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What Do You Do When Clutter Takes Over?

I am probably writing to the choir with my next sentence, but here goes. I have crazy busy since the end of February beginning with our kind-of impromptu trip to North Carolina. I have been racing from one thing to the next even if it has just been in my head. Our road trip took time and effort just to get there and back. Once there it wasn't all fun and games. House and pet sitting and hiking was a blast, but Bruce still had to work his normal hours and I was frantically finishing edits with my editor. Then normal home stuff once we returned, Easter, family gatherings, and prepping for craft shows and book signings consumed most of my time. I am not complaining by any means, it was all great, but exhausting at the same time.


I don't multitask well any more. If there is too much on my plate, I have to let some things slide or not even tend to them at all. I work well in an organized, clean slate. But after the tornado of events, the last two month's clutter has taken over. Here is a nice collage of the messes that are growing daily.




These are just some of the areas. I spared myself the embarrassment of adding even more pictures. I did clean up the clutter leftover from this week's book signings from the garage. That's what inspired me to write this. While my messes do not look like the AI-generated photo below, the mess shown is what my brain feels like when I let mayhem take control.



Ugh, where do I begin?


I used to stress out and shutdown which only made things pile up even higher and increase my anxiety. Now, I just tell myself, "I will get to it when I get to it." And that's where I am right now.


Last night I had a brief moment where I could start to tackle the mounting to-do piles. It was however, brief. I decided to check my email one more time before starting with the sink and counter full of dishes. Well, there it was, the email I had been waiting over a week for, from Chris, my graphic designer. So everything was put on hold again. I needed to proof my next book's interior. I could only do a quick scan. Evenings are not my best time for mental work. So I did what I could knowing the task of proofing would consume this morning.


Before I could even do that though, I needed to clear off some space on my writing desk. I cleaned away enough clutter to expose a small area next to my computer to place my manuscript on to compare to the one Chris emailed me.


One task done, back to the dishes I went. But hubby informed me he was about to get on a business call. His office is in the living room that is open to the kitchen. So the dishes still aren't done. That's when I decided to pack away my show tent and supplies for book signings. That was a quick task. Now, here I am, writing. I think I just wanted to do something other than clean and do dishes - avoidance tactic.


While I still have an ever filling calendar, I can breathe a little bit these next couple of days - so I might be able to do the dishes. It reminds me of when I was long-distance hiking. My days would be consumed with getting from point A to point B, finding water, eating, finding a place to pitch my tent, sleep, and repeat. Once in a town, there was the never-ending chores of resupply, laundry, drying stuff, , eating a horse, resting. It wasn't until there was time in the schedule for a zero-day that I could actually rest and catch my breath. Being on the trail has taught me so many "normal" life's skills. I didn't fret if I couldn't get it all done then and I brought that trait back to life off the trail. I do what I can, I work hard to reach my goals, but if I don't succeed, I just reset my focus and try again.


After I finish here, I will go find a task I can complete and before I know it today, tomorrow, or next week, my clutter will be gone. But that just means there is space for all the new stuff that will need to be tended too.


What do you do when clutter takes over? Share your tips and tricks here or on my Facebook page or Instagram.


Emily


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