Have you ever wished that Mary Poppins would come along and click her fingers and your cleaning and organising worries disappear? I have certainly needed a bit of Mary Poppins magic myself lately.
December is always a busy month and is a trigger for my house turning into a dumping zone of stuff!! At the moment for me, this is Christmas stuff – workshop materials, gifts, potential gifts and little bits of lonely clutter that need a transient space, but don’t have a home. Things that usually I can be on top of during the year slip, and I mean drastically. I try and do bits but ‘poof’ the clutter is back and I start to feel overwhelmed – this has a large impact on your routines and habits.
When you are overwhelmed – things just get harder to deal with. Your tolerance is lower, you experience more fatigue, you lose confidence in yourself, you procrastinate, you find decisions harder, you worry, you sleep less, you are more sensitive, your self-care is neglected and your health – physically and mentally deteriorates. The clutter in your mind becomes the clutter in your space and vice versa!
I say it every year – how did I let it get like this? Where do I start? And then, I begin to take back control through achieving a goal. I keep the goal specific and I write it down with a deadline. Some of you may use a diary, app, or even pair it with a visual but record it somewhere! David Allen refers to this as a brain dump – it is a process of getting it out of your head into a format that you can take action.
Realistically, I know the table is going to be that transient space for my Christmas stuff as I shop, make and create so I have to set myself a goal to do little things – find a storage container for Christmas stuff for next year, wrap gifts and place under the tree, store potential gifts (not allocated to anyone) in cupboard and so on. Sometimes when I take a picture of the cluttered space and view it from my iPad – it frames it and sets a boundary. I don’t get distracted by other areas which I see when my eyes wonder. This helps to isolate the space and identify your goals to take back control.
Sadly, I don’t think snapping or clicking my fingers is going to work but there can be an element of fun to get the job done. Play music, set yourself a time challenge, do mini-bursts rather than a long slog, dress up – I am going to get my fitness gear on as this often does the trick, or have a reward when you finish. Most importantly tick off your completed goal to get your life back in control.
Wishing you all a wonderful break over Christmas!
Director and Life Skills Teacher: Functional Skills Focus