Declutter to Refocus

From time to time, we find ourselves in a slump. We go through the motions, check off the most pertinent items on our to-do lists, and we get by. From the outside, you might never even know we were in a slump.

But we’re not moving forward.

We know it, even if we try not to think about it. The momentum is gone and the time for enjoying a respite has passed. The procrastination is no longer funny and restlessness has slowly morphed into discontent and maybe even a sense of urgency.

We know it’s time.

But how do we get moving again? Which direction do we go? Restarting an object that has come to rest requires more power and juice than what’s needed to just keep on. Inertia’s a bitch and that’s what you’re fighting when you’re faced with a slump.

Get rid of the excess.

When it’s time to refocus and kick things up a notch, I know I need to eliminate unnecessary distractions. This is when I let go of jobs that aren’t in line with my goals, cleaning out spaces both physical and mental. I break up, throw out, and release. I acknowledge what’s no longer working and start asking myself the hard questions about what takes up time and space in my life.

Does this contribute to the life I want to live and the person I want to be?

If the answer is no, I let it go.

Do you need to let go of anything?

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  1. flip says:

    the very first time I read your story of “playtime in NY”, i asked you ” Are you preparing for the END of the journey”. good luck and keep posting.

  2. Nanna says:

    Oh goodness. Inertia IS a bitch – I confront it at the start of every new semester and it takes superhuman effort to get my butt back into the routine of it all.

    I personally LIKE decluttering but I have to be careful too, because I have been known, at times, to toss out the poor baby with the bathwater.

  3. the muskrat says:

    I can’t imagine you have any “things” to remove these days!

    • Miss Britt says:

      Ha! No, not so much stuff – although you’d be surprised at how easy it is for that to sneak back in, too. But distractions come in all forms. Habits, obligations, relationships, etc.

  4. Now I feel the urge to buy a shredder and clean my office. Thanks. I think.

  5. I find that I declutter my life about 3 times a year. Any more than that and I discover that the decluttering process has become something that actually ADDS to the chaos of “Things to Do.” This is written as I am surrounded by piles of paperwork and random CRAP that accumulated when we were looking for something else. Time to purge again…

  6. oh fuck. you are gonna HATE my stuff filled house. but the things i surround myself with make me smile and don’t stress me so i’m good.
    also, don’t go in the basement or garage…i am maybe one more box away from a hoarders show down there. seriously.

  7. p.s. thank you for adding the subscribe to comments button back again! now i feel like i can comment early and not miss out on anything, yet not have to come back later to see what your awesome readers have to share. xoxo

  8. Alexandra says:

    I hear what you’re saying: I find myself too often fulfilling obligations out of habit.

    I used to think people got crankier as they got older: now I see that they just don’t worry about the people pleasing anymore. You get older, you realize, you don’t want to live just doing what others want you to do anymore.

  9. It’s funny you should write this. I had a compelling need to clean out my pantry and reorganize my kitchen yesterday. I have a huge box of stuff going to the food bank and I found a bunch of stuff I had totally forgotten about.

    Now if I could be as efficient reorganizing my emotional pantry…hmmmm.

  10. Alison says:

    Very well put, Miss Britt.

  11. For me, there are some mental “things” I need to let go of — they’re holding me back!!!

  12. I agree, there are mental things that hold me back as well. Usually the need to do everything perfectly gets in my way, and I fight it constantly!
    You have reduced so much of the physical clutter in your life, it is interesting that you are dealing with some of the mental clutter now!

  13. Val Joiner says:

    Well said as usual! The physical and mental baggage we carry ends up owning us before we realize it, doesn’t it? When you can let go and move forward…that’s a beautiful thing. Freedom.

  14. I feel that I’m just moving my clutter around and not really getting rid of it. Any suggestion for photos. I stopped developing new ones bc I don’t even know what to do with the old ones.

    • Miss Britt says:

      Actually, I started getting ruthless with my photos this spring. If they aren’t worth sharing, I delete them. I only keep the ones I love – and you know what? I never miss those blurry, not quite right ones.

  15. [...] Skip to content HomeAboutThe BlogBritt ReintsArchivesHappy MarriageOld FavoritesThe Big MoveContactRV TripBook SponsorMap and ScheduleMeet Us ← Declutter to Refocus [...]

  16. KDrausin says:

    For me, the slump means my life is not in balance. Usually it’s the quiet meditation that has been overlooked due to the endless lists of chores cluttering my mind. Once I return to the quiet it puts everything else in perspective.

  17. [...] I’m certainly not alone in my desire to make big changes. On the day I wrote this, no less than four bloggers I follow had posts about down-sizing and simplifying. Not kidding. Same day. Check it out: Family on Bikes, Worldschool Adventures, Break Out of Bushwick, and Miss Britt. [...]

  18. Alexandra says:

    This post has it all right here: in a nutshell.

    Clear out the debris for a clear view.

    And then go.

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