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Kicking the Clutter: Simple solutions when feeling overwhelmed

Start saying no to things you don’t want, or don’t have time to do. ~ Ranka Burzan

One of the biggest obstacles that stops you from getting organized is feeling overwhelmed.

You grumble when you look at your cluttered desk, your jam-packed schedule or the pile of papers that nearly touches the ceiling. And then there is making meals for the family, dirty dishes and a mountain of dirty clothes that need to be washed.

If you’re a working parent, the work doubles and the overwhelming feeling multiplies. The constant race of catching up creates stress and unhappiness for the whole family.

Stop and regroup

The second overwhelm shows up, you need to stop. Not much can be accomplished when feeling frustrated and defeated. Regain your strength and confidence, and put yourself into solution mode. Acknowledge that you overcome many things in your life and this is not different from others.

Slow down

Whatever you want to achieve in your home and life, it does not have to be completed all at once. Break down big projects into tiny baby steps.

For example, instead of trying to organize your entire bedroom closet, a very overwhelming task for many people, start by removing five articles of clothing you no longer wear and put them in a donation box. Instead of trying to get 10 tasks done on your to-do list, focus on one or two at a time.

Commit to working on your project for a total of 30 minutes each day. Baby steps will allow you to get a project started, preventing you from getting overwhelmed.

Superwoman syndrome

Women are well known for their roles playing this fictional character. We tend to take on so much that our lives become a burden instead of joy.

Many women I help tend to wear a badge of honour as being a perfectionist, doing more than they can and should. Besides working outside to pay the bills, most of the time they are responsible for everyday household chores that are time consuming and not pleasant.

A superwoman is not a role model, and trying to be her isn’t maintainable or healthy. To overcome the syndrome, untie your cape and ask for help. Your family and friends may think you have it all managed and that you don’t want their help. Let them know what you need and how they can assist you.

Schedule a break and start focusing on yourself and your health. Daily meditation or walking through the trails of the beautiful qathet region will relieve the stress and help you to slow down. The key is to start a healthy habit that will enhance your life.

Learn to say no and mean it

No is not a dirty word. Start saying no to things you don’t want, or don’t have time to do. The most difficult thing is saying no to our kids and grandkids. But with practice, you will do it and they will survive.

Life coach Ranka Burzan owns a professional organizing company based in the qathet region and has written several books on reducing clutter and becoming more organized. For information, go to