I’m learning that getting my home under control is a “two steps forward, one step back” process. I have two children underfoot 24/7, and we spend about 48 consecutive hours away from home nearly every week. Additionally, as I’ve mentioned before, we live 100 miles from town. The potential frustration and procrastination this causes can be monumental. I either put off a project for weeks because I don’t have all of the tools I might possibly need, or I have six unfinished projects cluttering up my house and my brain.
As an example: I bought paint for my living room and my upstairs bathroom 3 weeks ago. I did not buy a paint tray because I was positive that I already had a brand new one waiting at home. I planned to do the painting this weekend because a friend volunteered to watch my girls while I worked. Imagine my immense frustration when I discovered the paint tray that I thought I had was nowhere to be found.
I can get another paint tray in a few days, but who knows when I’ll have another opportunity to paint without “help”? In the meantime, there is painter’s tape all over the bathroom, and the shelves and medicine cabinet are on the floor in the hallway. Such a kill-joy to look at all week long.
“Hurry up and wait” can be a real motivation killer. My lofty long-term goals can easily be forgotten when I spend a week tripping over a half-finished project, eagerly awaiting a trip to town so that I can bring home what I need to finish it. That feeling of frustration can build to a point that I buy 3 of something so that I’ll never have a project waiting on that thing again. Once I do have what I need I no longer have any desire to complete the project because the previous week’s frustration took all of the joy out of it.
Waste of time. Waste of energy. Waste of money.
To take my mind off that aggravation, and to keep myself moving forward, I’m going to try to focus on what I can get accomplished in that bathroom over the next week.
I have been keeping an eye out for good deals on baskets, boxes and containers at discount stores and thrift stores. I’ve also been able to look around my house and re-purpose a lot of containers, which has really reduced the amount of money I had to spend on getting my clutter under control. The key is to collect containers that will fit the space(s) you’re using for storage. I took an evening to measure cabinets, cupboards and shelves in the areas of my home that I need to organize. I keep that list and a tape measure in my purse so that when I find a good price on a container, I can determine whether it will come home with me. No matter how good the deal is, it’s not a bargain if I can’t use it/don’t need it.
Having storage containers on hand allows me to complete small de-cluttering projects during the course of the week. A completed small project is far more motivating than a half-done large project. It’s so satisfying to spend an hour on a cupboard or even just a shelf, and at the end of that hour, be 100% finished with it.
Even though I couldn’t accomplish what I had intended to this weekend, I am able to focus my attention on other projects that I do have the necessary tools for. Being able to keep moving forward should help to keep the discouragement at bay.