Hate clutter? Procrastination makes it worse.

I’m too tired to go through the mail right now.

I’ll make that appointment tomorrow.

I’ll just stick all of the tax documents over here and get started on that this weekend.

Let’s leave the dishes until tomorrow.

I’ll return that shirt next week.

I won’t lie, these are all statements I’ve made. We are tired, we are busy, we are stressed. Putting every single thing away every single day seems like some kind of type A craziness. Sometimes a body just needs to relax. I know! I am all for self-care and sometimes just letting the dishes wait. My house is never spotless and my to-do list can become truly epic. But I do firmly believe that procrastination is the root of all clutter.

If we paid the bills the moment they came in, we’d never lose them and we wouldn’t have so much paper everywhere. If we fixed things as soon as they broke we wouldn’t lose the critical piece of hardware only to find it months later under the couch. If we put the scissors away after using them we wouldn’t have to hunt for them the next time. In fact, we wouldn’t have to buy another pair because where the hell ARE they, anyway?

Projects of every conceivable kind become clutter when we lose interest in them. Things we meant to return to stores, libraries or friends clog up the closets. Phone calls we keep putting off turn into unpleasant tasks rife with guilt. Clothing that no longer fits clutters up the drawers because we don’t want to face going through it. It’s hard to decide what to do with the fancy china your aunt left you, so it takes up space in the shelf.

When I look at a cluttered room, I see a giant to-do list. It’s exhausting! Every single bit of clutter is an abandoned task. It’s an item you put down instead of putting it away. It’s the stuff you think you should hold onto, but for which there is no home. It’s the thought that you really should go through those boxes but you just don’t have the energy.

Reducing the tendency to procrastinate, along with some concerted decluttering, puts you into such a terrific upward spiral. The less clutter you have, the fewer undone tasks await you. And getting things done in a timely manner reduces the amount of stuff awaiting your attention. Winning all around!

I struggle with procrastination. It’s probably my worst habit. Back in January I decided that my word for the year would be EXECUTE. Meaning do instead of dream. I’m not quite where I want to be, but I’m working on it. Setting deadlines and having stern talks with myself. So I challenge you to do one thing today that you’ve been putting off. See if you can get into the habit of confronting that clutter instead of just glaring at it.

Let me know what you did! And how it made you feel! I would love to cheer your success.