This week me and my boyfriend cleaned out the garage to prepare for the new year. It was a long and exhausting task, with lots of junk to sort through, dirt and dust to sweep out, and boxes to reorganize.
It was all definitely worth it as the end result is a well organized, efficient, clean garage that we can now fit two cars in.
It was one of those tasks that loomed over my head, so daunting in size that I could not even start. I didn’t even know where to start.
So when he jumped up and said “let’s clean the garage today” I jumped up too and said “let’s do it!”
I am proud of our accomplishment. But also I learned some valuable lessons in the process, right in time for the new year.
I realized the way I look at tasks, especially large tasks, and go about doing them, has been all wrong. I have been psyching myself out, taking longer to do things that I should, and holding on to things I don’t need or use anymore.
Not just in the garage.
In life, the process is so important. If you don’t go about things effectively, you will never get anything really done. Here is what I learned about garage cleaning and about life…
Decide what should be thrown out before you start
Before you start this new year, decide what you do not need in the new year. When you define what you do not need, every time you come across it, you know that you could throw it out because it doesn’t support your agenda. It doesn’t bring you joy. It is not helpful to you. So why hold onto it any longer, it only wastes your time and your space.
Move everything out before putting back the important things
Take inventory of all things in your life before putting important things back into your life. Like the big rocks and small rocks analogy, you must first remove all rocks from the jar before you put the big ones back in. If you don’t know all that you have, how are you supposed to know what’s important?
Finish what you start
Before you move on to the next area in life, make sure you finish what you started. You cannot pick up one thing, then move onto the next thing, and expect to hold all of those things in your hand at once. Find the proper place for the first thing, so you can take it out of your hands, and then pick up the next thing.
When you think it’s good enough, make it better
As I looked around, I had the urge to say this is good enough, there were still things left to organize but for the most part things were fairly clean. I felt like most things were put away.
My boyfriend refused to let me start on the next side, claiming it was not yet done. He went over it again. Going over it again, he arranged things in a more efficient manner, and piling things higher so that more can fit. It was the only way everything could fit. Doing that created more room and more space.
I know they say done is better than perfect, but with some things it’s important to make sure there is a solid foundation and you should take the time to build the foundation or else things will fall over.
What an accomplishment
The process of making sure one area was fully completed and clean before moving on to the next area made sure that we experienced little wins along the way. It made the whole task seem less daunting. It was so important to complete one thing at a time.
I’ve realized with a lot of things in life, I wanted to:
Leave challenging things for last
Multitask and do multiple things at the same time
Put too much in my hands at once
Keep things that don’t serve any useful purpose
Work towards too big of a goal
Define what’s important without looking at everything
With the accomplishment of cleaning today, I have discovered I should:
Tackle challenging things first
Take on one task at a time
Finish one task before moving on to the next
Throw out things that no longer serve a purpose
Break up a large goal into smaller goals to get frequent small wins
Look at and consider everything before deciding what’s important
With these simple life lessons from cleaning out the garage, I hope to set up my 2022 year for success and make it the most productive and effective year yet.