Do you ever find yourself avoiding certain tasks?
You know, those mind-numbingly mundane tasks that need to get done and life would flow so much easier if you just did it, but you don’t?
You find other things to prioritize and do instead?
I’ve been feeling out of sorts since March. As I’m sure most of you reading this have probably been feeling . This pandemic has been no joke. Virtual “learning” for two teens, a make shift office in the house for the husband, and all of us living under the same roof 24/7 with constant uncertainty of what the world is going to look like from one day to the next. Add on an extra stressor of a toilet overflow that flooded our house at about the same time my state issued the Stay at Home Order…life has been far from Simple.
We are in August now. My home is still a construction zone with partial concrete floors and an upstairs bathroom out of service. Up until two weeks ago, we had no ceiling in our living room and 1/4 of the main wall missing.
My home feels disjointed, scattered, cluttered and chaotic. Most of our things don’t have a home right now and are spread about the house. I have an idea of where things are but not completely. I actually lost my driver’s license. How does one lose their driver’s license while Staying At Home?
The other day, I was feeling very lost. Somewhat wandering about my house feeling overwhelmed. I looked at all that needed to be taken care of and felt my body somewhat deflate. I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water with just the basics let alone being able to build my business. The feelings I was experiencing were all too familiar to me. I was feeling like I did back in 2013 when I first began this clutter clearing, simplifying journey.
I scanned the house and thought to myself, “Do the damn thing, Karen.”
As I began taking care of the dishes, my thoughts were wandering to a study conducted by UCLA’s Center of Everyday Lives of Families (CELF), an ethnoarchaelogical study back in 2001-2005.
This small study looked at 32 dual income, middle class families in LA. What really stood out to me in this study was that they found a link in the diurnal cortisol levels (a measure of stress) between how mothers, specifically, felt about their home spaces. Their levels were high if they felt unhappy with the state of clutter in their homes.
This was currently me. I was feeling stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted, cranky, and defeated.
As I moved on from the dishes to the laundry, I recalled reading about how much time we spend looking for things. This prompted me to google it and I came across an article on Apartmenttherapy.com: Study Reveals The Most Common Items that Go Missing At Home
In this Study by Pixie, a location app for apple, found that Americans spend about 2.5 days or 60 hours per year looking for STUFF.
60 hours!!! That’s a week and a half of full time work! That’s a vacation! If the average pay in America is $63,688 per year, then that is about $1800 worth of time spent looking for lost items in your home.
Then there is the roughly $2.7 billion dollars per /year spent in America replacing STUFF. **
It’s not just the financial end of things, according to Pixie, it’s also the stress and relational conflict of being late to work or school. The stress and consequences of missing an appointment or meeting. The arguing with loved ones. The stress and expense of missing a plane, train, or bus. And the extra time taken to go out and replace the items as well. All because we can’t find things like keys, wallets, passports, driver’s licenses, credit/debit cards on the daily. About 5-15 minutes per day searching amongst the clutter for daily essential items.
This is the toll that clutter takes on our lives.
As I spent my 15 minutes of doing the damn things of dishes and laundry, this thought process helped me develop my speech for Toastmasters. I have officially completed the first level of my Pathway. It also gave me content to share with my audience to help them to continue clearing out clutter and simplify their lives. I also ended up feeling accomplished, a bit more in control of my construction zone of a home, which in turn lowered my stress levels and my crankiness.
To sum it up, Keep It Simple. Slow down and spend the extra 5-15 minutes per day DOING THE DAMN THING!!!
Over time, you will be saving time, money, energy, and cortisol levels and end up being a healthier, wealthier, more energetic and fulfilled you.
Remember, Keep It Simple.