box for Goodwill. I pick something easy, something that doesn’t require complex decision-making (or even more than 10 minutes!) and I just get it done.
By choosing to do something every day, I’m continually making progress toward my goal, but I’m also creating a pretty sweet groove – decluttering will eventually be something I can do easily and naturally, all because I’m building the habit now.