“I was broken…and I learned how to look fixed,” Will Smith said.
And it hit home. Here I am in the middle of my busy season. It is football, and teaching, and Halloween, and homework, and Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and momming. I am drowning … again, and I know how to swim but I cannot see the shore. Then here comes Will Smith reading my entire life in one, small statement.
My nerves are frazzled. Expectations at work are high. Expectations at home are high. My expectations for myself are high, and I try to stop but I cannot stop. If I stop, I will let everyone down. If I stop, I will let myself down.
At about this, time I begin to notice how far I have strayed on my journey to minimalism. I decide to find my way back. I decide to make decluttering my life a priority. I am shouldering too much extra. Some stuff has got to go, and I decide to document my list the way I document my life. Not because I have my life together but because I do not have my life together. I refuse to go on like this forever or even for one more day.
This list is for anyone who is at the end of a short fuse, for anyone searching to declutter your life from all the extra to make room for what really matters.
1. Declutter your physical space.
Take 15 minutes every day, or twice a day, or twice a week to start purging. Start giving things away. Give clothes away. Some call it a capsule wardrobe. Others call it their 33 items. Whatever you call it, let it go. The kids toys have to go. You do not need more toy boxes. You need less toys. Your bookshelves are full. You have no plans to read that book again. You have drawers full of make up and hair products. You have areas full of half finished projects. You have corners you have not seen in years. You have accumulated more thinking more was the answer when all you need is less.
2. Throw it away.
You are waiting to give away some things that just need to be thrown out. You have cribs, swings, maternity clothes, and car seats. You have dining room tables and chairs. You have bags that have been sitting for months…you have baggage that has been hanging around for years. You are holding on to some things that need to make a dramatic exit…some people that need to make a dramatic exit. These things are not worth your time, energy, or space. And neither are these people.
3. Know when to say no.
I always want to do everything and be everywhere for everyone, especially those who have been there for me. I want my kids to have everything they could ever want. I enjoy spending time with friends and family. But I cannot be what everyone needs and neither can you. You are going to have to miss some stuff. You are going to miss some parties, some games, some practices, and even some performances. Forgive yourself in advance, and keep it moving. Sometimes the best answer you can ever give is no.
4. Know when to say yes.
Sometimes you want to say no because the laundry needs to be done, the counters need to be wiped and the house is in complete disarray. Sometimes that stuff can wait. Sometimes you need to watch the puppet show the kids are performing. You need to be the teacher while they play school. They do not need a clean house. They need a mom who is not distracted by her to do list. Sometimes you need to do date night instead of dishes. You need a coffee date or a long phone call about nothing at all. You need mom’s night out, guilt-free, kid free shopping, and mommy time. Sometimes the best answer you can give is yes.
5. Love more.
People do not need you to be fixed. People need you to love them while you are broken, and they are broken. People need you to love them when your mask is off and their masks are off. You are struggling to declutter your life, when all people really need is your love.
If you are anything like me, you are just trying to hold it together. You are holding on to the knot that you tied when you got to the end of your rope. You are one step away from a snapping. Good luck to anyone on the other end of your pent up anger. Ahead of you, all you see is your season of busy. You see Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years. You see tournaments and recitals. You see month after the end of the money.
Your life needs a serious declutter. You are so obsessed with covering up that you are broken that you do not realize that you do not need to fix yourself. You only need to fix your focus. It is time for you to make that declutter happen. You need space to see with clarity the moments that matter the most.
What are some ways that you declutter your life in the busy season?
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