A while back I read this article over at Be More With Less, and it really struck a chord in me. Oftentimes I think I have to make huge, sweeping changes in order to see results, and just as often those changes are more than I can manage so they don’t last. #fail
After reading that article I thought to myself, “What can I change that only takes 10 minutes?” I instantly thought of a few messy places in my house (there are a lot of them to choose from unfortunately). Over the next few days, I spent just 10 minutes decluttering and organizing a few small areas that had been bugging me.
And for the most part, it totally worked! The under sink cabinet still looks great, and taking those bags of clothes to be donated has inspired me to repeat that trip several times. My end table … well, it just gets messy, but it’s a work in progress, and (bonus!) it hasn’t gotten that messy since.
I love this “just 10 minutes” trick for a few reasons.
I always have 10 minutes.
There are ZERO days on the calendar in which I don’t have 10 minutes to set aside for a quick project. With three kids in four different schools, my schedule is weird. Add in a (sometimes) part-time work schedule, a volunteer group I lead, and my normal housekeeping stuff, I stay busy! But … it’s only 10 minutes. I can do things while I wait to pick someone up or after everyone goes to bed or even while I’m waiting for my lunch to cook.
It’s easy to fix when you mess up.
If it only took 10 minutes in the first place, when you backslide on a new habit you can still get back on track pretty easily. My end table … ugh. I keep my laptop, my notebook, and my planner there. I pay bills there, write Christmas cards, and sometimes work on crafts there. Heck, we eat in the family room every night so I even take meals there. To say my little Ikea end table gets some heavy traffic is an understatement, BUT even when it gets totally covered up again, it only takes 10 minutes to set it right!
Little changes equal big differences!
Confucius said, “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” I’m not trying to move mountains here; I just want a simpler, more intentional life. However the principle is the same. By making small changes, I can see big differences already! Decluttering relieves stress for me, and donating makes me feel good. When I feel good and less stressed, I’m a better mom and wife. When I’m a better mom and wife, my whole family is happier, and THAT in turn makes me happier still!
Don’t get me wrong. I know I still have a long ways to go and some really BIG changes to make in my life. I am a work in progress, but just 10 minutes at a time, I am beginning to see that mountain shift.