Adding more to life one thoughtful decision at a time.

Making Room, My Progress: The Front Room

As I wrote about in a previous post, December’s Resolutions for 2016, I am trying to make room in my life for items of value that provide a richer life. Oftentimes you have to remove physical or mental stuff that is taking up too much room in your life but not adding value.

Physical stuff is what I typically try to tackle first for several reasons.

  1. It’s easy to see my progress. When you clean out a room and make it organized, you can see that you have done it. When I get up tomorrow, I’ll see it again. It sparks motivation to continue into other rooms as well as hopefully what I consider harder, the mental stuff.
  2. The physical clutter can be detrimental to your focus and your ability to process mental information. So by cleaning up a room or a closet can be the first step in helping your mind be more clear as well. Since I struggle with anxiety this is especially pertinent for me.
  3. I feel that since physical and mental clutter is connected, I should start with low-hanging fruit (easy and quick to do activities that have a large impact), which for me is the physical mess. I am unsure of the root cause of some of my anxieties, so I can start by getting rid of the obscuring foliage to get to that root cause. (heh, tree metaphors.)

My first goal is to clean and declutter the front room, which is next to our foyer and at the front of the house. This is where guests would hang out and where I want to put the Christmas tree. I am not allowing myself to get a Christmas Tree until the room is finished, in a because there is now room in my front room I am going to be festive for Christmas.

If it seems like I am being picky in that last sentence, it is because I have been trying  theory put forward by Gretchen Rubin about rewards that she lists in her blog post: Why We Shouldn’t Reward Ourselves for Good Habits. I think she may be on to something so I have been trying to keep this in mind. I am particularly prone to No. 3 where I think well I just won’t do the activity because I don’t need the reward that much. I can’t even tell myself what to do!

My front room originally had a lot of random boxes from our move four months ago to this house, which is our first house. It was much easier when I broke down what items needed to go to what room and then I let myself put those items in the other rooms but not necessarily sort them and figure out their exact placement yet. I am noticing redundant items (such as way too many pens) and I want them all in one spot to properly decide what brings me joy, a la The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. The one thing I personally will have to watch out for is deciding which rooms have been finished so that if items come back to the room to be put away they have to be given a specific spot or discarded. Otherwise, I know some items will just float around the house in this method forever. Which is not very decluttered.

I’m feeling motivated and I think writing all of this down is definitely helping, so I highly recommend it!

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