I’m sure you have heard of ‘Marie Kondo’ and ‘Sparking Joy’ but can having less stuff and being more organised really change your life?
We have so many emotions tied up in our ‘Things’ that inevitably when you remove them you remove the emotions in your mind that form mental clutter.
Those who have been through this process report feeling ‘lighter’, ‘more optimistic’, ‘less anxious’. Once they have felt this feeling, it becomes addictive, they want more, a catalyst to start other reorganisation and decluttering projects. This literally clears space in your mind enabling you to focus on other things.
The most common emotions we attach to our stuff, that make it difficult to get rid of are:
Guilt – the bad purchases, clothes never worn, presents never used.
Hope –one day we might fit into that size 8 dress again.
Fear (Scarcity Mindset) –we might not have enough cutlery if 25 people happen to ‘pop in’ for lunch so we better keep it all.
FOMO –if the Joneses have got it, we must have it too.
Sentimentality – we must keep that ugly old vase as nanny left it to us.
But how do you actually get started decluttering and reorganising your home and how do you make changes stick?
1. Just get started
This is seriously the hardest thing for most people because they know by doing it, they are going to have to deal with those emotions. Finding someone you trust who won’t judge you to get you started is a great idea. Start with something small like your wallet or a drawer.
2. Write a list of your pain points
What areas of your house are really causing you a problem and adding to your mental burden? This is so individual and it’s important to take time to think about it upfront, so you get the best outcome for you.
3. Understand the root cause
Critical in making your good work stick. What is it that you do that causes your space to become cluttered and disorganised? Do you never open your post and fling it in a pile? Do you compulsively or impulsively shop? Do you not ask your kids to tidy up after themselves? If you really want to make a change be honest with yourself.
Get everything out in the space you are decluttering and categorise it, even consider bringing in things from other rooms that belong to the category.
Now you have categorised everything, look at each category in turn and ask yourself what you can let go of, challenge yourself, remove duplicates and ask yourself ‘do I really love this?’, if not get rid of it.
Putting items in containers really helps to keep your space tidy and you can see things more easily. There are so many great storage boxes and options these days. Apps like Pinterest and Instagram can provide you with gazillions of ideas for different areas of the home.
Once you have done all of that hard work make sure you remove the excess stuff immediately before it becomes clutter in another part of the home. Donating it to the local charity shop is a great option, selling items takes time and effort so if you are time poor this may not be the best option.
Breath and enjoy the outcome of your hard work. Take a picture so that you can keep checking in to make sure you are maintaining it. If you are not, keep reverting back to your root cause.
Lisa Hodgson is a Business Chicks Premium member, professional organiser and owner of My Curated Life. She provides life changing home organisation services to working women, and shares other helpful tips on Facebook and Instagram.