Practicing What I Preach: 5 Steps to Get Out of a Funk

You know how I constantly tell you not to let life get you down? It’s not because I’m over here living in the ivory tower, pitching platitudes. It’s because life here is a bugger and I’m facing years-long challenges to my sanity… and I know we can ALL have better from life.

This weekend, I did what I could to get unstuck. I took a first step and played to my strengths by taking back my hellhole of an office and making it a place of refuge. Not because I’m an organizing guru, but because I needed a place to breathe in my house during this more-challenging-than-usual season of life.

Here’s where it was before:

Wouldn’t *you* pick that as a target? Look at all that potential!

Here’s mid-way through the transformation:

Yes, it was work. But what joy to get that junk out and have a new little calm/hiding place in the house!

And here’s the result: My new happy place.

My beautiful new happy space in the house.

Here’s how I did it.

  1. Picked a target. My former office, swallowed by the Junk and Laundry Monster since the birth of our 4th child, was an obvious choice.
  2. Set a time. I put it on my calendar for one of the mornings when all four girls were in school. Yes, that time is gold. Yes, I’d have rather written, read a great book, taken a nap or caught some quality Netflix reruns. But who can do ANYTHING with their house with the kids at home?? So I invested my gold time in junk-management.
  3. Got aggressive. I brought an entire box of Hefty bags with me and determined that anything I hadn’t used in the last year or planned to use in the next 3 months went in one of two categories: “Goodwill” or “Fast track to the dump.” I moved fast and in one hour it looked like the second picture above.
  4. Finished the job. This is always the hardest part. With an hour left in my 3 hour block of time, I wanted to rest. To bask in my last moments of gold time alone. I was physically tired after moving furniture and hefting bags to my van. But I didn’t give up. I vacuumed the room, loaded the car, and drove to the Goodwill donation center and to the city dump 20 minutes away.
  5. Celebrated like crazy. With only 5 minutes to spare, I arrived at preschool, sweaty, itchy from the dust of the project. I scooped up my 4 year old and proclaimed it a family holiday. We went out to lunch together and to the park (where I stared exhaustedly into the distance). When her older sisters came home an hour later, we got frozen yogurt and had a dance party in the new office. I ordered pizza in because it was a holiday (which to this undomestic goddess means no cooking or dishes) and we had family movie night (a.k.a. I used the electronic babysitter so I could pass out from my office project).

It’s not easy to muster the energy to take a stand for your own joy and sanity in the already challenging day-t0-day. But.It.Is.Worth.It. It really is, friend.

What emotional, physical or mental step could you take today to get back some of your joy?

When you take that step, I would love to hear how it went–what you discovered or got from the process. So send me a note and share your story.

We really can do this joy thing… no matter what life brings our way. Together!


Linking up today with Joy Bennett and Life:Unmasked.

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  1. says

    What a great success story! I love how you hit it hard and got it done quick! Also celebrating at the end was perfect! Thanks for sharing; I’m visiting from Life Unmasked.

    • says

      Thanks, Amy! I’d love to hear how that goes. It’s so easy to stay in theory… so much more life-giving to get out there and get it done. Glad you stopped by!