Now that most of us probably know every square inch of our home thanks to quarantine times, are you looking around and noticing things that you haven’t noticed before? Like…clutter? YIKES!
Piles of junk mail, old clothes, and other items from your past strewn everywhere as well as cluttered closets!
Or maybe you noticed it before but since life was so busy it was a fleeting thought of, “I’ll get to that later when I have more time”. But now that it’s in your face 24/7 and you have lots of time why not get organized?!! There’s never been a better time!!!
On top of it, spring is here! This season is all about throwing open the windows, clearing the past, and making space for new energy, people, and opportunities.
Research shows the health of your environment is a reflection of your overall health and well-being. A 2010 study from the University of California found that mothers who described their living environments as cluttered suffered from higher cortisol levels, greater feelings of depression, and lower marital satisfaction than those women who described their homes as “restorative” and relaxed.
So, if you’ve been finding it difficult to feel balanced or be able to drop down and focus on your dreams and aspirations, de-cluttering might be the first step to getting back on track.
Why Do We Let Clutter Take Over Our Lives?
We’re all busy with career, family, and social obligations so it makes sense that from time to time, we might get behind on sorting the mail, organizing those receipts or making the bed every morning. However, for some people, clutter can become a cover-up for more deeply rooted fears and subconscious beliefs.
In addition, if you’re struggling with clutter, it can feel overwhelming, right? And that can block you from seeing possible emotional components underlying your need to hold onto things. As an example, one of my clients, Sally, had a stack of family photos that she wanted to put into albums. Despite not working and having plenty of time to take on the project she couldn’t motivate herself to get started and kept procrastinating.
In my recent post, 4 Ways to Break Bad Habits, we looked at how many of us are unconsciously committed to beliefs that restrict our growth. In the case of Sally, we discovered that she was raised with the belief that she didn’t deserve love. Well, as you can imagine, that made putting family albums together with her loving children nearly impossible for her. It was in total conflict with her underlying belief about love.
In my years of working as a coach, I’ve found that one of the most common limiting beliefs women carry is that they don’t deserve love. But I’m here to tell you that you do! In the case with Sally, after making that discovery and then healing, reframing, and installing a new supportive belief that she did deserve love, she was able to put those albums together in less than a week.
So as much as you may desire to de-clutter your space, you may be spinning in overwhelm and have a subconscious belief that’s keeping you stuck and not knowing where to begin.
You may want to spend some time thinking/reflecting on what’s got you keeping things so cluttered up OR you can simply start a new habit by heeding the following tips.
Set Yourself Free with These Easy Decluttering Tips:
So here are a few tips on how to get started right now. Set a timer for ten minutes. This is a very powerful tool psychologically. When you look at your piles and think it’s going to take you hours to make a dent you often do nothing. Day after day of that avoidance is deadly to your psyche and can propel you into feeling bad about yourself. On the other hand, most people have 10 minutes. Once you get started, you may discover that you want to go longer than ten minutes and that’s fine, but you don’t have to. Ten minutes a day adds up to more than an hour a week! Slowly but surely, you will make progress and that will make you feel good about you! Win-win!
Work one room at a time. Create a schedule for yourself. List all the rooms that need to be de-cluttered. Choose one room and commit to working on it till it’s done. Then move on to the next room and stay with it till that’s done and so on and so forth. You will see progress more easily when you stay with one space rather than try to do a little bit in several different areas. This will increase your sense of accomplishment and pride and emotional well-being.
Start with your car. Cars become receptacles for everything from loose change to receipts to travel mugs and more. Starting with your car can be great because it’s a relatively small space and you can easily see how you’re making progress as you go. Many of us spend a great deal of time in our car – especially if living in a metropolis. Having a clean car gives a spacious feeling and allows for more creative thoughts and peace of mind – especially important for those of us living in highly trafficked cities.
Keep it positive. To avoid overwhelm, create some positive beliefs, and repeat them to yourself as you work. Saying things like, “I love the freedom I feel when my space is clean and organized,” or “I love the harmony and balance I am creating with this new spaciousness”. Saying these types of statements will lift your spirits and give you renewed energy and vibrancy – not to mention keeping you motivated!!
Take advantage of this “pause” and gift of lots of extra time and make a commitment to get yourself and your home/office clean and organized. By taking small steps towards creating a clutter-free space, you will build confidence, feel less stress, and communicate to the world that you’re ready to be your most sparkling, expansive self.