Sometimes it just becomes too much.  Life gets hectic.  You barely have time to catch your breath between one commitment and the next.  You race in the door at home, dump your stuff, eat if you’re lucky and then someone else wants something from you.  Things don’t get put away and tasks are half done because there’s simply not enough time for anything else.  Clutter builds up precisely at the time when you have the least time and energy to deal with it.  You look around at the mountain of physical stuff and stuff to do and it all seems insurmountable.  Am I right?

Sometimes it feels a bit like drowning.  You bob up for air, take a quick gulp that’s never enough, then there’s a touch of panic before you’re once again submerged.  And it feels like no-one’s coming to help.  But there is a way out of that downward spiral.

It’s time to escape that feeling.  Turn your back on it.  Take the time to explore a different way of living.  Try these steps.

Stop.  Stand up and yell “Stop the world, I want to get off!”  Nothing is more important than your own well-being.  So whatever it takes, take some time out.  Schedule a holiday or just an afternoon spent soaking in the tub.

Re-evaluate.  Take a look at what is working and what is not.  The idea is to repeat what works and change what doesn’t.

Do something differently.  If taking on another volunteer role isn’t working, resign from it.  Yes, you may cause some ruffled feathers, but what’s the point in getting burnt out?  If shopping every night after work leaves you stressed, plan to do one big shop at the start of the week instead.  If you just can’t face ironing at the end of the day, but the sight of the pile makes you weep, pay someone to do it for you.

Gather your team.  Those are the people you rely on and who rely on you.  Start thinking of them as your team and you are the captain.  Teams work together for a common goal.  Every team member has their part to play.  Announce the new game plan and assign positions.  In other words, delegate.  If your teenager wants you to drive her some place at a moment’s notice, but that’s not convenient, show her the bus timetable or encourage her to arrange an alternative.  Those “Mum’s Taxi” signs are a sad joke.  At the very least make it work for you.  You could say “Sure I’ll drive you, right after you’ve put a load of washing on”.

Clear the decks.  Start afresh.  Take a basket and start in one room.  Collect everything in that room that belongs elsewhere.  Now return those items to where they do belong.  Repeat for every room till the job is done.

Sit back and enjoy.  Feel the peace.  Let it wash over you.  Celebrate your escape with a vase of fresh flowers or a meal eaten at the dining table.

Ahh.  Bliss.

  1. Emma 15 years ago

    I so desperately need to do the ‘stop’ and put everything back think, I’ve been interstate or away so much in the last few weeks, and when I come home I just dump stuff somewhere there is floor and go to bed … it’s got to stop! Hopefully this weekend I can take some time, maybe enlist my sister, it would help keep me focussed on the task at hand

  2. Angela!!!!
    I didn’t let you into my house so’s you could write about it!!!
    And that bit about the team? That’s where my problems START!

  3. Bonni 15 years ago

    What a great blog! You summarized a plan for order in such a do-able and simple way! I am going to feature this blog on my blog today!

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