Yesterday I overheard the following “Team, one thing you should know about me is that it is my pet peeve to have a messy dugout! Let’s keep the walkway clear, put your gloves and water bottles under the bench when we are not using them.” If you guessed that quote came from one of the coaches, you would be wrong, it was actually one of the 11-year-old players! It made me smile for two reasons. The first I was impressed that she was confident enough and sure enough of herself, to stand in front of her peers and say something that could have been met with eye-rolls and criticism. Let’s face it, tween girls are not always nice and peer acceptance is a big thing at this age. The second thing that stood out to me was that she believed with a little bit of organization, things would run more smoothly during the game, a pretty advanced concept if you think about it.
There are varying degrees of organization depending on your personality and life-style. Some people are extremely organized with everything in a specific place at all times. While others may feel like they don’t have that gene and take a looser approach to organization. No matter where you fall in the spectrum chances are that when days get busy and time at home is rushed, little piles start to grow. It starts out innocently enough with a stack of mail that you weren’t able to get to. A couple days later you pile on copies of your finished tax returns or a stack of catalogs you want to look through. Meanwhile in your bedroom a pile is starting to form of clothes that need to be ironed or maybe the ironing board is still out 3 days later and is now growing stacks of its own. If you live with others, the stacks and piles and clutter multiplies exponentially. Toys are strewn about waiting for someone to come back and play with them. Home projects are left unfinished because of a missing part or more likely an interruption of something that was more urgent to attend to.
If any of the above made you uncomfortable to the point that you are now sweating, it’s ok, take a deep breath. There is no judgement in any of this. It happens to all of us. What you may not realize is that looking at stacks and “stuff” around you subconsciously adds stress and anxiety to your already busy life. When you are able to clean up and clear space, that added stress goes away. The feeling is incredibly rewarding. After weeks of looking at stacks on a table, to be able look over at a clear table can actually make you feel lighter.
Many of us put off clearing because we feel like we need to set up a big block of time to get it all done, but it doesn’t need to be like that. All you need to do is decide to tackle one small area a day. Or maybe there is one space that tends to be a magnet for “stuff” (for us that is right near the phone). Start with that one space and commit to clearing it off at a specific time every day, maybe right after dinner or before you go to bed. By getting rid of the clutter, you will not only clear off the surfaces but your home will be a more comforting, relaxing space to come home to.
Journal on this: Where are than main areas in your home/life where you need to clean/organize/clear space? How do those spaces make you feel today? How will you feel when they are cleaned/organized/cleared?
P.S. Clutter happens naturally when you are busy shuttling from one thing to another and struggling to find balance. Sometimes talking it through with someone is just what you need to identify the clutter that will allow you to get the balance that you’ve always wanted. I can help! Message me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s schedule a time to get started.
I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.