Is your mantra “Get ‘er done!” or “If it’s not perfect, it’s not worth doing.”
I’ve been doing some reading and thinking about why we accumulate clutter in the first place. Clutter is simply a decision delayed. How does this happen? Why do we keep delaying decisions? Are we afraid of making a mistake? If we do make a mistake, what is the cost? Is it more than the burden of being surrounded by the dune of disarray?
It is said that “perfect is the enemy of done.” Too many of us are delaying finishing things, whether it is a craft project or the laundry etc., and the result is an environment of clutter. A friend recently told me that some people don’t finish projects because then they have to judge their work. I thought that was an excellent insight. So, if you’re clutter is stemming from a perfectionist bent, who, exactly, is judging you?
Having raised our girls in a 4-H club, we know a thing or two about someone judging our work at the County Fair. To this day, when I make something that is good, but not perfect, I’ll text the girls a picture and say, “It may not be ‘fair-worthy’ but it’s done.”
At one point in their 4-H years, they were both advanced to the state photo-judging contest. (Yes, you read that right. They were judged on how well they could judge. Meta-judging!) Both of them were convinced they had no business being there and were only in this position because of their ability to guess well. There was no small amount of anxiety. They didn’t want to let their 4-H club down by not doing well. (The club, in truth, did not gain or lose anything with this competition, thankfully.) In an effort to try and calm their nerves, We told them that if they did really well, we would get funnel cakes. If they did not do really well, we would get funnel cakes. In other words, this judging contest, did not have any bearing on how we viewed them (or whether we would get funnel cakes).
So who is your judge? Do you have a mother-in-law who gives your house the “white glove treatment”? Are you trying to keep up appearances on social media? Or is it you? Are you sitting in the seat of judgment? Are you blocking your own way? Is being perfect sabotaging getting things done? Are you perfectly paralyzed?
If so, first, give yourself a break. Breathe. Life is SO not perfect. Nothing, this side of heaven, is perfect. Lower that impossible bar. You have permission to be good enough. Second, start small. Just clear out your sock drawer. Toss the worn, match the pairs, stack them by color. There. That wasn’t so bad, was it? Yes, you have some mismatched ones that might still be in the next load, but put those in a “lonely hearts club” stack until they find their mate. Keep going with small projects. One-a-day may be a good place to start. Just a drawer. Just a shelf. I say this all the time, but “You can do this!” Good enough is good enough. Let “done” be the enemy of “perfect”.
Now, go get a funnel cake.
Laura ~ your organized girlfriend