We talk about how busy we are all-the-time. We talk about how we can’t get everything done. We talk about needing to slow down and do less. Simultaneously, we talk about what we will finish “someday,” when we have extra time. We earmark “projects” for this mythical “someday in the future,” but then (not surprisingly) that time never comes!
Here is a common list of “someday” activities:
- Someday, I will read through those old magazines in the office and under the coffee table. I might want to try the recipes in those old magazines I’ve been saving. Someday, I would like to look through this catalog to see if there is anything I like.
- Someday, I will finish those elaborate baby scrapbooks for each of my children. I’ve invested a lot of money in scrapbooking supplies and someday I will work on it. When I have time, I will buy cute picture frames and hang all those art pieces that my kids made in school over the past few years.
- Someday, I want to organize these piles of paper on my desk. Someday I will read and organize these emails. Someday, I’ll check to see if these gift cards have a balance on them and then put them in my wallet. Someday, I will transfer the files from this old PC.
- Someday, I might want to restore this chair I bought at an antique store. My spouse hates it because it takes up a lot of space, but someday I will work on it.
- Someday, I will have time to finish reading this pile of books next to my bed.
- When I have more time, I will organize and take these clothes to a consignment store. When I have time, I will take these shoes to get repaired.
- One day I will organize the photos I took on vacation last year.
- I might want to start baking more, so I need all these baking supplies.
First, forgive yourself!
None of us are perfect. None of us have a time machine. Try as we might, we can’t do it all! So, you didn’t create elaborate scrapbooks for your children. Or maybe you only finished one scrapbook and you have three children. I guarantee you, your kids will have stronger memories of mom playing with them on the beach, cooking or doing something they love, together. They will not judge you by how many cute stickers you put in their baby scrapbook or whether you made a scrapbook at all! So, forgive yourself and call it done.
The catalogues and magazines you were saving and never have time to look at? Recycle them. Feel no guilt. Another issue will arrive soon! Maybe, consider subscribing to fewer publications. Fewer incoming magazines, smaller piles and less guilt when you don’t have time to get through them. Unfinished books sitting around for a while? Maybe they just weren’t the right book for you. Forgive yourself, it’s okay that you didn’t finish them. Donate them or pass them on to someone else who might enjoy them.
Cut your losses!
Your time is worth a lot. Your time is precious to your children, to your spouse, and to you! Refrain from creating extra work for yourself. Taking clothes (or selling it online) to consignment sounds like a money maker, but is it really? At best, you take one trip to the store and another trip back later to pick up your money. Let’s say that takes two hours. How much are those two hours worth? Could you spend that time completing a work project? Could you spend that time planning a family vacation? Unless we are talking about very high-end pieces, donate the clothes instead.
You were inspired and you bought a piece of furniture at an antique store a long time ago and someday you’d like to restore it. Maybe your aesthetics have changed since then. Maybe you are not sure how to restore furniture. Maybe this item is taking up so much room in your garage that you can’t park in there. Maybe it is causing strain with your spouse. It’s okay to cut your losses and let it go!
Certain “someday projects” end up in that category because they just plain overwhelm us. Organize thousands of pictures from last year? Yikes. That sounds like it could take a long time. Filing piles and piles of old paperwork? You’d rather try and organize thousands of photos! Both overwhelm you and neither gets done. You may continue to put it off and feel guilty. Your office gets so cluttered it loses its functionality and soon your desk is literally buried.
For “someday projects” that fall into this category, GET HELP!! Professional organizers live to dive into just these types of projects. Filing and figuring out what documents you need to keep and what you can shred? Yup, professional organizers are great at that. Organizing emails or photos? The pros have a lot of great strategies for that too! Taking your unwanted clothes and books to donation – you bet.