I think anyone who’s read Junk will know that decluttering is something very much on my mind. I blame my dad who’s a major hoarder (although kept under control by my mum who isn’t), and who has passed on his hoarding tendencies to all three of his daughters.
I’m actually doing much better than either of my sisters in terms of resisting clutter and object accumulation, thanks in a large part to reading the wonderful The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo. Yes, the Japanese lady might be quite bonkers, but a lot of what she advocates really resonates with me. I’ve been increasingly asking myself whether my possessions are actually bringing me joy, and most of the time the answer is a resounding NO!!! I’m now finding it much easier to let go of broken things I’m never really going to get fixed, and the things people have given me that I’ve felt guilty about wanting to get rid of. I really don’t need stuff around the place making me feel guilty.
I still have a long way to go as having a baby and moving house got in the way of my complete house overhaul–in particular I need to go through all my crafting stuff and my boxes of sentimental things. Mostly my old school work and Daisy’s drawings.
So, decluttering might be an ongoing process but I think it’s going pretty well. However, the area I’ve really fallen down in is my admin organisation. I’m nowhere near as bad as I was before the major konmari paperwork purge, but I’ve been feeling increasingly stressed by all the things I have to remember (house stuff, family stuff, writing stuff, etc) and not really able to rely on any of my existing organisational systems. The Pomodoro Technique has helped me get more work done in short bursts of time, and I’m loving the Trello app for organising some of my plans (sewing plans, mainly), but I still haven’t found the answer.
Until now, I think.
Thanks to a chance link in a blog post I was reading, I found my way to David Allen’s Getting Things Done. Now, I’m not generally a fan of reading “business” books as they can be so dry, but the subtitle really caught my attention: “How to achieve stress-free productivity”.
Yes! I need this. I’m pretty productive at the moment, all things considered, but as I’ve tried to work more I’ve been finding my stress levels rising. Some of you probably remember my application of the pomodoro technique before Christmas. I got two draft manuscripts written in record time, but by the end I was totally stressed out and spent the next month coming down with one illness after another. Also, I hadn’t even really considered how I was going to get those books edited and published, all of which takes huge amounts of time and energy.
Somewhere along the line I lost track of planning.
So, I’ve been reading Allen’s book and so far everything has resonated with me. There’s nothing particularly new here–you just use methods you’re probably already using to some degree–but what’s different is the strategy behind it. You make sure you capture all your ideas the moment you have them so you don’t have to rely on your short term memory, but you have to capture them in a way that you trust yourself to monitor and review. This is where I’ve been going wrong. Making notes but never looking at them again. Losing lists. Having lists in too many different places. Saving things I should be getting rid of, and so on…
So for the next couple of weeks I’m getting my admin in order, then moving house, and I’m going to worry about getting Custom Fit edited after that. Expect to see it in June. Probably.
You know what, I’m feeling more energised and happy than I have done in months. Years, perhaps. Woohoo!
Anyone else here decluttering or getting organised? Do you have any good tips or links?