Business as usual seems a bit tone deaf when so many people are agitated and focused elsewhere.
And: its hard to change the world when you cant find your keys. Really.
Knowing where your cell phone, wallet and other essentials are as you head out the door is super helpful and sanity-savingwhether youre running errands or protesting injustice. Its one less thing to think about and sap your energy.
If how you do anything IS how you do everything, and your bag and your space are a mess, youre probably going to be less effective in creating the change you want to see in the world.
So, you can dismiss this weeks article as superfluous or irrelevant but I would argue that, in truth, making space for change, freeing up our energy to focus on whats most important to us, is essential to constructing the kind of lives we want and the freedom we desire, at home and in the world.
As we ride out this pandemic, many of us are stuck at home… face-to-face with clutter.
Where you may have been able to ignore the mess before, now youre painfully aware of it.
Theres no escaping it, is there?
All. That. Stuff.
Let me ask you this: Does your home currently feel like a sanctuary or a cluttered mess?
If its the latter, then that clutter is affecting your mental and physical health, energy levels, and productivity.
Whether its a closet that needs organizing, an office thats out of whack, a first aid kit thats expired or a whole home that isnt functioning, this article will help you reinvent your space fast and for free.
(Well be showing you how to do this in more detail in our next free De-Stress Your Mess 5-Day Challenge.)
THE ORGANIZATIONAL TRIANGLE
First things first, there are only 3 rules or guiding principles to getting organizedit couldnt be simpler.
Rule #1: One Home for Everything
Every item has one, and only one, home. No ifs, ands or buts. People lose a year or more of their lives just looking for things. A lost year sucks. When stuff has a home, no more lost things.
Rule #2: Like with Like
All like objects live together. And we do mean all. (Oh, weve organized every type of object imaginable. Yep, even those. But thats a story for another day.) So, for example, all your tools live together in the toolbox, instead of being squirrelled away throughout the home.
Rule #3: Something In, Something Out
Once you reach stuff equilibriumhaving enough of everything that serves you and nothing that doesntwhen something comes in, something goes out. This prevents clutter creep.
If you were to implement these guidelines alone, your space would be transformed. Investment: $0. This just takes some elbow grease and a willingness to change.
CLEAR THE DECKS
Before you can turn your space around to serve YOU rather than you IT, you need to clear the clutter and get things organized. Use the three principles above to help you get started, and get rid of the things you no longer need, want or use.
Everything in your home should add value to your life, whether its that piece of art that inspires you to be a better person every time you look at it, or the blender that you use to make your smoothies every day.
Because if its not adding value to your life, why is it still taking up precious space in your home?
The problem is that the average home is ridiculously cluttered, wherever you live:
- In the U.S., 25% of people with two-car garages don’t have room to park cars inside them and 32% only have room for one vehicle! (US Department of Energy)
- The UK uses 37.6 million sq ft of storage space, or 0.58 sq ft of storage space per person5x the European average. (House Beautiful)
- 76% of respondents to a China Youth Daily poll said they kept items they did not need. (China Daily)
And you cant take it with you seriously. Tut tried didnt work.
Stuff does not define you.
And more stuff doesnt make you more of a person. (Or stave off death, which I think is the real fear driving so many of our obsessions with stuff. Yeah, I went there.)
All this clutter does is burden you and suck up your energy. Physical clutter is tied to mental clutter and emotional baggage.
Every item has a story, not all of them happy, so why do we find it so hard to let go of that rug from our ex which makes us miserable and reminds us of our breakup every time we look at it?
(If you have something in your home like this, that makes you twitch every time you look at it, for the love of all that is holy, stop reading and go get rid of it. Now. Ill be waiting for you when you get back.)
As you sort through your things and let go of what no longer serves you, you will free up energy and reduce stress. Imagine your space is organized and clear even if its not yet. Youll breathe more easily and let out a sigh of relief. And that will keep you going.
Decluttering can be cathartic.
And lets you feel in control of something you actually CAN control.
And what better time to tackle it then when youre feeling out of control and every day seems more uncertain?
Once you clear away whats unnecessary, your stress goes down and home starts to feel safe. Even if nowhere else does.
In the coming weeks, well look at some tips on how to continue organizing and decorating your home, WITHOUT buying a single thing.
In the meantime, stay safe and resist the urge to buy your way out of however youre feeling.
In times of stress and unrest, community and family is often what keeps us positive and moving forward. So, keep that in mind and collect experiences and relationships with the people you love. If youre going to collect anything, collect love!
Dont collect thingstheyll never love you the way your friends do.
I am all about unstuffing your lifein fact, I wrote a book about it.)
Until next week