Sure, Overwhelm seems to be a "normal" part of our modern life now...but it doesn't need to be a houseguest that never, ever leaves...
In the past few weeks during my visits with clients (& in my own house, too!) I have noticed the same overwhelm issues coming up time & again--SO, I thought it would be good to talk about some of the things we do that invites this most annoying guest to come in & stay awhile. The first one might seem silly to you:
1. Our Search For The Right Container-- I may never have set foot in your house, but I know that your clutter problem is not due to you STORING STUFF INCORRECTLY. This is a fantasy we all love to indulge in. HOW we store things is only 10-15% of the problem, while WHAT we store is the big stinkin' rest of the issue. Reduce the amount of STUFF that you are wrestling with & having to manage, and the question of how to store it will practically solve itself (and you won't be nearly so overwhelmed).
Besides, while we are busy at Target looking for the perfect storage solution to bring order and meaning to our lives, the dog or the kids are back at the ranch inviting Overwhelm in the back door! Which brings me to number two......
2. Letting the Animals Run The Zoo-- Those crazy children and whack-a-doo pets some of us share our lives with sure are cute, but they are nuts! And Overwhelm LOVES to hang out with them!
These adorable souls thrive on chaos, but also breathe a sigh of relief when someone creates order. Setting some clear rules, boundaries, and limitations (you know, Cesar Milan style) with you as the calm assertive Pack Leader, helps everyone get on the same page and know how they can contribute. (Some ideas for how to share housework in the family can be found here.)
And one more thing that keeps Overwhelm around is...
3. Not Setting Your Priorities--
What is most important to you? When you first moved into your home, how did you dream life would be while living there? Does your life in your house reflect this? If ideally you would like to have sit down family dinners often, then mail stacked on the kitchen table, and unwashed pots in the sink are stumbling blocks to this. If you dream of being able to sew and work on projects on the weekends, but your supplies are so hard to get to, and you don't have a set space to work once you find them, then your house isn't supporting you the way that it could.
Lessen the STUFF you have to manage in your life, lead your pack so that your household can function better, and give yourself the opportunity to reflect on the things that really matter to you. These three steps can help us all to not blindly give space in our lives to Overwhelm and instead create a home that is supportive of how we want to live, and one that is a source of inspiration and comfort to us and those we love.