I enjoy them both & know you will as well.
I’m certainly not the first person to point out the many connections between weight loss/fitness and decluttering/organizing, but it’s been hitting me on such a personal level lately.
A year ago, I was diagnosed with type2 Diabetes and made the decision to lose weight and get fit and healthy. I’ve come a long way and feel good about that (you can read about it all on my blog ).
But then I woke up, all fit and healthy, and looked around my house. I was aghast! At all the clutter and piles and MESS.
I was determined to tackle this issue with the same determination that I did with my health. I started a new blog, http://www.clutterbrained.wordpress.com, in the hopes of finding a decluttering community.
It took me a very long while for my healthy bodily habits to become ingrained and “automatic.” And I am suspecting it will take an equally long while (if not longer) to become an “automatically” organized person. If ever.
Here are a few things I’ve observed that are true in both cases.
Procrastination is the devil.
How many times did I used to say, “I’ll go to the Farmers’ Market… later,” or “I’ll go to the gym… later,” or whatever? And “later” stretched into never. I realize that I am the same way about picking up random crap in my house.
I always tell myself, “I’ll do it LATER.” But later, the pile always grows, it always gets bigger, stuff gets lost more easily, and it’s just a hundred times more awful and messy to deal with it later. Same with being overweight. The longer you wait, the more there is to deal with.
Under/overestimating messes us up.
They say that people consistently overestimate the amount of activity/exercise they do, and they consistently underestimate the amount of food they eat. No surprise!
And the same is true with clutter, especially the invisible kind of clutter (time). When I didn’t “count” whatcalls BLTs (“bites, licks and tastes”), I was surprised when I gained weight. When I don’t put down EVERYthing on my calendar/planner, I am constantly shocked when I run out of time to do the things I want to. I used to keep a calendar with daily appointments, and a To-Do list on the side, but (duh) I NEVER scheduled TIME to DO those things on the list. So I was constantly dismayed when they didn’t get done. Because I was going to do them on some parallel plane, right?
Magical thinking is dangerous.
With both weight loss and decluttering, it is so easy to say “I wish…” without a plan. But without a real plan, and some sense of accountability, you’re doomed to have your wishes evaporate like a wisp of smoke.
Doing too much too fast leads to burnout.
Just like with crash dieting, crash decluttering can lead to burnout.
I had a great time organizing my office on New Years’ Day. I felt so accomplished! I could see the floor! Before I was finished, the dining room table caught my eye and I leaped over there. But I didn’t finish that either. Then I attacked this huge pile of paper on the kitchen counter. I ended up feeling exhausted and frustrated because I didn’t complete any ONE project. I would have been so much better off if I’d worked on, say, ONE drawer, or one small corner, or a shelf, and not three entire rooms.
I was doomed because I took on so much. So much the same with people who immediately want to “cleanse” their system so they stop eating food. Or they sign up for a marathon when they can’t even run a mile.
Baby steps, people! Baby steps! I know it’s so easy to feel impatient when you finally DECIDE to do something good for yourself. You want it to happen overnight. I know I do.
Buddies help. A LOT.
I am amazed at how true this is with both weight/health endeavors AND with decluttering, how much better/easier/more fun/motivating it is to do with friends. But how counterintuitive that can be at first, because the initial behavior is so embarrassing we don’t want to tell anyone about it. We’re ashamed at how we got so overweight/disorganized in the first place, we don’t want to share it.
But that’s been my new revelation this year with FoodFoodBodyBody. The more I wrote about the things that deeply pained me, the more friends came to support and rally around me. I am hoping the same will be true for my Clutterbrained efforts.
I already have a RL buddy who is blogging with me. We go to each others’ homes. We’ve taken each other on the Tour of Shame.
I can’t tell you how big this was, to open up my closet and to look at someone else’s. It’s big. But I think it’s the thing that’s going to get us where we want to be.