Have you tried to get organized before, either on your own or perhaps with the help of a book, magazine, or course, but with no luck?
This is a common outcome because, most of the time, organizing tools are about de-cluttering your space. While this is an important part of the get-organized equation and should not be ignored, it is only a single, small component of your large, full life.
You see, organizing is more than just organizing the stuff around you. It is organizing you – all parts of you and your environment – so that you feel balanced, fulfilled, and happy. Transitioning from traditional to holistic organizing mindsets and techniques is one small change that can make all the difference not only in your efforts to get organized, but also in your overall health and wellness.
In this same spirit, here are five powerful-yet-easy steps to let go of clutter and reclaim your life:
1) Think beyond the space around you.
[PROBLEM] When picturing the clutter in your life, it is normal to think about the piles and stacks – the “stuff” in your space. However, there are actually six types of clutter that influence your general well-being: physical, virtual, behavioral, emotional, mental, and temporal (of time).
[FIX] Brainstorm a list of what you are tolerating in your life, which is often helpful in identifying which types of clutter are adversely impacting you. Select a single toleration from this list each week, and take steps toward either positively changing it or eliminating it altogether.
2) Visualize your path to becoming an organizing superstar.
[PROBLEM] Like the proverbial can’t-see-the-forest-for-the-trees analogy, it becomes difficult to imagine yourself, totally organized, when your life is a disorganized mess. Instead, feelings of overwhelm (Where do I start?), frustration (Why is this so hard?), and guilt (Why can’t I do this?) hijack your heart and mind.
[FIX] Let go of the negative “I can’t” or “it won’t work for me” attitudes for good. Visualize your path to organizing and simplifying success, envision reaching beyond the grasp of chaos and clutter, and take your results to the next level.
3) Tap into your organizing personality.
[PROBLEM] Viewing amazingly organized homes in magazines makes you feel as if that ideal is what you must achieve in order to finally get organized. While there is nothing wrong with trying to be Martha Stewart, it can backfire if the concept does not fit your habits, routines, personality, and lifestyle.
[FIX] Analyze how you operate, day in and day out, and determine where you can improve upon or implement systems to make your life easier. Craft organizing systems that work with you and for you – systems you love – rather than trying to copy those that look good in glossy magazines.
4) Use your core values as a filter.
[PROBLEM] In every moment of your life, you live in choice. While this may seem like an oh-yeah fact, human beings often lack mindfulness about personal space and time when making decisions, and this can let in clutter on many levels.
[FIX] Select your top five core values (such as faith, family, excellence, independence, and love) and constantly utilize them to screen decisions, big or small, about what you purchase, how to use your time, what type of habits you allow, and more.
5) Practice reciprocity with your space and time.
[PROBLEM] Given the busyness of the world, it is not unusual for you to want to have more free time or more space for what is most important. On the flip side, it is also not unusual to complicate your life by doing more and acquiring more than is truly necessary.
[FIX] Be consciously aware of how you treat your space and your time – both resources are gifts, and it is important to treat them as such if you want more of each to open up to you. In the end, if you do not value and honor the time and space you have, neither will value and honor you.
Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. If you want to get organized and calm the chaos in your life, go to CarmenCoker.com for her free video how-to called the Secrets of the Super Organized™.