Clearing and releasing

A couple of weeks ago I talked about reorganizing my living room.

It only took a couple of days, and it opened up the space so much. I’m really pleased with it. It feels much more comfortable in here. It’s been years since I’ve felt this comfortable in my own home.

Now, I just have to get C to pick up after herself. She’s almost never here, but still manages to leave a mess. But that’s kids, right?

I got rid of a ton of stuff and took a few things to storage. I shredded a stack of papers. I packed away the heaviest winter clothes.

It feels like I’ve cleared out my brain, especially how open the living room is now.

And it’s still going. I cleared a few things out of storage, too. And I’ve moved some stuff we’ve never used since living here either to storage or completely out of the home.

It just feels so much more relaxed. I’m almost kicking myself for not tackling it sooner. The thing is, though, I knew all along that I would feel this way about it. I talked about it last summer, even.

But for some reason, I was unable to actually make a move on it until now.

There’s still some clutter, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was.

Several years ago, lots of people I know were really excited about Flylady. I wanted to follow it; I wanted to like it. Lots of things about the site and her process (small chunks daily) are fabulous and do-able.

But I couldn’t get past polishing the sink and getting dressed all the way to shoes.

I don’t like shoes. I don’t wear them as often as I can get away with it. When I have to wear shoes, I prefer to wear ones that kick off easily. When I had an office job, as soon as I got settled at my desk, the shoes came off.*

Now, I understand her reasoning.

It’s a cue to your brain that you’re fully dressed and engaged in Real Life for the day.

But I hate shoes, and there’s no way I’m wearing them in my own home.

I’ve realized in the last few months, though, that I do have a mental cue about being dressed and fully mentally engaged for the day. And anyone that knew me in my 20s and early 30s is really going to laugh at this**. . . . a bra. . . . if I’m wearing a bra, I’m ready to Get Shit Done. If I’m not, nothing important is getting accomplished.

But now, I’ve discovered Unfuck Your Habit. Maybe it’s the profanity that speaks to me. Or maybe it’s the starting with making your bed.

For at least a decade now, whenever I’ve tried to work on issues of self-discipline, this is where I started – making the bed.

When I’m really depressed, I’m napping all day and tossing and turning all night, so I never really make the bed. When I start trying to turn things around, making the bed as soon as I get up is the first thing I do. After a week or two of that, I start to add in other things.

Really, Unfuck Your Habit isn’t that much different than FlyLady. But for some reason, I like it more.***

What does this have to do with releasing?

I’m releasing fears.

I’m releasing attachments to the past.

I’m releasing the idea of being STUCK.

I’m releasing expectations (and that one is fucking HARD).

Changing things in your environment around in a major way can help change your perspective.

Have you made any major changes lately?

*When I was a student at the local university, one of my math teachers was famous for walking around without shoes, ALL THE TIME. Made me smile.

**I notoriously went without a bra (and sometimes without a top) as often as possible. So, this makes me giggle.

***Zen Habits has some suggestions on where to get started in clearing clutter here.

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Posted in Cleaning
4 comments on “Clearing and releasing
  1. Thoughts:
    Having less clutter around me, and less guilt about an undone chore like decluttering, always makes my brain feel less cluttered. Not that such knowledge is usually sufficient to get me off my butt. But wow is it freeing when I do it.
    You and I both need to stop following the “Yay me!” positives with the “Bad me for not doing it sooner” negatives.
    I never shined my sink or put on lace-up shoes. But getting dressed was my mental trigger. I don't bother until I have to, and I'm unproductive until I do. It's amazing what these little mental cues do for us.

  2. Just checked out UFYH. I love it!
    Since I'm renting a room from friends right now, and my room is all mine and only one room, I've been getting back into my good habits. Clothes come off and go directly to laundry basket or pants hanger. But still when I get home on weekends I throw them on the floor next to the bed. Baby steps. 🙂

  3. That is totally how I feel.

    Even when I think I do have some good things established, as soon as I get stressed or tired, or down, it all goes to hell so quickly.

    And the getting dressed thing. . . I used to be able to accomplish stuff in my jammies and/or around the house comfy clothes. I don't know when that changed.

  4. Isn't it great? Like Real Life great? Someone at That Other Place recommended it; don't even remember which board. GO? maybe?

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