I have often said that my epitaph will read Organized At Last! And it is true that tying up loose ends will never end in this life, but there is a lot we can do in the present to simplify our lives and get back control.
Cleaning professionals (The National Soap and Detergent Association), say that getting rid of excess clutter would decrease housework in the average home by 40 percent.
And that’s not the worst of it! We can encounter so much clutter that we slowly drift into a “state of being” called clutter tolerance. As a result, we spend much of our emotional energy dodging debris.
How do we release the stuff, reduce the noise, and reconnect with ourselves. The bottom line is that clutter is stuck energy. When you clear things out – whether it’s a wallet, drawer, old news items, the closet, desk, or even the refrigerator – you are clearing energy that is stuck and creating space for something new.
Uncluttering the space has the same effect as taking care of an unresolved issue.
Do you want your living space energized, your closet useable, your priorities clear, your desk under control, your day maximized? Here are 5 tips that will help you simplify your life and take back control.
- Start small. If you are like me, you are not sure where to begin :(. So you don’t! Pick one spot on that mountain of stuff and begin. Don’t look at the whole elephant. Zero in. Maybe it’s your desk. Clear it. Is it your closet? Organize it. It could be your email inbox. Empty it. Stick with just one thing until you’re done. I guarantee you will feel a freedom and a motivation for the next “small” project. Set one goal – and achieve it.
- Put it away. There’s a place for everything. It’s called a home. Make sure your stuff gets home. Putting things on your desk or the kitchen counter only adds misery to your life. It’s easy to shortcut the “put-it-where-it-belongs” principle. The result? We create piles that end up making no sense. Investing a small amount of time putting something where it should live will come back 10 fold. It’s a sure proof way to ward off the clutter gremlin.
- Sort it out and throw it out. Two areas to start sorting and throwing are your mailbox and your closet.
- With mail, don’t wait! Sort the junk from the personal…quickly. Then separate out the bills. Put them in a “bills to be paid”. When it’s time, pay them at one sitting. Beware of the magazine monster. If you aren’t going to read it soon, toss it!
- With your closet, if you haven’t worn it in a year, why do you still have it? Because it might come back in style? Even if it does, it will still look dated. If they don’t fit, bless someone’s life and donate them. If you really love it you’d wear it. Before you organize you have to prune and purge.
- Assign a value to your possessions. What are they really worth to you? I have had friends who lost their homes to fire. Listening to what they ascribe value to and what they did and didn’t replace is a lesson I’ve taken to heart. Do a mock fire drill. What would you grab after the people and pets were safe? If something isn’t worth taking, then perhaps it’s not worth keeping. If it doesn’t have functional or aesthetic value, consider making it available for someone else’s pleasure.
- Discover that less is energizing. Chasing after perfection and happiness is the consumer’s trap. It’s the hedonic treadmill. Simplicity leads to freedom. De-cluttering is practical. Yet it is also philosophical. Be kind to yourself by ridding yourself of a consumer approach to life. I am discovering that being mindful about what I purchase and collect creates energy for living. Getting rid of the excesses clears the path for new experiences.
How do you create S.P.A.C.E. to live?
These tips will help free you from the clutter-vampire that wants to drain your energy. You will feel his strangle hold release from your neck as your sense of control returns.
What methods or habits have helped you?