I was chatting with a new friend today about some of the pros and cons of being an expat on overseas assignment. One of the positives that I had found was the opportunity to declutter our home. Moving to a new country we had opted to move into a ‘furnished’ apartment.
For me this had meant some serious thinking about what I really needed to take with me to a new country. Sure there were some obvious essentials like clothes and some personally important documents, but when it came to kitchen paraphernalia, home décor items, books, manchester and the like, it was surprising how little I opted to bring and even more surprising how little I have missed everything left behind.
This decluttering has also led to a greater level of organisation in our home. Things have a place and everything is in its place. (Well most of the time, subject to teenage offspring and a non-complying spouse!) The primary reason everything has a place is that there actually is space! No longer do I have cupboards and drawers stuffed to overflowing with surplus sheets, towels, Tupperware, electrical appliances, long disused sports gear or benchtops and shelves packed with dusty ornaments, photos and collectables. We don’t have much stuff and therefore don’t need much space.
So why did it take a move overseas to prompt me to declutter? Why had I been tolerating this situation for so long? The benefits have been so obvious, less time spent looking for things, clearing stuff out, trying to find space for things and cleaning!
Tolerations are those things that we put up with every day that distract us from other important things. That nagging sense of needing to clean out cupboards and throw things out could at times be quite draining.
Whilst I’ve discovered the benefits of addressing some of the things I had been tolerating around the home through my decluttering, I have also recognised the benefits of understanding and addressing those things in the other areas of my life that I have been tolerating.
Tolerations come in many different forms, including people, situations, yourself, and your environments. For me these have included the need to revamp my business marketing materials, be more active in my networking, organising my work space and resigning from some groups that are no longer relevant to me.
We all put up with stuff. Identifying our tolerations and then handling them will give us back time and energy to focus on our important goals.
What are you tolerating at the moment?