Who needs to get organized and why should you care?
Why should you de-clutter your home?
Why should you be able to find things easily?
As you open your cluttered closet and think “I’ll get to it someday, and then say “Oh what’s the big deal if I haven’t cleaned it in a while… besides I’m really busy.”
“So, what? Doesn’t everyone have a clutter problem?” But after your countless failed efforts to get organized, the clutter just keeps piling up. So why can’t you get your clutter in control? It’s not just about the “stuff”, but the internal reasons behind all of the stuff.
When the clutter in our home starts mounting, our stress levels rise right along with it. Dishes pile up, laundry bins overflow, belongings get misplaced and surfaces go uncleaned for too long — and in turn, we become not only more worried about keeping clutter at bay, but also more stressed out in general.
Organizing your home is one of the most common forms of stress.
When clutter in your home causes you stress when trying to get something done or getting ready for anything, it’s time to get it under control.
Combating clutter is essential for creating a calming environment where you feel relaxed and less stressed.
To begin the process, it’s important to identify the root of your inability to organize. It usually began at a young age from your parents. Many with a clutter challenge were raised in homes where they weren’t taught the skills to maintain an orderly and organized home. Your parents may have unwittingly “taught” you that they you were incapable of getting organized, which gave you a justifiable excuse. Don’t despair, all is not lost if you were raised in a cluttered home. The essential skills to getting organized, to reduce and eliminate, to sort and categorize, can be learned and applied to all areas of life.
In addition to the inability to clear clutter and get organized, indecision is a primary cause of a person’s challenges in getting organized. Deciding what to do with an old collection of t-shirts in your dresser drawer, a stack of papers on your desk, or an outdated wardrobe in your closet can seem daunting. Do I keep it or let it go? If I keep it, where do I put it? These decisions require a high cognitive level of processing that can be complicated to some. These decisions may be more than just a cognitive process and can include a deeply emotional one.
Our stuff is an external expression of our internal world. Memories and mementos can create a roadblock to clearing out clutter. Holding onto your memories is acceptable when it is an important memory. Often, we associate our memories with our collection of stuff. Your stuff becomes an object that bears your internal experience and it’s important to recognize that the object is just an external embodiment of your experience.
Clutter not only contains our memories, but can distract us from looking into deeper issues. Clutter can protect us from the stressors of the outside world. With an unbiased viewpoint and non-judgmental demeanor of a professional organizer or close friend, recognizing that the clutter can be the source of comfort, clearing the clutter be a cathartic process.
The internal strife that causes the clutter and avoiding clearing it out is only part of the psychological puzzle. The emotional impact of the clutter causes further distress and an inability to think clearly amongst all the stuff.
When making decisions about the piles of stuff packed away in our closets and drawers we are confronted with an exasperation of “I should of”, compounding our feelings of guilt about our level of disorganization.
For those who experience challenges with clutter and disorganization, there is hope.
In an effort to correct the external space, we must examine our inward self. Identifying how, when, and where this tendency to collect clutter began is the beginning of the process. Next, move onto examining the reasons and underlying issues for keeping your stuff. And finally, changing your mindset and shifting those negative thoughts to promote a change in the way we deal with our clutter. In essence, it comes down to clearing our head before we clean out our closet for long lasting change!
The best way to tackle physical and psychological clutter and organizing your home is to execute small daily routines and actions that will, over time, result in a more orderly environment.
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Be sure to check back next month for another invaluable tip to help you live with less stress and more success!