Simplifying for the easily overwhelmed perfectionist nutcase

So I admit that I have problems with projects. If I can’t do something well, I don’t want to do it at all. If there’s too much to do, I get overwhelmed and cannot start. The simplification process is difficult for me because of my personality. I obviously use this as an excuse to procrastinate.

When I started thinking about simplifying, I realized that I would have to start by setting really ridiculously easy goals for myself. That way, when I accomplish them I will feel a sense of achievement and want to continue. So, I decided to make a list of the big picture things that I want to do, and then break them down into smaller lists of baby steps.

My real goal is that by next summer I will go through each room in the house thoroughly (drawers, closets, cabinets, etc) and decide which items to donate/keep/throw away.

To begin, each month I am going to take a different room in the house. Our house has:

  • Master bedroom- May
  • Baby’s room- all the time!
  • Guest room- June
  • Living room and 3 bathrooms- July
  • Kitchen- August
  • Garage- September- ?

I am starting with our Master because being in a cluttered environment every night really gets to me. To break this down, each day I am going to set a goal that is attainable and realistic. This is key since I have a 7-month old to take care of while doing this project. For example, my goal for today is to unpack one box and determine what to keep/donate/throw away. If I am keeping the item, I must put it away and not just shove it in a drawer (which I have been guilty of in the past!).

A key here is of course, actually donating the items that go in the donate pile and not just letting them sit around in the garage! All clothing will go to the local Catholic Charities and other items to Goodwill.

Tomorrow I will unpack another box and so on until I have found a home for everything in the room and I’m satisfied that the items I have kept are things that we need/want/like. I will proceed through each room until I am finished. I am leaving the garage until last so it won’t be a million degrees in there and because it will take the longest by far. Probably I won’t be able to finish it in a month and that’s fine.

I will perpetually go through the baby’s room because that’s the nature of having a baby! I am good about keeping up with putting her outgrown clothes away and I will continue to do that as she grows. It’s so much easier and manageable only having the clothes that fit (or are about to if she’s nearing the next size) in her drawers and closet than having to sift through lots of outgrown items.

You might say that I am an underachiever and that you could do your entire home in a month or weekend. To that I say, fine and go for it. However, with my personality and knowing my history with projects like this I think this is the best way for me to achieve my goal without getting frustrated and abandoning!

I will continue updating with my progress. I would love to hear any simplifying advice from someone who has tried it!

Thanks for listening,

Mommy 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Simplifying for the easily overwhelmed perfectionist nutcase

  1. Good luck! I will be tying to do something similar soon, and look forward to reading/sharing progress. I had to chuckle at your comment about simplifying never being that simple–I’ve found that letting things go can actually seem to make things simpler for a while. But then there’s all that terrible mess. . .sigh. . .

    • Thanks for commenting Elizabeth! So far it seems that things get worse before they get better (as evidenced by the replacement of my unpacked boxes with “donate” boxes in the hallway), but the results are so satisfying! 🙂

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