Back to Basics – Lesson learnt!

I started my decluttering project in August determined to do one room a month…that way I figured that it would take me about a year to work thru my house. It is only quite a small house (2 1/2 bedrooms and one bathroom) but there is a lot of stuff in here!

August went well and the first room completed on time. However here it is in December and I am still doing the September room! I do have some valid excuses (procrastinators always do dont they?) but mainly I have just become sidetracked doing other things.

It was always going to be a time consuming room. I have boxes of family history archives, photo albums and all my scrapbooking albums in the room.

I think my problems arose by not defining what needed to be done to tidy the room and what could be done later as another project. For example I had lots of completed scrapping pages sitting around needing to be placed in Albums – a perfectly legitimate thing that needed to be done to tidy up the room. So I did that. However I also had books and books of photo albums that I had started to scan, remove the photos and archive them elsewhere. That was where I went wrong! I thought I will finish scanning the photos (a massive job) so that I can pack them all away tidily. WRONG!

So I have spent weeks slowly scanning, sorting and backing up photos whilst not even touching anything else in the room when I should have tidied it all up, thrown out the empty albums, packed up the scanned ones in archive boxes and then moved on to tidy the rest of the room. So 3 months on my room is still untidy and I have many albums to go!

So with Christmas coming upon me and wanting to have the room tidy for Christmas (so I can put up my Christmas Tree for the first time in about 8 years) I decided a new approach was needed! So I have done what I should have done to start with. I have packed up and labelled all the photos I have scanned. I have sorted out all the albums and put them back in the cupboard. And now as a small mini project I will go back to basics and set myself a small goal each month of scanning a certain number of photos!!! And continue tidying up and decluttering my September room.

So in one day I have achieved more than I have over three months by not biting off more than I can chew and overwhelming myself with a massive job instead of setting myself small reachable goals! Lesson learnt!

So my suggestions? Always set yourself small goals. Dont allow yourself to be sidetracked into other jobs that actually need to be made a separate goal to achieve. It is too easy to be overwhelmed. And as soon as you feel overwhelmed it is so easy to procrastinate or get sidetracked.

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