Declutter To Reinvent: Cat Coluccio
You don’t reach midlife without realizing that life can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Especially for busy women who are trying to balance work, family, and personal time. Right?
Declutter Your Life With Confidence:
The idea of having perfect organization on top of all your other commitments can feel like a completely unattainable goal. And those beautifully perfect, clutter-free spaces on Instagram are an impossible dream. But what if I told you that perfect isn’t the goal? And even more importantly – that imperfection can be incredibly liberating?
Join me as I delve into the concept of imperfect organization. A mindset that will allow you to declutter your life with confidence and ease. As always, I’ll share some practical tips to encourage and motivate you to get started right away!
Before we dive into those tips though, let me share about my life over the past six weeks. If ever there was a case study about how striving for a perfectly organized life will always fail – this is it! Down here in New Zealand, September is the first month of spring. And whilst it was still cold and very wet, the daffodils were out and I was excited for the month ahead.
It was going to be a busy one, with my elderly parents from Sydney coming to stay. Along with family celebrations for my grandson’s birthday, my father’s birthday and my parent’s 60th wedding anniversary. I was also looking forward to my annual spring declutter which I hoped to complete before mum and dad arrived. On top of all of this were my regular writing, home, and personal commitments.
And then the lambs started arriving.
Our First Lambing Season:
Yes, you read that correctly…..lambs. In early 2022, my family, including our cats and chickens, moved to an acreage, collecting a few sheep along the way. We experienced our first lambing season last year, learning from the ups and downs that come with animal care. And so we approached this season feeling more confident and prepared. Turns out we were nowhere near prepared enough for the results of a particularly virile ram!
Long story short, when there are lots of multiples born, there is also the possibility of orphans or abandoned babies. And over the course of September, we ended up with four wee babes needing to be hand-reared.
Cue the round-the-clock bottle feeds, nappy changes, (they were in an old playpen in the lounge in front of the fire for a while as it was freezing, wet and windy outside.) the never-ending bottle cleaning, sheep-milk making and so on. And just like a human baby, this wasn’t over in a week or two. We are still going, although thankfully all four are now outside in our yard and down to three feeds a day.
Let me interject here and remind us all that we should be grateful for menopause! Trust me when I say that there is no way you would ever want a newborn baby in your 50s!
The Decluttered And Organized Home:
As a result of my new role as lamb mother, my parents’ visit turned into a working holiday where they found themselves added to the roster for bottle-feeds, feeding the chickens, planting the garden and more. The immaculate, decluttered and organized home and pantry I had hoped to have ready for their visit was never achieved. And my inbox is still overflowing with dozens of unread emails due to the lack of time I had for work.
Want to know what was REALLY ironic about all of this?
September was also the month I was putting the finishing touches to my new book. Which is about to be released, called “The Savvy Midlifer’s Guide to Decluttering!” Wow, the embarrassment/frustration/stress levels were through the roof. How could I release a book about decluttering which my life was in such disarray?
Even while imposter syndrome was doing its best to take over my thinking. Thankfully the rational side of me prevailed, reminding me of what I’m about to share with you.
You see, if I wanted to dwell on the disappointment of not having an immaculate and clutter-free home ready for my parents’ visit -– I could. However clinging to that would have resulted in my feeling frustrated and resentful for the entire time they were with us, and following the lost years of lockdown, every minute together is to be treasured – even if it is experienced with a bottle of sheep milk in hand.
Doesn’t Need To Be Perfect To Be Good!
My mother still managed to find her way around my pantry to bake us treats – despite it not being decluttered and organized for the new season.
My dad loved planting out our veggie garden in readiness for summer, and wasn’t bothered about the messy garden supplies I had wanted to have sorted prior to his arrival.
We all know the benefits of decluttering with confidence – more time, more head space, more physical space, less stuff to dust and look after etc etc – however there is an important attitude we women need to also adopt: It doesn’t need to be perfect to be good!
When we are so intent on our decluttering and organizing journey being “perfect,” we run the risk of:
- Procrastinating – it’s never the “right” time to do the job, therefore nothing gets done.
- Constantly beating yourself up that you can’t get on top of things.
- Chasing your tail as you never feel like you are able to caught up on everything.
Trust me – I know every one of these things so well, so below, have listed five simple tips that have helped me beat off the “perfection monster” whenever it rears its head, and I know they will help you too.
5 Simple Tips To Declutter With Confidence:
Tip 1: Set Realistic Goals:
Understand that organizing is an ongoing process, so instead of waiting for the perfect 12-hour space to declutter that closet or garage, set achievable goals for each day or for each week. Breaking the job down and completing smaller tasks over a period of time will be more manageable and sustainable than trying to overhaul your entire space in one go.
Tip 2: Prioritize Functionality:
The key to successful organization is functionality. Arrange your items based on how often you use them. Frequently used items should be easily accessible, while those rarely used can be stored higher or in less accessible spaces. Likewise, declutter with confidence and organize these items first, so you can start reaping the benefit of your work.
Tip 3: Seek Inspiration, Not Comparison:
While it’s great to find inspiration in organizing blogs and social media, avoid the trap of comparison. Your home and lifestyle is unique, and your organizational journey will differ from others. Celebrate your progress, no matter how small, and don’t measure your success against someone else’s highlight reel.
Tip 4: Create Simple Systems:
Establish simple organizing systems to declutter with confidence. Have these systems align with your daily routine. Utilise baskets, labels, and storage containers to keep similar items together. These systems not only make finding things easier but also simplify the cleaning process.
Tip 5: Celebrate Progress, Not Perfection:
Remember, the goal is progress, not perfection. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they seem. Rather than lamenting the fact that your entire kitchen makeover is yet to occur, celebrate the fact that last weekend, you sorted the overflowing plastic container cupboard that has driven you nuts for ages!
With these tips, you can confidently declutter your space, and create a home and life that is imperfectly organized, but is perfectly you. When your “lambing season” hits, you’ll be grateful that you have adopted the ethos of being imperfectly organized as you’ll be able to face whatever crisis you need to deal with, while giving yourself grace for your less-than-perfect surrounds.
Keep decluttering, keep organizing, keep embracing imperfection, and keep living your beautifully imperfect life with unwavering confidence. You’ve got this!
Please Note: Additional resources can be found in Author’s Bio below, including her new book!
About the Author:
Cat Coluccio is a qualified Educator, Personal Trainer and Life Coach – and a champion of midlife women. She is the host of the Rocking Midlife® Community and Podcast, and the author of a number of books, including 21 Hacks to ROCK your Midlife. Join my FREE 30 Day Love your Home Decluttering Challenge for 30 days of email prompts to help you fall in love with your home once more!
Cat is passionate about helping midlife women create fulfilling and purposeful lives yet understands how challenging it can feel to consider reinvention when your world is already so incredibly full. Hence she firmly believes that the first step to building the life that you desire in your next season, is to declutter and create space right now – be that physically, mentally or digitally.
NEW book: The Savvy Midlifer’s Guide To Decluttering – inspired by writing for Kuel, and launching this week!!!!!
To be first to know when it lands, and able grab the very special launch price when it is officially live, subscribe to my newsletter. When you do, you’ll receive a FREE ebook you can download right away: 10 Hacks to Simplify your Life Workbook to help you identify and take action on the areas of your life that are cluttered and stressing you out, so that you can make space to create the life you really want to be living!