It appears we have lost our ability to differentiate between what is important and what is not. In North America, we have accumulated SO MUCH STUFF. Of course, certain folks have acquired more over time than others, but collectively there is an excessive amount of stuff collecting dust in our homes. I know this to be true because if it were not then people like me (professional organizers) would not have a job. Decluttering your work area and your home are great ways to start reducing the clutter and stress in your life, but there’s still more you can do: your life.
Everyone will have their different opinions on the folks who collect, who hoard, who over spend, who hold attachments of things over people. For those who hold negative opinions have most likely never lived as the person whom they judge. As someone who used to be very disorganized, lived in clutter, and held strong attachments to things and people - I know firsthand how draining, frustrating, and embarrassing this reality can be. Yes, me! I used to be this way. I always admired very organized people because what I saw was a sense of control. Initially, I labeled myself as naturally disorganized which really felt like, I am not that smart, I am not very good at much. I just wasn’t getting it – whatever success it was that seemingly everyone around me was achieving. Pretty depressing, right? Based on what I know now is this: "If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” -Albert Einstein
Everyone is not naturally organized, for the rest of us, it is a learned skill. Being an organized person is layered and filled with value. It is more than just folding your clothing a certain way or labeling everything in sight! Although, this is fun – there are more layers and self-reflection required to embody an organized lifestyle.
Reconsider your current routines:
Many of us do not have any set routines in our daily lives and simply tackle our obligations, chores and daily tasks haphazardly. Without structure, it can lead to chaotic days and a surprising amount of added stress. I used to think routines were just a “nice idea”, but once I decided to take control of my days – what a difference it made! I noticed a huge difference – in my mood, my mental health, my motivation, and my focus. Ask yourself: what will I say no to? This will help you uncover your true priorities and uncover your true purpose.
Declutter your friendships:
It may seem harsh but setting boundaries for yourself is important. As you get older you will realize certain people are meant to stay in your life longer while others are not. Focus on the friends who bring joy in your life, who are trusted people, people who help you grow and make you feel happy and supported. You should let go of the toxic people who you have grown not to trust, and who make you feel unsupported.
Examples of this kind of friendship could be someone who guilt's you into spending time with them, are needy, find it funny to belittle you on a regular basis or you feel you give a lot to the friendship with very little effort back. There’s also no feeling of trust between you – if you told them something in confidence, they would most likely spread your secret around. Ultimately, you can’t grow from a relationship like this but instead it keeps you feeling small generating feelings of guilt, shame or fear (via,https://www.lifehack.org/635383/the-harsh-but-honest-truth-about-friendship-decluttering).
While it can be difficult, it’s important to understand that ditching the bad connections will help the good connections to develop further and help you grow in the process.
Edit down your commitments:
Review your current commitments. Examine each area of your life and write down all your commitments. Seeing it all written down can be an eye-opening experience as well as overwhelming. From here, look at each one and decide whether it really adds value or sparks joy, and if it is worth the amount of time that you invest in it.
A tip for editing your commitments; if it is not an immediate yes, then it is a definite no.
Learn how to say no and decline offers – as a former people-pleaser I understand the struggle, but it is worth it long term. If you eliminate the things that don’t bring you joy or value, you’ll have more time for the things that you love.
If you’re ready to declutter your life – start with the physical stuff. If you live in the Toronto, ON area and are unsure where to start then, head to www.get-sorted.ca/contact.html to book your complimentary consultation. I will help you declutter, sort and organize, and even guide you to declutter your inner clutter.
Get Sorted: home, mind, and lifestyle.
Professional organizer, Kelsey Marion
Get Sorted Blog
Professional organizer's perspective on all things clutter, organizing, health, minimalism, and more!