Why I Stopped Waiting for Perfect

“Mommy, come play with me,” my little one requests. We only have ten minutes before bedtime and we still need to brush teeth and put on PJs. Tomorrow, I tell myself. Tomorrow I’ll have more time to play.

StopWaitingForPerfect

Except that when tomorrow comes, it’s filled with school lessons, office work, laundry, and dinner. Then, before we know it, it’s nearly bedtime again. And as I reflect on our week, I know this whole time I’ve been waiting for perfect:

  • The perfect amount of energy to clean.
  • The perfect slower schedule to be a really fun mom.
  • The perfect mood to exercise.
  • The perfect timing to watch a movie and fold laundry.
  • The perfect opportunity for a service project.

I try to absorb the realization: I miss out on so much good because I wait for perfect.

But I can make my house clean enough even if I’m tired. I can jog in place and do crunches in the living room when it’s too cold to go for a run outside. I can appreciate my husband even though he doesn’t do everything just the way I’d like (I’m pretty sure I don’t do everything exactly how he’d choose, either).

I can also savor time with my kids today even though we’re busy. Here’s a photo and caption I shared on Instagram over the weekend. I’m so glad my desire for perfection didn’t stop me from seeing the beauty in this:

If I continue to wait for perfect, then I’ll spend the rest of my life waiting because perfect will never show up. What I have – and what all of us have – is today.

We can eat healthy foods that fuel our bodies and give us energy. We can savor the fleeting moments we have with our family members. We can organize and declutter so we no longer need to spend time searching for missing items.

In spite of our imperfect circumstances, and in spite of our shortcomings and struggles, there is hope and redemption. We can do amazing things. And those first steps towards amazing things start at home.

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Declutter Update (Nathan’s spare closet)

Nathan completely surprised me on Saturday evening by cleaning out his closet! I was so excited when I realized what was going on and I ran upstairs to help! 3 bags and 1 hour later, we were done!

I love the imperfectness about his closet – it’s a wonderful reminder to me that organization isn’t always about perfection.

WhenOrganizationIsntBeautiful

Organization isn’t always about beauty or perfection. Sometimes organization is simply about being able to find what you need, when you need it.

Nathan’s Closet Summary:

  • Spent 1 hour decluttering Nathan’s spare closet.
  • Filled 3 trash bags with trash.
  • Filled 0 trash bags for donation.

OVERALL TOTALS:

  • Time spent cleaning, decluttering & organizing my home in 2015: 52 hours (not including everyday maintenance)
  • Bags for donation: 22
  • Bags of trash: 21
  • Plus we purged 1 huge Christmas tree, a bag of egg cartons, and a broken bookshelf.LiveDeclutter2015b

Your Clutter Could Be Costing You $25,000

Most of us have clutter, right? Whether it’s a storage closet, a basement, a room, or an entire house, many of us have spaces we can’t fully use because those areas are filled with stuff. But, have you ever thought about how much your clutter is costing you? Here are five ways that having too much stuff can get really pricy:

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1) Needing to buy new things.

When we need to run to the store and buy something because we can’t find scissors or clean socks again, we’re spending a lot of time, energy, and money on unnecessary items.

Likewise, when we step on our kid’s favorite toy that’s buried in a clutter pile, we usually dig into our pockets to fork out some cash so we can replace the beloved item.

2) Not wanting to be home.

When our houses are a mess, being home isn’t fun or relaxing. So whether it’s going to a movie, hitting the mall, or getting coffee on the town, it’s tempting to spend time and money doing anything except going home to a disaster.

3) Restaurant meals.

When our kitchen counters are piled high with dishes and our fridges are full of moldy items, the last thing we want to do at dinnertime is clean up our mess and search for edible food just so we can sit down to eat.

So we go to a restaurant. More time. More gas money. More cash for a dinner out.

5WaysClutterCosts

4) Late fees.

When we can’t find the water bill, the overdue library book, or the movie we rented, we’re going to owe some fines. And those fines can add up to hefty, but completely avoidable, amounts. Like the time my husband asked our kids if the library was a free place to visit and they adamantly insisted that library book “rental” is a paid service. Ahem 🙂

5) Storage space.

Maybe you’re storing your items in a storage facility. If so, you probably know the dollar amount. But even if you’re not using a storage facility, you could be spending big bucks to store your stuff.

For example, the median home cost is about $200,000. Divide that by an average of 8 rooms per house which would include a kitchen, living room, 2 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, a basement or garage, and a home office.

If just ONE of those 8 rooms in a $200,000 house is filled with clutter, that’s $25,000 for a storage room. That’s not even including the interest you’re paying if you have a loan on your house. If you have two rooms filled with clutter, then you could be spending $50,o00 to store your clutter!

Renters, you’re not off the hook either! If you rent, multiply your monthly rent by 12, then divide that by the number of rooms you have. For example, $900 rent over the course of a year is $10,800. If you live in a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment with a kitchen and living room (6 rooms total), that means you’re paying $1,800 a year for storage. More if you have closets filled with junk.

Do the math to find out how much your own clutter is costing you – you might be shocked at the price. If you’re ready to un-bury yourself from clutter so you can save hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars a year, then get my new book, Chaos to Clutter-Free. It’s only $4.99. You’ll save more than that in your first week of going clutter free.

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Have you ever considered how much your stuff is costing you? If you got rid of your clutter, what would you do with the cash you’d save?


Why I’m Okay With Failing January’s Goals

I had a huge goal to declutter my entire house in January! And on January 31st I still had two closets, the main bathroom, and the entire basement left to organize. I started Saturday morning with organizing the holiday storage closet because I knew that would be an easy win.

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Then I moved on to the main bathroom.

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I was working fast and just knew I’d be able to finish the house before the day was over. And then… the power went out in the bedrooms. And the garbage disposal switch broke. And I remembered that we had plans on Saturday evening. About that time, I realized I probably wasn’t going to meet my goal of decluttering my entire house in January.  I was disappointed but decided not to focus on that just yet because I needed to keep moving.

After several hours of work, Nathan had our outlet/switch issues fixed and the bedroom lights were back on!

So my family went to our Saturday evening event, then Nathan and I put the girls to bed and got to work in the basement! In less than 3 hours of work, we finished the entire basement other than the laundry room!

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Even though I’d really hoped to finish the entire house, and was tempted to berate myself over not meeting my goal, I chose instead to focus on the positive.

For example, the only two areas in my house left to declutter  – the laundry room and Nathan’s spare closet – aren’t even terribly bad. We got rid of 1o trash bags full of stuff on Saturday alone. And even though I didn’t fully meet my goal to declutter my entire house in January, I did make huge progress and my house is so much cleaner than it would be if I hadn’t even bothered trying! I’m considering that a HUGE success!

BasementAfter

I’ll post updates about the laundry room and spare closet after we clean them out! For now though, check out last year’s declutter article if you’d like to see how I decluttered my entire house in just six days.

How about you? How did you do with your January goals? Leave a comment or email me to let me know – I’d love to hear!

Also, don’t forget to vote for your favorite transformed space – there are some really awesome before & after photos to see!

January 31st Crunch-Time Summary:

  • Spent 4.5 hours decluttering the holiday storage closet, main bathroom, and basement.
  • Filled 4 trash bags for donation.
  • Filled 6 trash bags with trash.

OVERALL TOTALS:

  • Time spent cleaning, decluttering & organizing my home in January: 51 hours (not including everyday maintenance)
  • Bags for donation: 22
  • Bags of trash: 18
  • Plus we purged 1 huge Christmas tree, a bag of egg cartons, and a broken bookshelf.
  • Areas left to declutter: laundry room & Nathan’s spare closet.

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Davonne’s Live Declutter

You're invited to see my mess as I declutter LIVE on my blog! The good, bad, and embarrassingly messy are all shared to help inspire you to organize your own home!

I’m so excited to offer a huge peek into my house as I live-blog about my full home declutter project this winter!

What you can expect to see in this series:

  • Before & After Photos. Because who doesn’t love to be inspired by a transformed room?!
  • Time & Stuff Breakdowns. I’m adding up the hours spent decluttering & the number of bags I get rid of.
  • Realness.While I’d really prefer for everyone to think I have a perfect house, this world needs honesty, not perfection. So I’m opening my home and inviting you into my mess!
  • Updates! Regardless of whether I meet – or miss – my goals, I plan to post updates about this project each week.
  • Motivation. I hope this series will inspire, encourage, and motivate you to organize your own home!
  • A vlog to two! That is, if I get brave enough to talk to a camera 🙂

Messes

What you shouldn’t expect from this series:

  • A magic formula. Cleaning isn’t always fun! There’s no magic wand. No fairy godmother. Just old-fashioned hard work.
  • How-to articles. This series is more for inspiration than anything else. I very specifically cover the how-to part of decluttering in my eBook, Chaos to Clutter-Free, so make sure to read that if you need help with knowing how to declutter your home.

Pretty simple, right? And now that you know what to expect, you can go here to see all of my live declutter posts, or you can click on any of the titles below:

Preparing our Hearts for Decluttering:

Part 1: The most important thing to remember in 2015 (hint: it isn’t organization)

MostImportantThing

Part 2: Why I’m decluttering my entire house again (plus info about the secret Get Organized Facebook group!)

Declutter Projects I’ve Finished:

Day 1: Getting a head start on the school & toy room

ToyRoomDeclutter

Days 2-5: Preparing my home for a full declutter project

Days 6-8: My house is READY!!! (Part 2 of preparing my home for a declutter project)

Day 9: Kids’ room & living room

Days 10 & 11: When decluttering feels too hard (and master bedroom update)

Days 12 & 13: Yes. It was that bad (Master bedroom & kitchen)

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Days 14 & 15: What you didn’t know about cleaning (with kitchen update)

Days 16 & 17: Top 10 ways to make cleaning more fun (plus the school/toy room reveal!)

Day 18: Why I’m okay about not meeting my January goals (storage closet, bathroom, and basement update)

BasementAfter

Day 19: Why I stopped waiting for perfect (Nathan’s spare closet is done!)

Day 20: FINAL PROJECT – The Laundry Room (I’ll update this day with a link after I declutter it)!

 

Are you excited to get started? I know I am! And if you’d like to see details about a completed home-declutter project, then make sure to check out this article about how I decluttered my entire house in six days last year!

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