Moving Forward in a Stagnant Time

Raise your hand if you thought you'd be halfway to a magazine spread-worthy, artfully decluttered home at this point in our social distancing journey, but the only thing you've managed to get rid of is most of your emergency snacks? Yeah, me too. Every day you're bombarded with article after social media post after podcast about how to use this time to become an amazing parent/get in shape/transform your home/learn to play the ukulele while knitting your own wedding dress, and if you're anything like me, you're exhausted just thinking about doing any of that. Here are some guidelines for moving forward without getting overloaded or feeling frustrated and guilty:

  • Define your new motivation

If the reason you wanted to organize your home was to feel better about having guests over, that motivation isn't going to hold much weight right now. Think of ways that decluttering and organizing will change your current situation and mood; you'll feel calmer and more relaxed in your home, be more productive working in an ordered place, and cut out unnecessary frustration that depletes your patience (which you most definitely need to have a reserve store of right now).

  • Progress, not perfection

Any kind of change takes time, and if you measure your success by "did I finish this project today?" you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Redefine your idea of what progress looks like; each and every tiny step toward your goal is a win, and should be celebrated.

  • Allow yourself to move slowly, or some days, not at all. 

If you put away one thing, or add one thing to the trash or donate box each day, you will get there. Be as gentle and patient with yourself as you would with someone else who was tackling this project. If you wouldn't tell your friend "Boy, you really suck. You should've finished this a week ago," then certainly don't say it to yourself. You deserve kindness and patience as well.

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