Clutter and organization are hot topics. There are hundreds of books out there dedicated to helping you master the clutter, organize your home and workspace, and let go of household items that you don’t need. I am all for decluttering your home and making it a liveable place that sparks joy, filled with things that are beautiful AND useful. For many of us this is a journey that continues because we often fall back into the clutter trap.
What about other clutter though?
Clutter does not only happen in the home. It also can happen in your mind, your body, your schedule, your finances and your workspace. The bad news is that that if you have clutter in one of those areas, you are most likely have clutter in all of those areas statistically. It makes sense that clutter can affect more than one aspect of our lives. A tendency to collect clutter and not organize systematically tends to be personal characteristic. If you have been trying to conquer the clutter in your home, it is time to move beyond and follow these tips for decluttering your life. Tackling the problem as a whole might just help you get off the merry go round of untidiness.
Mind – What clutters your mind? Begin by getting it out there for you see visually. Grab a notebook and a pen. Take a deep breath and think about things that you have to do. Write everything down. Once you have written things down, you can see what is necessary to accomplish and you will have a list to keep track of everything else. Make a list of all the ways in which you tend to get sidetracked to…email, facebook, TV watching, etc. You can do more with your time if you watch less television or play on facebook less and identifying these things as not useful to your goals is helpful.
Body – In some cases, people who have a clutter problem also have a weight problem. Sometimes people use both as a self-protection mechanism. If they are overweight or their house is full of “stuff,” they will not have to worry about others getting too close and possibly hurting them. Once they begin to let go of the “stuff” in their home, they may find that it is easier to let go of excess weight as well. Other times it may just be that clutter and therefore weight is more about failure to be organized and to follow through (aka a wee bit of laziness). If you stop this cycle and force yourself to get organized and follow a plan, you will find you can easily fit health and weight management into the plan to.
Schedule – How many activities do you and your family have? If your family is like most, each child has at least one activity they participate in after school. Mom and Dad may each have things they do that keep them on the go. To declutter your schedule, sit down as a family and talk about the activities each does that mean the most them. Let them know that your time is at a premium and that you need to make some tough decisions and therefore they do to. If you can cut out some activities, you will have more time to share as a family and there will be much less time spent running around.
Finances – Think about bills you have that are draining. For instance, do you watch all of the channels on satellite or cable? Do you actually watch Netflix and Hulu? Chances are good that you can remove premium cable channels or do with only one streaming service. Stop eating out so often. Even though eating out is easier, it is more expensive and is often not good for your health. Plan better and arrange that schedule (see above) to make sure you are home more. Make a master list of quick easy meals that most everyone loves and use it as a guide. If you end up having a Taco Tuesday and a Taco Friday…so be it! Once a month cooking is also worth looking into if you are short on time and money.
Workspace – Depending on your job, workspace clutter may or may not be a problem. For those with an office desk, workspace clutter may be having too many pictures or mementos. For those in a factory setting, it may mean you cannot find your tools when you need them. By creating a functional and clean workspace, you increase your productivity, which will make the boss happy.
It is unlikely that anyone consciously decides to have clutter in his or her homes or their lives. Unfortunately, clutter tends to creep in and take over once it starts. And it creeps into every area of our lives. Use these tips for decluttering your life and you will marvel at the sense of freedom you experience.