Decluttering my house has been a new routine that started with committing to wake up 5 minutes earlier every morning three years ago. This habit and routine enabled me to add other life giving habits. Habit begets habit. This post will share how 5 minutes a day can be life changing.
How 5 Minutes a day can be life changing
I’m not the most disciplined person. Routines are generally hard for me to keep. Three years ago however, I knew I needed to build in structure to my days in order to greet my kids feeling centered versus harried. I began a morning routine. I started by waking up 5 minutes earlier than usual. I was able to continue that morning routine for several months. 5 minutes eventually turned into longer stretches of time.
Exercising at least 2 times a week
After I began my morning routine, my family joined the YMCA and my youngest son and I would spend 2-3 mornings at the YMCA. I would take a fitness class and he would play in the childcare room. He wasn’t always happy about that, but I knew that it was time for me to take care of myself physically. That became a regular part of our weekly routine.
I share those habits of spiritual and physical care because they have brought me to the place where I can tackle my physical clutter with regularity and determination. Several years ago I tried shining my sink, but I wasn’t used to routines and they didn’t stick.
Making self-care a priority
Looking back, it was so important that I started with a habit that I was in control of. If I didn’t wake up five minutes earlier or go to the gym, no one else was affected but me. Reducing clutter in our house is difficult with an active family living life together.
The habits were not easy to maintain, but by starting small, they were attainable and gave myself a sense of accomplishment. I also gave myself grace when I hit snooze or skipped a day at the gym. The next day was a fresh start.
And last, but not least, decluttering
As I declutter the house, I know it is a marathon rather than a sprint. Here is our Clutter Free Zone:
It has been clutter free for the past two weeks. Of course, the rest of our counters usually look like this:
Ahhh, baby steps…
I told my husband the reason why we are keeping the counter clutter free and he has respected it. This is significant friends. I am decluttering our house as a solo mission. When I have tried to declutter in the past, he visibly looked nervous and would go through the bags of items pulling things out after I loaded them in the van. He’s more comfortable with my donation runs nowadays, but is not actively participating.
I am following the advice of starting with my things and leading by example. There is plenty to keep me busy in the main parts of the house. Someday though, I hope to take back the basement – with my husband. Based on my recent experience, I know that the habit of keeping our clutter free zone clear will lead to the habit of keeping other areas clear. So until then, we’re keeping our clutter free zone, clutter free…together.
How about you? I’d love to hear how it works in your home. Do you keep a clutter free zone while you declutter? Do you have a spouse on board with your intention to simplify?
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