Is the state of your living space adding to your stress? It’s no secret that most of us have more than we need. Clutter can make it hard to find things and easy to lose them. Plus, a messy home doesn’t feel good or function as well as it could.
On the other hand, an organized home can liberate you from undue stress. It has the power to create efficiency, productivity, and joy.
Organization expert Shira Gill helps people on every continent – yes, even Antarctica! – declutter their space through in-person sessions and online classes. Using a values-based approach, she helps her clients find the freedom to let go of the mess and focus on what truly matters in life.
She shares 3 steps to help you pare down the clutter to discover what you truly use and love in your home.
- Find Your Why
Before you start organizing, ask yourself why you want to do so in the first place. Otherwise, you’ll just be moving piles around. Find your why by answering the following questions:
- What do I truly care about?
- What are my values and priorities?
- What are my goals?
Everything you do – and everything you keep – is rooted in the answer to these questions.
For example, if how you look is important to you then allowing room in your closet for the latest fashion trends may be a priority. If you love to read, a collection of favorite books should stay around to line your shelves.
Knowing your why will help make the decluttering process exciting and energizing rather than a necessary chore.
- Turn Down the Noise
Our society is driven by consumerism. The “more is more” message says that more things lead to our happiness, success, and overall sense of accomplishment. This messaging is alluring and compelling – and often directly at odds with staying organized. But there is a way to enjoy your things and not get bogged down by too much.
How do you avoid the “more is more” message of consumerism? Turn it down. Purge your inbox of tempting sale offers and unsubscribe from unnecessary email lists. Resist free samples you’ll never use.
Do you have loved ones that love to give gifts? Offer them alternative ideas such as a donation to a favorite charity or an experience. What’s more, if someone gives you a gift, thank them and then decide immediately if you’ll keep it. If not, donate or regift to someone who will use it. The guilt you feel about keeping something you’ll never use is just more noise.
Despite the messaging, you don’t need more to be satisfied. Focus on what you love and weed out the rest.
- Take Your Time
It can be tempting to rush through the reorganization process. But don’t get ahead of yourself. Take it slow. Shira follows a simple formula for each room in your house:
- Clarify – Before you tackle a room, ask yourself: What do I plan to do in this room? How do I want to feel when I’m in it? Clarify your vision for the room first.
- Edit – Next you can begin to purge. But again, don’t try to do everything at once. You may dream big but start very small. Think one drawer at a time. Get that small win under your belt and you’ll gain momentum.
- Organize – Once you have what you want to keep, begin to map out how you’ll arrange it. After the purging process you may find you have empty shelves and drawers that can hold what once spilled out in the open.
- Elevate – Only after you move through the steps above can you start to elevate each room. This may mean a new bookshelf or something simple like matching baskets or a designer filing system. Consider elevation as a reward for all your hard work.
An organized living space is about so much more than cleaning up. It can help you create a system that taps into what you love and supports your needs. You’ll feel lighter, freer, and more productive.