Lately I've really been feeling overwhelmed by all the things of everyday life. Just the busyness and rushing has taken a bit of ahold. It's just one of those seasons that seems to naturally bring with it extras. And the Christmas season is coming. So I've been trying to think "simplify". Now the thought of doing that in huge chunks, in itself, is overwhelming to me. So I've been taking baby steps. And I thought I'd share the steps with you in segments. 'Cause I know you're waiting with bated breath, and all.
First off the bat, I just took pause and reflected and prayed about what it is that causes those feelings of being overwhelmed. And it took awhile for me to figure out. But then it came to me. I get feeling frustrated, what gets a bee in my bonnet and makes me antsy and grumpy is when my floors aren't clean, when counter and tabletops are overflowing, when "things" are crowding me out. So I'm going to figure out a plan, so I don't get to the point where everyone in my household is avoiding me because I have a storm cloud over my head.
My first step was to take a deep breath and look around to see which was the worst at the moment. The first thing I decided to get a handle on was the paper work that seems to pile everywhere. No matter how much I want to ignore it, paper will come into my household. I resolved that fact with myself. My need was to simplify the process in which I deal with the monster. The above picture is only one area it seems to collect in. I have tried the basket idea. Got some really pretty ones but then everything just goes into this black hole and doesn't get dealt with at all. And then it's just an overflowing basket on my counter.
I made a decision to force myself to immediately handle as much of the paperwork as possible when it first comes into my hands. Here's my plan. Instead of picking up the mail and depositing it onto a table or counter top I will
take that minute force myself and do a quick sort: read later or immediate recycle. Hubby's mail will go onto his dresser right away so that he can deal with it. I cannot believe the difference that little quick sort makes. A fast 30 seconds to 1 minute and the clutter is already cut in half. After lunch when the kids are having their quiet time, I take one more minute and go through what got left. The sale papers get a quick look, if I see something I might want, it goes on a list on the fridge and the paper goes immediately into recycling. All dates that I need to know get written on the calendar, and the letters go.
I'm not perfected at it. I mean, it's only been about a week that I got determined to deal with this but I'm trying and determined I am. Paper may be a fact of life but I refuse to let paper get me down. Maybe one of these days I'll be able to have to conviction to actually put a sign on my mailbox that says "No unaddressed mail or flyers, please". Now that would make it really simple, but I'm not quite at that place yet.
How do you simplify dealing with the paper in your life?