- On a rainy day
- At the New Year
- When you misplace something – again
- When you’re ready for a change
- When you’re sick and tired of looking at the same piles of things
- Before a critter infestation
- To feel more positive
- Before cleaning
When is the Best Time to Declutter?
In my work as a professional organizer, I help people declutter and organize their homes. Cleaning tends to be a small part of this process. It is nonetheless an important part. I recently read an inspiring article on cleaning, “The Powerful Psychology Behind Cleanliness” at the Psychology Today website.
The article points out compelling evidence for cleanliness thus encouraging us to keep a neat, clean home. We all know that it is easier to keep a home clean when it is clutter free; the two go hand in hand. With this in mind, here are some time-saving methods to keep our spaces decluttered, clean and healthy.
(Click on Read More to continue)
In a previous post (July 2019), I described minimalism and my beginning progress on that road. To repeat a quote from Joshua Becker of the becomingminimalist.com blog, “minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.” Initially, I wondered what it would look like and how it would feel to declutter the things I did not use. Slow and steady progress has marked my experience. I am hoping to find clarity toward future goals as a result of the decluttering process. (Click on Read More to continue.)
Should We Embrace Minimalism?
I have wanted to write a post about minimalism for a while now but found the prospect daunting. Minimalism seems like an intriguing lifestyle but I don’t really grasp what it’s all about. In my mind minimalism means painting my walls white, reducing my furniture to half (all white) and having no hobbies or interests (hence none of the supporting stuff). That scenario has seemed unrealistic to me in the past. Curious though, I recently delved deeper into the philosophy of minimalism. Here are my new understanding and personal thoughts. (Click on Read More to continue)
Ready to declutter your computer files? If not, here are some great reasons to decide to get started:
The process can be done piecemeal for manageability and repeated on a regular basis to keep the computer running smoothly. (In an upcoming post, we focus on organizing files.) Click on "Read More" for decluttering steps.
Do you struggle with too much stuff? Are you overwhelmed by too many commitments? Do you feel like your mind is running away with itself? It’s really not difficult to simplify your life. Focus on these seven areas for simplicity and enjoyment.
1. PAPERS Reduce snail mail that comes into the home. Declutter files and boxes of paper. Establish a filing system to eliminate unsightly paper piles.
2. CLOTHES Go through closets, drawers and storage bins. Cull the pieces that have not been worn or are no longer wanted.
3. SHOES Handle each pair of shoes and boots. Be realistic about what you wear or expect to wear some day. Get rid of the rest.
4. ACTIVITIES Re-evaluate why you are involved in each activity. Cut back on those that are no longer enjoyable or do not support personal goals.
5. PURCHASES Delay new purchases for a couple days. Be honest about whether the purchase is a need or a want. Remember, the less you have the less you have to maintain.
6. EMAILS Take time to go through the inbox. Delete unneeded emails. Unsubscribe from email lists. Set up rules that separate emails into folders automatically.
7. EXPECTATIONS Release ideas of perfectionism. Be grateful for what you have.
As we contemplate a new year, who doesn’t dream to make our lives better, eliminate bad habits or just take more responsibility for our lives? As I’ve blogged in the past, the New Year is a wonderfully energetic time to make resolutions. However, this year I’m approaching resolutions from a broader perspective. Simplicity - the state of being uncomplicated. What about intentionally working on simplicity as a way to bring about positive changes? Here’s my thought process:
Simplify > Focus > Achieve goals
(to continue click on Read More)
Try These Two Holiday Survival Tips
Do you love the holiday season or do you dread it? No matter how we feel there is simply no option but to make the best of this time of year. We are each responsible for making celebratory choices that minimize stress but still nurture the magic of the season. After all this is truly a special time of year regardless of our religious or spiritual beliefs. Here are two survival tips to follow as we experience the holiday bustle: keep the season simple and give freely (not what you think). (click on Read More)
Embarking on self-improvement? Organization will follow!
In this month of Self-Improvement, we encourage you to think about self-improvement as the foundation for getting organized. Work on these common self-improvement goals: exercise, eat better, change habits, set goals, be mindful, be thankful, learn new skill, stop wasting time, and accept change. Then you will find that organization naturally follows. That’s because disorganization is often rooted in poor time management, lack of goals, living mindlessly and, yes, lack of exercise and poor eating habits. Once the mind is trained and properly nourished then it can function effortlessly to clear the environment. Why not work on self-improvement this month and reap the added benefit of organization?
See the previous post for self-improvement ideas.
Mental Health, Clutter and Inertia
Does mental illness cause you clutter stress? Here are nine tips to help overcome inertia and achieve your decluttering dreams.
BECOME AWARE OF YOUR SITUATION – How did this happen? When did it begin? What is the cause? What’s going on? What are you feeling? Are there other things that need to be fixed before decluttering begins?
COMMIT TO GET STARTED – decide today, now, you will begin on your journey to improve your living space.
SET GOALS – if you don’t know where you’re going, it’s hard to know whether you’ve arrived.
START SMALL – expecting large results is a recipe for disappointment, stress, negative feelings. Plan bite sized tasks on your calendar and stick to them.
STAY POSITIVE – celebrate little accomplishments to keep motivated and maintain momentum. A journey begins with just one step. Baby steps ARE progress.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK – when you backslide. Every day is a new beginning, don’t give up.
SHARE YOUR JOURNEY WITH SOMEONE – a friend or relative who will listen to your successes and struggles. You will feel supported and accountable.
GET HELP WITH PHYSICAL LABOR – if you are challenged with energy or strength. Another person can work under your direction to do the heavy lifting.
SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP – in a therapist and/or professional organizer. A professional will hold you accountable and motivate you in the initial steps at the very least.
Carol Martin-Ward, encouraging practical ideas for easy organizing