Did you know that it is National Organization Month? Who knew? How many of you set this as a New Year’s resolution? “2017 is the year I get organized?” Does this sound familiar?
One study done at UCLA found that the more stuff was in a woman’s house, the higher her level of stress hormones. This same study found a relationship between how happy women are with their home life and family to how they feel about their homes. Wow! So simply put the more clutter and chaos in the home, the less happy the woman is with her family and her life. Our stuff it stealing our joy!
Whether or not you made a resolution to get organized or are feelings overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you have to clean up, here are some suggestions for helping you get your joy back and get started.
When organizing your space it is helpful to start with decluttering it. Think, less is more, or at least better. Start slow, don’t try to tackle everything at once. Start with one room or corner and work your way to a more simplified space.
One strategy is to remove, but not discard. Put your items in a box and set them out of sight. Set a reminder to look in the box in 15-30 days. Haven’t missed or used anything? Toss it.
Are you feeling completely overwhelmed by the idea of even starting to declutter? Try a time limited challenge. Set a timer and only work for 30-60 minutes. Or try a four-week challenge that can be done on any day of the week. The point is to get started and be successful, so you can enjoy your simplified space.
Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself when deciding if an item should be kept, tossed, or donated.
- Have I used this in the last year? If your answer is no, it’s time to toss.
- If I were shopping right now, would I buy this?
- Is the only thing that’s keeping me from disposing this item that I don’t want to waste money? Think of it this way: you wasted money when you bought an item you don’t use.
- Am I holding on to this for sentimental value? Be strict and keep only a few of the items in a small memorabilia box.
- Do I have a realistic plan to use this? Remember, don’t lie to yourself about how perfect an item would be for Halloween. Make sure you have a concrete plan to use the item, and if you don’t use it within the time frame you set for yourself to use it, then toss it.
- Does it fit me or my living space? You may love it, but do you have space for the item or does it even suit you now? Think hard on what to keep — your space is sacred.
Some people have difficulty discarding things due to emotional attachments. “What would Great Aunt Susie think about me donating her collection of salt and pepper shakers that have been sitting in a box in my garage for that past 8 years?” It can be difficult, but try to put your emotional attachments aside. Realize objects do not have feelings. The benefit of decluttering your space may far outweigh the cost of letting go of stored items. Analyze and measure true value. What does it really mean to you? Does it have value elsewhere?
When decluttering get rid of duplicates. You do not need multiples of anything. Keep the best quality and get rid of the rest. If you begin to feel uncomfortable removing items, just focus on all the good thing you still have. Find small things to be grateful for. Set exciting goals to help motivate you. Plan a vacation and pay for it by selling the items you removed in the decluttering process. Plan a party to show off your new decluttered and organized space.
“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of what we most value, and the removal of anything that distracts from it.”
– Joshua Becker
Remember quality over quantity. Invest in high-quality pieces that will last years and look amazing…in every aspect of your life.
– Written by Jennie Fincher, Ph.D. LPC-S