It is beginning to seem that life has a way of getting disorganized and cluttered all by itself. All you have to do is let down your guard for a few days and “stuff” happens. At least that’s the way it feels to me, how about you?
Did you realize that there is a new “Get Organized” industry that is growing at warp speed? I did a google search for the term “get organized” that returned almost 16 million results. My conclusion is that there is a real and growing need in this area.
Cluttered space – cluttered mind
When left unattended, clutter robs us of our energy and vitality. Can you think of all the times you have walked into your garage, noticed the mess, and then turned around and walked out? Did you feel a twinge of guilt for leaving it in that condition?
Are there parts of your home or workspace that you avoid, just because looking at the mess can make you feel overwhelmed? When we try to coexist with a cluttered work or living space, our creativity and energy stay bound up in the clutter.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the world’s most organized person, so this is a matter of some personal concern. Consequently, I am always on the lookout for simple suggestions and tips to help me master some organizational skills. In all honesty, master is too big a stretch, I’d be happy just to make a dent.
Five classic clutter-busting strategies
These are the strategies we repeat over and over again — to others and to ourselves — to keep clutter under control.
1. Everything in its place.
If an object doesn’t have an official home, then it will always be out of place. Every screw, photograph, business card, and piece of clothing needs an official place to live. Additionally, once you’re finished using an object, immediately put it back in its place.
2. Establish routines.
Set up a regular schedule for tasks that have to be completed daily and weekly: laundry, mail sorting, cleaning, cooking, meal planning, organizing, filing, decluttering, home and auto maintenance, etc. The more methodical you are, the simpler it is to maintain your home and office. You’re never overwhelmed by your environment because you have consistent progress.
3. Pick the quintessential item, and pass on the rest.
If your grandmother leaves you her cherished grand piano in her Will, and you would love to own her grand piano, then accept the grand piano. However, you don’t also need her collection of plastic butter tubs, a box of used twist ties, and a rusty carving knife. The grand piano reminds you of your grandmother and her love and generosity, the other objects don’t.
4. If you don’t use it, need it, love it, or feel inspired by it, get rid of it.
Just because you might have space to store something, doesn’t mean you have to keep it. Your home and office should be filled with useful and inspiring things, not objects that cause you stress and anger. Plus, the less you own, the less you have to worry about, clean, organize, finance, and maintain.
5. Inventory and education.
If you know what you have, and you fully know how to use what you own, then you don’t accidentally buy or own duplicates or overlapping products. Understanding how to use the software on your computer, reading the complete instructions about your appliances, and imagining the possibilities of your wardrobe means that you can get more use out of what you already have. It also means that you know the best way to care for what you have so that you get more years of use out of your possessions.
I am always happy to help you unclutter your mind, emotions, beliefs, goals, and inner vocabulary. But as for the never-ending flow of stuff, I would rather leave that to the experts. I hope you found this list helpful. If so, feel free to leave a comment or share it with a friend.