I was in sixth grade the first time I saw the movie Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. My friends latched onto the “I know you are but what am I” line from the film, and I quipped “Everyone I know has a big ‘But …'” no fewer than a thousand times.
Sure, the line I often quoted from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure was juvenile, but it was strangely accurate. Everyone I know actually has a big “But …” in their lives:
- I would get my office organized but [insert excuse].
- I would ask the kids to help with chores around the house but [insert excuse].
- I would start exercising but [insert excuse].
- I would finish this project but [insert excuse].
There are times when excuses are warranted, such as with health issues (I would eat a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup but I won’t since I’m allergic to peanuts). However, most “But …” excuses are purely a resistance to change.
We keep bad habits and clutter in our lives because they’re known quantities. We know what life is like when things are disorderly. Life after a change is different and unfamiliar. It might be better, but we don’t know that from where we are now.
As someone who went from a clutterbug to an unclutterer, I can vouch that life is really greener on the organized side. I have more time and less stress in my life than before. The change was worth it, but making the change was difficult and I know I said my fair share of “But …” excuses as I was going through the process.
So what is your big “But …”? What is keeping you from letting go of your clutter? The next time you catch yourself making an excuse, think about what you’re saying. Is your excuse warranted, or are you just voicing a fear of change?