There are many things I like about blogging. I like reviewing our adventures, sharing them and (perhaps!) inspiring someone else to have their own adventure… but what I like most is that it’s a nice, neat, compact diary for my children to read (if they choose to!) when they are older. It keeps our thoughts, photos and feelings ordered.
Since starting this blog, one thing that’s become obvious is that housework is a major issue…. once a month, I ‘tackle’ the house to try and keep it in order. And, to be honest, it’s soul destroying. I never win. I get it all sorted and, within the blink of an eye, it’s a disaster zone again!!!
One very positive thing that autism has taught me is that it’s OK to change the rules… It’s OK not to live in whatever box you find yourself put in. And that’s what I’ve decided to do…. It’s time to change the housework rules!
I know many people will scoff at paying someone to reduce how much ‘stuff’ you have, but I’m past that…. If I wanted to get fit, no one would blink at me getting a personal trainer or joining a gym… What I know is what I’m doing right now is not working the way I want it to work. I need calm. I need clear. If I need to ask for short term help to achieve that, then that’s what I’m going to do.
And…. that’s what I did. I got a professional declutter to come and sort my house out!
So, the last few days here have been quite emotionally draining… but ultimately incredibly positive.
Mind you, that was the easy bit! The difficult part for me was this….
So many bits of paper, not stored correctly… lots of things mean something, but lots don’t anymore and it’s time to sort all of this out and store just as I do with our blog. Neatly.
Our five top tips are:
- Get professional… Don’t set a time limit… None of this ‘5 minutes a day’. Pick a job and SORT it. If you know time is limited, then pick a job you know you can complete.. but don’t stop until it’s done! Like most things in life, decluttering is incredibly hard to start with and, for a while, it looks worse than when you started… you only get benefit right at the end. So choose a room, a cabinet, a wardrobe, a cupboard and don’t stop until it’s finished.
- Get a professional… If you know you (like me!) are going to struggle staying on task, then consider getting a professional declutter. No one bats an eyelid if you have a personal trainer. And it will help your life.
- Don’t worry about what you are giving away…. You bought it, that money is gone. You have options… Ebay, a carboot sale, charity shops (anything other than the dump unless it truly is useless!). The only lesson that needs to be learned is that you didn’t need ‘it’ and you don’t need to buy ‘it’ in the future.
- Think outside of the box…. For me, I have so many treasures – photos / old maps / museum guides / programmes… I am drowning in them! So it’s time to look at it differently…. can you take a digital image of something and get rid of the actual item? Can you turn it in to a piece of artwork?
- Stop feeling guilty!!! I have heard myself say – atleast half a dozen times – in the last two days that I can’t get rid of something because of who gave it to me. Not because I really want to keep it… but because THEY will be upset with me (or, perhaps more truthfully, I think they will be upset with me)… Lisa (she’s my declutterer!!!) said… ‘And do you want to pass that on to your children?’ It’s a moment of clarity. The answer is a very firm no. I want them to make decisions based on what they want, not what I (or anyone else for that matter!) wants. So…. to steal a line from Frozen… it is time to Let It Go!
And our top 5 benefits.
- It’s liberating. It’s empowering. You are no longer being controlled by objects!
- You find out a lot about yourself….
- …. and about others. J has, for instance, taken to this idea of giving toys away. I’ve known for a while that they are an emotional stress for him. He doesn’t see they as inanimate objects. But knowing that the toys are going to other children (I did have to make sure they are going to schools rather than charity shops) means he knows they’ll be played with and loved… G is less sure, she’s more cautious… more sensitive… more prone to worrying about what someone else will think, so this is a great lesson for her to learn now that she’s not responsible for other people’s feelings.
- It helps you concentrate on what’s important! Yes it’s nice to look back occasionally (and I still have kept quite a lot!) but it’s far better and more important to be clear on where you are and where you want to go.
- It’s worth it! Once you have properly sorted something, it’s easier to keep everything else clean and tidy. Having a clean house feels SO good!
So, it’s been a busy week here but very productive! A task I’d thoroughly recommend but rather hope I’ve learned enough not to have to repeat!
Clean drawers!!!!! Yippee!