Unfortunately, staying in this comfort zone has its drawbacks as well: as a rule, it makes it more difficult to consider change. Don’t get me wrong: there are levels to this perceptions. Some people are able more easily to overcome such limitations and are happy to embrace change in well-defined situations. Others seek the thrill of the unknown and push themselves at every moment. That said, I believe that most people choose carefully where they embrace that change and thrill, and where they prefer to stick to the status quo.
When it comes to your own home, your family and your livelihood, I would think that you’ll be more cautious and prevent rocking the boat too much. This obviously translates into how likely you are to accept changes to your living situation.
Decluttering is often about dealing with practical issues or sentimental reasons, with engrained habits or sheer inability of letting go of things. But the element of ‘change’ is ever present and often overlooked. Many of my clients are simply afraid of change in general, of moving outside of their comfort zone. They have built their burrow that keeps them safe from the outside world. Change is all around us anyway, the world is moving at breakneck speeds and not all of us are able to adjust quickly enough.
This is especially true for the older generation. I’m trying not to generalise too much, but it stands to reason that those who grow up with a particular set of technology will be more able to adjust to new technology than are those who had to get used to technology in the first place. Luckily, this year has shown us that most of us are able to learn new skills like using videoconferencing tools on a tablet. Sounds brilliant, but I’m also aware that there are those who cannot adapt.
Not adapting seems to be a baseline of our lives, and change is not welcome in most cases. Of course, change disrupts calm and regular processes! Having to order food online is very different from going to the local shop and choosing from the selection in real life.
In a similar way, changes in your home will initially appear to be unwanted, and it takes a bit of getting used to the new state of affairs before it’s accepted as the new default. With some clients, this is a fast process and many changes can be applied in short succession. With other clients, this is a tedious process that requires many interruptions and time to settle in.
Change doesn’t come easy to all of us, and the type of change we are considering makes a difference as well: changing what you eat is a big one while moving a piece of furniture is easy, switching from one bedroom to another could pose huge problems while moving house and sleeping in a new room is fine in the grand scheme of things.
I would even posit that there are many of us who claim to be okay with changes, but are really only hiding their discomfort to keep it together and not fall apart at the seams. Part of my job involves finding out how my client really feels about anything I propose to do and ask them to decide on. It’s a touchy subject for every single job, even those where we appear to deal with practical issues like paperwork. Surprisingly, even a pile of papers that has become a fixture in someone’s life can be disturbing to see disappear!
My advice to you is to question your motives when change is afoot: figure out if you are REALLY unhappy with the potential new situation, or if there are ‘proper’ reasons to stick to the status quo.
One of the main culprits here is that just looking at what you need to do in terms of shopping, pre-cooking, invitations, cards, decorations, setup, cleaning, etc. does not give you the whole picture. You may be feeling that these actions are not all that time-consuming, but what you keep forgetting is this: all those things need to be done on top of what you have to do every day anyway. And that changes things quite a bit. While those preparation on their own may only take you a couple of days of rigorous planning and running around, if you add your regular work schedule, school runs, doctor appointments, yoga class, meeting up with your friends, work Christmas dinners (and your partner’s, too, of course), the state of affairs is a lot more dire!
Once you realise that all the Christmas stuff needs to be slotted into the few free moments you may liberate in your regular schedule, Christmas turns out to be much too close for comfort.
In these difficult times of Covid limitations, all this has the potential to take a lot longer even: waiting outside to be let into a store, and/or having to wait at home for a delivery that will otherwise end up in a pickup spot 20 miles away will keep you busy for much longer than you would think! It’s hard to get everything organised without getting frazzled at the best of times, and 2020 has most certainly not been ‘the best of times’, right?
My advice is simple: don’t wait any longer and get yourself sorted NOW rather than later. Make a plan. Get started sooner rather than later. Do what you can do ahead of time. Stay level-headed and make sure YOU can enjoy Christmas as well rather than spending all of December in a state of panic, and Christmas time in the kitchen.
If you know that time has always tended to get away from you, here’s something to help you get everything done in time: I am offering an online workshop to get you started on the right foot, and I promise that at the end of the workshop you’ll have the makings of a personalised plan to ensure that your Christmas will be a relaxing one.
Have a look here and sign up for the planned workshops!
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Hi, my name is Tilo Flache. My current mission: help my clients declutter mind and space.
This blog contains pointers for your journey towards a happier living experience.