Last week, I was sitting on my bedroom floor with my toddler and infant as they played with their toys. I felt on edge, irritated and annoyed. They weren’t the cause of my angst. Taking care of little ones can be stressful at times but they were behaving and happy, so it wasn’t about that.
It was about the busyness of my life and neglect of tidying which caused the catastrophic state of my bedroom.
My bed was covered in a pile of unfolded clothes that hadn’t moved since they were dropped there in the morning. My dresser had so many papers, toys and other misplaced items scattered across it.
I winced when I looked over at the newborn stroller attachment that was still sitting on the floor. The one that, for some reason, I continued to clean around all week instead of making the effort to find a proper place for it.
There were at least 8 framed family pictures that were still wrapped in bubble wrap from our move, laying up against the wall which they were intended to be hung. Several of my previously super organized drawers were left open and also a total mess.
This didn’t feel like the simple life I thought I was living.
My space was cluttered and I felt physically and mentally unwell because of it. I couldn’t focus on being present with my kids because I was too worried about all the work I needed to do and had neglected to do for many days.
I was angry. I thought to myself, “I’m an organized person, now. I’m supposed to keep my time, my family, my things on track-what’s going on?”
Have you ever been there before? We have all had days or weeks where everything gets out of hand. It was time to let go of any regret and reevaluate my situation to figure out why my simplifying journey went off track.
Are you ready to go there, too? If so, here are 5 things that helped me get back on track with my journey towards a simple life.
1. Discard or donate.
Chances are, if you’re finding yourself in a big mess, there are possessions that need to go. The holidays came and went. Your post holiday sale shopping happened. Did you remember to use the “one in, one (or two or three) out” rule? If you’re bringing in more items (which I hope were necessary items), do yourself a favor and go through what you already had and let the stuff go that’s keeping you from making room for what matters.
2. Give yourself some credit.
My relationship with possessions is night and day different from the way it used to be (messy, disorganized, borderline hoarder) and I’ve worked very hard to get to where I am. The reality is, we all have insanely busy days once in awhile and then the next day is even crazier and your house becomes messy- it happens! Let it go and just know that your mess would be 10X worse if you hadn’t made an effort to simplify. And the fact that you actually care and want to get things in order again, that’s what matters.
3. Re-assess your mess.
What is the mess made up of? Where did it come from? For me, one of my realizations was that I was trying to do too much in one day. I had a full schedule several days in a row and was alone during the day with the little ones, yet I still decided to wash all of our bedding and all the dirty clothes that morning. I could have waited until the following day to do the bedding but instead, I set unrealistic expectations for myself. Figure out where the mess came from and make a plan to get it under control.
4. Plan out how you spend your time.
Over the weekend, plan out your week and your days. Get your priorities written down on paper and fit in what needs to happen each day. Allow yourself plenty of time for each task that you must finish. Recently, I was feeling stressed that I couldn’t find the time for writing, therefore, my husband and I had to sit down and figure out our schedule to make it work. With a set plan, we can both get work done, personal time in, family activities and household duties figured out.
5. Stay focused on your intentions.
Intentions are needed to achieve your goals. Our intentions give us the motivation to achieve the life we’re striving for but only if we continue to revisit them. My New Years intentions (not resolutions) involved ways to continually simplify my life to get more out of each day. I reread them to stay motivated.
What are your intentions? Do you want to downsize, declutter and become a minimalist? Do you want to find a better balance with work and home?
Whatever you want to change or improve, you have to set those intentions for yourself and realize that the journey never ends. There’s no end goal where you just stand there and say “Yup, I did it, now I’m done! No more work for me, I’m a minimalist.”
It doesn’t work that way.
You never stop finding ways to improve, never stop traveling that path and you keep making adjustments when you hit bumps in the road.
Just breathe, be forgiving of yourself and find your motivation to move forward.
My intentions revolve around creating an abundance of happiness, health and love in my life. As long as my family is content, safe, happy and surrounded by love, we are living an abundant life.
Set your own intentions and put in the work that it takes to live a life which continues to grow abundantly in meaning and simplicity.