Many of our negative beliefs can self-sabotage getting started. You might feel you are not capable because organizing is hard. You may have been told you are a packrat, or that you can’t do anything right. Clutter can have a negative effect on your health, both physically and mentally. Organizing is a skill to learn and can become a good habit. The first step is just to make the decision that you want to change and deserve to have a healthier environment.
There are health benefits when you and your environment become more organized. Decreasing clutter can help:
• decrease stress
• increase the feeling of having control of our life
• relax the mind and increase the ability to focus
• increase productivity
• increase self-esteem
• foster better relationships
• improve and have a more restful sleep
• reduce anxiety and depression
• reduce the risk of asthma and allergies
How to get started:
•Even if you are not naturally organized, know that you can find helpful hints to make being organized easier.
• Pick a start date and put it on your calendar.
•Take pictures before you start your project and after completion. Use an app to place the pictures side by side to appreciate the transformation.
•Have a plan, starting with one space or project at a time.
•Start with a smaller project, this rewards you faster with the feeling of accomplishment.
•Schedule time in your week that is dedicated to decluttering and organizing, make sure you phone is off so you are not distracted.
•Purchase helpful supplies such as: file cabinet, scanner, label maker, file folders, containers, and baskets.
•Find a calendar system to organize your time.
• Dedicate a location to organize incoming papers when they first come in your home.
•Using containers labeled donate, throw away, storage, keep, and sell, allows you to touch each item once...then you are ready to get rid of it.
•Set a time limit for how long you will keep the sell items, DO NOT keep around for a long period of time.
Helpful hints with decluttering and staying organized:
• make the decision that you want to have a more organized environment
• look at photos of beautiful clutter free rooms and envision living that way
• list your "why" for wanting to change and any reasons "why not"
• recruit an emotional support person(s), someone who will celebrate even the smallest of victories
• join a face book group, there are several private groups for people looking for support in their journey
• seek professional counseling, if necessary, some people keep items that have emotional meaning or fills a void in their life
• take the items to the donation center as soon as you can, even if it is a small load
• make a list of what rooms you want to organize, then break it down to specific areas (cupboard, dressers, shelves, drawers)
• break down in smaller time frames, commit to increments of 20-30 minutes per day (if making it a day project take frequent breaks)
• if you find it hard to part with sentimental items, take pictures before giving the items away
For me, just getting started with decluttering was a challenge. Being a single mom since my children were very young, I have accumulated a lot of stuff. Pitching and organizing was the last thing on my priority list. Looking around I thought, "Where do I start?". I had my garage filled with many items to either donate, give away, or sell. Unfortunately, they were sitting there waiting for me to take action. I finally decided my only objective was to simplify my life and get rid of the clutter. With that, I decided to donate anything I was not using, get rid of unnecessary paper, and organize my home.
I needed to address every room in my home, I felt lost and overwhelmed. I needed a plan on how to break this down. I needed to feel good about the small steps and not focus on completing everything.
Luckily, I found Suzanna Kaye. She is a professional organizer and offers online group programs. I am sure there are other professional organizers, but I found Suzanna’s support and teaching to be fantastic. Her classes were affordable, allowed me to go at my own pace, and to choose what I wanted to work on. I started with a system to deal with incoming papers so they would not continue to build up. I decided to organize my important papers with her Spark life program. I started one dresser, one cupboard, and one file drawer at a time. I took pictures before and after, and loved how my home evolved. Now when I look around, I love my home! I welcome friends and family and do not have to be embarrassed. I have no financial connection with Suzanna Kaye. She is an expert in organizing, and her great personality is very motivating. Check out her website suzannakaye.com.
It doesn't matter how you get started, the only thing that is important is that you do. For peace of mind, body, and spirit, it is important to live in an environment that allows you to relax and feel at peace. Remember, it takes time to change habits. You can do it, one step at a time.