Originally Posted by FuzzyOne
trying to not follow in my hoarding mother's footsteps, i have been really clearing things out. i don't have emotional attachment to items (very few anyway) so the job of clearing out, in and of itself, isn't that hard. in december i was able to get rid of 132 items and for this month i have set a total of 400. i haven't started my tally yet, but i have cleared out the entire right side of my kitchen and our two linen closets. i have more storage space and a lot less clutter. but overall, the house is still really cluttered and i am feeling discouraged because all the work i have done doesn't show any real visable progress. i want to live in a fairly minimal house, but i just don't know how to get there and i can feel myself becoming discourage.
also, all through the year i am usually taking a few bags to good will every single month but nothing ever seems to become less. my husband and i are not shoppers, but our families are - they are all big thrift store junkies, so we end up with stuff. dh's grandmother is also a packrat in a major major way (think child of the depression) and he also struggles with the impulse.
i am not sure exactly what my point is - i am just feeling really discouraged right now. if you made it this far, thanks for listening
I have definitely been in that discouraged place for awhile. Personally, I am finding this thread incredibly helpful for that!!! I feel like it is making me accountable. I have subscribed to the thread and it helps since it shows up in my message list so I see how everyone else is doing.
It is hard when it seems like nothing you do is enough. I can relate to this in many parts of my life. Many of the tasks we do, especially in our homes, are repetitive tasks and it feels like they are never gone. How often do you do laundry or wash dishes or cook a meal? Do those things cause you discouragement also? If not, why are you letting this other task get to you so much? (That sounds kind of harsh, but I don't mean it to be. I am thinking you need to analyze for yourself what is underneath your feelings and figure out if there is something other than the task itself that is making you discouraged?)
I have to attack this attitude in myself in a several different ways:
First, I back off and do something nice for myself. Take a bubble bath, read a book, knit, something, anything to take my mind off it for a time.
Second, ask for help. Your DH or your kids or whoever it might be. Ask for help with a small task or in a small way.
Third, think of a different way to approach the task. Flylady is really good for this. She has lots of fun ways to attack clutter -- 5 minute room rescues, 27 fling boogies, hotspots, and even a scavenger hunt to find clutter. Perhaps you are trying to do too much at once. Maybe you need to set a timer and work for smaller amounts of time. Perhaps you need to decide which area is bothering you the most and work on that one area until it is finished in order to be able to see some concrete progress.
Fourth, analyze where the clutter is coming from. When your relatives try to give you crap that you know is only going to clutter your house, why are you accepting it? Maybe you need to come up with a strategy for kindly refusing. Maybe you need to talk to your family about the kinds of things you do and don not want. I don't know the details, but it sounds like you need to stop the flow of new clutter into the house somehow!
Finally, and this is the way this thread is helping me the most, focus on what you have accomplished, not what you still need to do. When you feel discouraged, go open one of those linen closet doors or a cabinet in the right side of your kitchen, and think, "Look how much work I have done!" and pat yourself on the back. Look at your tally of how many items you have gotten rid of for the month.
It isn't easy and it can be overwhelming and discouraging, but every little step matters!