Living

Paralysed by Overwhelm

Over the last two years I have been living in limbo. At least I feel I have been in limbo in my own house. Then again perhaps not. I need to remind myself that I had managed to have two apartments renovated on my property last year. This year I started a new business and finalized my residence application to Canada. So no, not limbo then.

I think that the limbo feeling comes from the stuff in my house. Stuff, stuff and more stuff. I think that perhaps I feel stuck because I am so overwhelmed by the amount of items I have in my house, my garage, my storeroom. I feel that all this stuff has made me feel stuck. It has made me feel as if I am living in limbo because everyday I come home to this stuff. Most of it has no purpose. It is just there.

Some of these items have no purpose but have meaning. Sentimental meaning. A perfectly useless piece of paper listing groceries from 2015 should be thrown away but I do not chuck it because it has my later husband’s handwriting on it.  Ok in all honesty I did chuck the grocery list because I reminded myself that I have all of his journals. I have thrown out bags and bags of my old clothes but I still have some of his belongings that I did keep which were items that bring me joy. Items I can remember him by with a smile and not through tears. Most of his stuff I have given to family, friends or donated but his cowboy boots are still there right where he left them. I know it has been over two years. I know I need to decide what to do with them.

My self imposed home limbo is coming to an end because I need to move from my house within two months. So I will have to make a decision about those boots. I will have to make a decision about EVERYTHING in my house. It is a daunting task because as I work my way through one box I feel that ten more have suddenly appeared. I open cupboards in rooms containing stuff I did not even know I had. I unpack drawers with kitchen utensils that are a mystery to me. Half of them I have no idea what they are even supposed to be used for. How did I end up with all this stuff?

So I bring up all the boxes, I unpack all the cupboards, and I empty all the drawers and then I stop. My house looks like a hurricane hit it. It has looked like this for almost a month. Every day I tell myself I will get to it and I will sort it out. I walk past the disorder every day on the way to the kitchen. Exhibit A

Photo 2017-12-19, 13 41 00

I walk back to my room and see all the kid stuff taking up my space. Exhibit B.*

Photo 2017-12-19, 13 41 06

*I plan on writing a separate post (please hold me to this) on the importance of minimalism for children specifically around how my daughter actually seems to enjoy herself more when there is less to be played with.

My garage. Shudder. Exhibit C.

Photo 2017-07-04, 10 43 20

I sit amongst the disorder as I type this in my workshop. Exhibit D.

Photo 2017-12-19, 14 37 48

The thing is, when I decided to start sorting everything to sell or get rid of… Bham! Paralyzed by overwhelm. I have so much to do and then I react by doing nothing. It is true what they say. I find it more and more true each day. Stuff can weigh you down and a cluttered house does cause a cluttered mind. I yearn to clear my head and my house.

So no more. Today I start to sort all this stuff. Today I did something by writing about it. At least being honest about it and putting it out there so that I will overcome this paralysis. Life is too short to be overwhelmed by stuff. I would rather be overwhelmed with joy watching my daughter play with our dogs in the garden. I would rather be overwhelmed with pride as to how I have picked myself and moved forward with my life. I would rather be overwhelmed with love and focus my time on what is really important once this stuff is out of the way.

I have been inspired by a number of sources to move toward a more minimalist lifestyle. That is my aim. I hope to write again about what happens once I get rid of all this physical clutter holding me down. Once I move out of this limbo I hope to challenge others to do the same.

If you want to read more about minimalism and about tidying up and other books or blogs that have inspired me to start taking action I recommend the following:

Minimalism – Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – Marie Kondo

You can buy Happiness (and it’s Cheap) – Tammy Strobel

Minimalist Parenting – Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest

The James Altucher Report

The Minimalists Blog

Becoming Minimalist 

There is so much I want to say about how excited I am to get rid of the clutter. That, however, I will leave for another post once I actually have implemented at least part of becoming minimalistic and tidying up.

Share your thoughts or journey with me if you are interested in getting rid of the overwhelm or if you have already succeeded. Also please share any other sources or books that I can read to inspire and help me on this journey to a more fulfilling and not just ‘full of stuff’ life.

Categories: Living

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13 replies »

  1. Not only am I inspired by this most pertinent message of truth, honesty AND vulnerability but I am motivated to tackle difficult and daunting tasks. You are brave and so courageous Mondi and that’s what forms the basis of this message. Thank you! You go girl, little by little and every step forward will get you across the finish line.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am a purger of stuff. I have been since before we renovated and still am. It is a daily struggle with my hoarders (tweens and a husband) and I HEAR YOU. 🙂

    Just pick a corner and do it. One room at a time. Cry if you must, then go to your blog and tell us about it.

    You can do it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a huge task hey!? I’m looking forward to hearing how you are going. De-cluttering will open so many doors for you, it’s odd the amazing positive affects it can have, life changing! I’m a minimalist myself, best thing I’ve done for myself and my family, it changed my household, I’m so passionate about creating a calm and inspiring environment for my family, all achieved through minimalism. Enjoy! Don’t give up, bit by bit you’ll get there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely a huge task! Still busy with it. Every day more and more is going out. I am feeling lighter and lighter. I certainly need to post an update on the process. I hear you about wanting to have a calm and inspiring environment. I hope to create one for me and my daughter. I am not giving up!

      Liked by 1 person

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