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Virginia Wells

I Should Be Able to Declutter on My Own

A lot of the people I speak to often say, “I should be able to declutter on my own. I should be able to organise my stuff by myself. I shouldn’t need your help!” It’s a common thought, and it extends to other things we do like cleaning, doing laundry, cooking meals, and those simple home maintenance jobs…

It is about more than just the ‘stuff’

There are plenty of areas in your life where you might feel like you should be better at something. That nagging “I should be able to do this myself” feeling. You might think that if you just put time aside to do it, it would happen. Sure, it might be true. Maybe you could do it on your own. Often, there’s a reason why it hasn’t happened. Often, I notice there’s a lot of shame in asking for help with household duties and maintenance. The tasks seem simple enough, right? On the surface sure, they do. But my experience is there’s much more to it than just the stuff or the task for that matter. There are habits, beliefs, feelings, preferences, fears… In this instance, there’s even social conditioning and expectations.

I’ve heard (too many times) someone say that their husband, friend, neighbour, or colleague has said, “Why would you pay someone to help you declutter? I could get this room sorted in an hour!” There’s a lot of guilt and shaming in those words. When you’re reaching out for help, and essentially saying, “Hey, I’m drowning here and need some (objective and supportive) help…”, getting some support would be a wonderful response. Instead, you hear criticism and you may shut down, feel shame or embarrassment and retreat within yourself.

If this is you, you might be feeling frustrated with yourself that you can’t seem to get on top of it all. Yes, you might be able to organise your kitchen cupboard… but you’re busy… there’s no time… you’d prefer to do anything other than organise that stupid cupboard…. you’ve tried several times, and it doesn’t look any better…. Or…. Oh, look there’s a shiny butterfly…

It is okay to ask for help

If you’re feeling ashamed or frustrated that you haven’t been able to do it yourself, it’s ok. You don’t have to feel this way! I’m here to tell you that it’s definitely ok to ask for help. Most of us do this in other areas of our lives all the time, so why not this? It’s acceptable to hire a cleaner, a gardener, a personal trainer, a plumber or a guitar tutor. So why can’t you hire someone to get you sorted?

Sure, you could weed the garden… or do the latest online fitness routine… But, you’ve tried this and it hasn’t worked out for you. You didn’t do it. In these examples, most believe it’s reasonable to bring in help. You pay for a gardener to come and do the weeding so you can enjoy the garden. It’s completely acceptable to have a personal trainer or go to a gym class to get exercise and support. Believe me when I say there’s no shame in saying “I am not going to declutter on my own”! Instead, you really should be patting yourself on the back for acknowledging that you haven’t done it on your own and that you need some help or encouragement. Admitting that means you’re one step closer to reaching your goal.

Another reason it might not be happening for you is that decluttering and organising is just a really, boring task. You’d rather watch paint dry than declutter the kitchen pantry! Understanding that and asking for help (because your pantry is attacking you every time you open the door!) is ok. It is smart. My clients would tell you, decluttering is much more fun, and goes much quicker when there’s someone there with you.

With the skills and systems, you can manage on your own

Once you get the support you need, you can get systems set up in your home to help maintain the space. That will leave you with more time to do the things you love – just like when we outsource the cleaning. Sure, decluttering needs a little of your elbow grease initially. You need to be involved in the process. Over time, however, it will save you so much time. With systems in your home to support you to keep things decluttered and organised, you’ll have time to do the stuff you actually love. Decluttering and organising are tools and skills to simplify your life. You use them to create processes in your home to support your household so that things are easy to maintain, and you can manage on your own in the future. A professional organiser can help you learn the skills to do it on your own going forward, if that’s what you want!

If organising and decluttering isn’t your forte, it’s ok to outsource it or ask for expert help. It’s just like you would do at work. If you’re not strong in an area, you’d delegate that stuff out to someone else. In the same way, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask a friend (someone you trust) or a professional to help with your decluttering and organising.

Do you need help to declutter and organise your home? Come and join us in the WellSorted Group to be with a community of people who will support you in your journey.

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