The Keeping of Stuff
"As I unclutter my life, I free myself to answer the callings of my soul."
- Dr. Wayne Dyer
As I walked into my house after a long day, well actually a long month, of organizing, I took a deep breath and just soaked it all in. The welcoming scent, the peaceful surroundings, the belongings that bring me happiness. One of life's simple pleasures in my estimation. The feeling of home. The place that is filled with the people and things that I love. I am genuinely grateful every day that I have the space and time to enjoy my family, because moments, not stuff, is what fills my heart. But so many people today live in homes that have become a storage space and they feel trapped. By stuff.
I want to help change that.
Less Is More
While I certainly can't claim to have it all together, or have it all figured out, I do know that a big part of what I have figured out in life is what so many people are desperately trying to attain. I have found my calling. As a veritable empath, I have been known to get quite emotional about this very topic. My heart aches for people who can't part with the very things that are making them miserable. I want all of my clients to figure it out. I want to help! Many people know they want this serenity, but is it really understood that organization and simplification trickles down into every facet of your life? Some of these are obvious of course, but some maybe not so much.
A Few of the Obvious Benefits
1. Being organized saves you time and money.
When everything has a place, you can actually find things, use things, and put things back! And not just you, your entire family can do this! No lost time searching. No extra last minute trips to the store. No wasted money buying things you already have and you can easily see when you are running low. If things are stored efficiently, properly, and maintainably, your quality of life will improve.
2. There will be less stress in your everyday life.
Chaos makes it difficult to accomplish anything! Does this sound familiar- There isn't any space to cook or work or play! I feel defeated the moment I walk through the door. I can't find anything! I can't even imagine what would happen if a guest showed up unexpectedly...
This is all stress, worry, and anxiety that weighs you down every single moment you are in your home. This stress is even in thoughts about going home when you aren't at home! It is an energy sucker. And time waster. But you are in luck! This is one problem in your life that is 100% fixable. An organized home leads to a smoother day and a happier you.
3. Cleaning will be easier and take less time.
It is significantly more difficult and more time consuming to have a clean home if it is filled with too much stuff. It's often simply too daunting to clean at all, so people give up. You will save time and effort in the long run and have a clean home by simply having less stuff. Stuff isn't passive- it occupies our time and mentally and physically drains us. Think of how much time you spend dealing with the stuff in your home. If you want to spend less time cleaning, and arranging, and organizing,- have less stuff.
4. You will have more space.
A frequent comment I hear when a client walks into their beautiful new space is "I have so much more room!" Well, you have always had all that room, you just weren't utilizing it most efficiently! Getting organized will allow you to have more usable space. You will have the space to finally do the things you love and the time and energy to actually do them.
5. You will have more quality family time and more ME time.
Less fighting...Less stress...Less chaos...it all leads to better, quality family time. And don't forget more ME time!
A Few of the Not So Obvious Benefits
1. Better love life.
I get it. Work, kids, school, grocery shopping, after school activities, exercise, meal time...your day is exhausting. Add the stress of arguing over clutter- piles of papers, toys everywhere, a huge pile of laundry on the couch...and you are most likely to crawl into bed and call it a night. Imagine how things might be a little different if you went upstairs to a peaceful and beautiful space and weren't constantly fighting over clutter.
2. More sleep.
Clean up at night won't take as long if you are not fighting clutter the entire time. And as stated before, cleaning in general will become much easier. You can also sleep in a little longer in the morning because you won't waste time searching and scrambling for what you need. Less cleaning. Less clutter. More organization. More sleep. More energy,
3. More time to spend on the hobbies and things you love.
I love it when I can give a client the space to finally be able to enjoy a hobby they have neglected for years due to lack of space or time. It's like a special bonus gift they weren't expecting when they hired me!
4. Your children will finally learn how to pick up after themselves.
Nothing boggles my mind more than parents who can't keep their belongings organized to have unrealistic expectations and demands for their kids to do so. Talk about hypocritical! Children best learn by example and if you make organizing a priority, they will notice. Organization is not a skill that comes naturally to everyone, but everyone can be taught. It must be practiced and demonstrated. Telling a child to "go clean your room', or "go pick up" is too general, unrealistic, and particularly daunting if all belongings do not have a specific storage space.
5. You can become more environmentally conscience.
There is a lot of waste in overbuying. It's very difficult to watch expired food, half empty bottles of 20 year old cleaning products, and excessive product packaging, etc., just being tossed away. Another example- almost every home usually has a huge box of just cords. Cords that they have no clue what they go to. It's time to be more responsible than that.
6. Your overall mood will improve and it could positively impact your productivity at home and work.
Depression and anxiety can greatly improve when the environment in which you live invokes a sense of peace and calm. It's a heavy weight that you carry around all day when you have constant feelings of inadequacy and stress from living in a cluttered, disorganized, and stressful home. When it is lifted, you will be able to see how damaging it was to every aspect of your well being. You will be able to accomplish so much more without this weight.
Ok, You're Convinced! So What is Standing in your Way?
You agree with my points, you've read about Kon Mari, you've pinned beautifully organized spaces, you've bought some gorgeous baskets and matching hangers...but...it always stops there. What is happening? I'll tell you. You are wanting perfection when you should be making progress. When you look at the entirety of your home, the idea of getting organized paralyzes you and you can't fathom where to begin. So you don't. And the cycle of stress, clutter, and chaos continues.
But listen to this. Another thing my clients always say to me is "I'm sure your house is perfect all the time!" And I usually respond jokingly "No, I have three kids!" But really, I should grab them by the arms, shake them, and scream "No, it isn't! And it never will be!" As someone who finally learned that perfectionism is too massive a burden to sustain for very long, I want you to know that the perfect-all-the-time home simply does not exist and you are only setting yourself up for failure to have that mindset. You must simply start! But again comes that pesky HOW aspect...
So. Here's How.
Step 1- Admit you can't do it all by yourself. And it is ok. More than ok. This my dear reader, this is one of the nuggets of wisdom that has helped me more than I can tell you. We are not all experts at everything, nor can we handle the monumental task of doing it all. That shouldn't even be a thing! And it definitely shouldn't be made into some badge of honor or your defining characteristic. I know this from experience- you will eventually break. Whether it is enlisting a friend, spouse, kids, or hiring a professional organizer, get help! We all excel at something. But not at everything.
Step 2- The next hurdle is to get over the embarrassment and/or fear of judgement. You are not doing this for everyone else. It is for you and your family. If you are thinking about hiring an organizer- I can tell you very honestly that judging someone doesn't even cross my mind when I enter a client's home. My focus is on helping. I am just as excited as you are to see the final product. My mind is immediately running through all the possibilities. This is what I do, I do not judge. I know that I personally have finally gotten to the point in my life where I just don't care what other people think about me, (They don't know my story! They haven't walked in my shoes!), and I hope that some of that mindset will rub off on my clients. It's very freeing.
Step 3- You have admitted you need help, you are past the point of being embarrassed (yay you!), so now, just start! My next blog post will focus on more specifics for the DIY organizer, but if you can, I would highly recommend that you find a professional organizer that you click with. Read their bio. Check out their work. Give them a call. You need to feel comfortable, and it is their job to make you feel that way. Ask all your questions and make your selection. Hiring a professional can seem like a big investment, and it is, but it will save you money and a lot of stress in the long run. They know where to start! They are models of efficiency and will devote all their time and energy for hours at a time to the task. Are you able to take 6 hours out of your day without interruption? Probably not! They have tested the products, made the mistakes, and it isn't their stuff, so they have no emotional attachment to objects. Hiring an organizer forces you to make decisions and work until the job is complete. It also comes with teaching and coaching on how to maintain your newly organized space. An organizer will have ideas that will transform your space and your life in ways you can't even imagine.
I love what I do. A big reason for this is that I help to transform lives. If you take anything away from this post, please let it be this.
Do NOT underestimate what getting organzied can do for your life.
Just take the first step, it's often the hardest, but I guarantee you won't regret it!
I invite you to take a look at all the of the before and after photos on my website, Facebook, and Instagram. All are photographs taken by me, and are of my work. And I am always here to answer any questions, help, and hopefully inspire.
Thank you and happy organizing!
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