I’ve been reading your emails for a couple of months, and trying to FLY for a long time. I never really understood the part about decluttering. I have some routines, and follow the weekly plan, and try to stick to the zones, but I’ve been overwhelmed anyway. I figured it was just me.
In February I finally started faithfully decluttering, and I actually got rid of the stuff for the first time. I gave away six large clear garbage bags to a charity that picks things up. I threw away five large garbage bags of clutter. It was wonderful!
Then, as usual, I fell off the wagon and stopped decluttering. At the end of the month someone wrote to you for help with decluttering. They had difficulty letting things go because of their value. They couldn’t do their home blessing. Gee, I could really relate.
Your answer about “feeling guilty about the value of the items bought” and “doing too much at a time” really hit a nerve (in a good way!) I decided to stop trying to take on the world and do everything all at once.
My DD was clearing her bowl at my request and went to put it on the counter, which was pretty covered with dishes (I must admit). I was still eating at the time.
My DD pushed on the bottom of the hot kettle (yikes!) to clear a space for her bowl. I said “No!” loudly, really fast. My DD jumped back and her bowl went crashing onto the tile floor and smashed into millions of tiny shards. She was on the verge of tears, looking at the ground.
I normally lose my temper at this point, regardless of how much I’d rather not, and take her down to task for breaking a valuable bowl and being careless. It doesn’t matter at the time that it was an accident. I have so much trouble with losing things that could have been used again. I just lose my temper, and then, end up apologizing later.
Something shocking happened though! I didn’t get angry! I didn’t yell at my sweet little girl!!! Without thinking, I smiled at her, and said, ” It’s OK Sweetie, I just wanted to make sure you didn’t burn your hand on the hot kettle. Don’t worry about the bowl. There are lots more in the cupboard.”
I didn’t plan this, it just happened. No deep breathing needed. No counting to ten. It came from inside of me! Peace! Glorious peace! I shared it with one of my babies too!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I just had to slow down to stop being hard on myself. I had to slow down to speed up. I had to slow down so peace could catch up to me. Baby Steps! Baby Steps! Thank you FlyLady for this! Thank you so much!
FlyLady here: When we quit being harsh with ourselves those sames voices become kinder to our children. This eliminates a lot of guilt! I am so proud of you Tamara!
Words can be KIND or MEAN; the Choice is yours! This goes for the voice in your head too!
Please declutter! I have had my home in order for over thirteen years. I continue to declutter every day. When you bring something new home, get rid of something old. This weekend I have been decluttering DVDs, CDs, and Electronic equipment.