Dear Annie

Dear Annie: I moved four months ago, and there are still boxes and bags to be unpacked. I hate looking at the piles. I really want to clean up, but when I get home from work, I am too exhausted. And on the weekends, I savor my time to do nothing, and I want to avoid sullying that time with un-fun cleaning up. I only seem to find motivation to organize late at night, when I should be getting into bed. How can I motivate myself to tidy up when I have time to do it? When I look at the mess, I feel so overwhelmed!

 — Cleaning Up the Constant Clutter

Dear Cleaning Up the Constant Clutter: Try looking at unpacking not as something you have to do but as something you get to do. It’s an exciting opportunity to make your new place your home. As Marie Kondo writes in “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” (a great read for decluttering motivation), the task of organizing your house “should be done quickly” because “it allows you to confront the issues that are really important. Tidying is just a tool, not the final destination. The true goal should be to establish the lifestyle you want most once your house has been put in order.” The sooner you unpack the sooner you can start living. So make this an urgent priority. If you have any vacation days, take a day off to dedicate solely to unpacking.Or pick a weekend. It’s just one weekend of your life, and your future weekends will be so much more enjoyable when you get to “do nothing”

in a settled space.

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