This month, I'm partnering with the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Research Foundation's Knowledge is Power campaign to help people get organized and reduce stress.
The short month of February is more than half over, but there’s still time to clear the clutter and get more organized.
According to an article in Psychology Today, “Messy homes and work spaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed.” So true!
But where do you start? This quick 1-2-3 will make your space more serene.
1. Grab a laundry basket, tote bag, or trash bag and zoom around your house picking up all the “strays” – things that belong elsewhere. This will fill more than just one bag, you say? Then start with your most-visible or most-used room (maybe your kitchen, living room, or bedroom). For a fun challenge, play your favorite upbeat music and see how many songs it takes you to gather everything.
2. Find homes for all those strays. If the item doesn’t already have a designated place in your house consider the following.
3. Going forward, find a mantra that works for you so you don’t end up with so many strays again. Repeating a saying such as “put it away right away” or “don’t put it down, put it away” can help break the habit of not putting things back, dramatically reducing future clutter.
Now, sit down with a good book and a cup of tea and enjoy a few minutes of peace in your newly-cleared space.
Yes, you read that right. I'm not telling you to reach for the stars or aim for the highest peak, I'm saying your goal is to be average…at least when it comes to your housekeeping, and probably more than a few other things too.
Are you struggling with clutter and disorganization? Do you feel as if dealing with your stuff rules your life? You might think that, as an organizer, the goal I would set for you would be to get rid of it all and be a minimalist. Absolutely not!
Think of it this way, would a doctor tell an obese patient that her goal is to become anorexic? No way! Being excessively underweight is just as unhealthy as being overweight. The goal is to attain and maintain an average, healthy weight.
This is the same with your housekeeping and decluttering. While a few people today are embracing a minimalist lifestyle, that's not for everyone and can be just as burdensome as having too much. For example, some minimalists keep a list of their possessions and restrict them to a specific number. Doesn't that seem a bit obsessive? Isn't stuff still ruling their lives?
The goal for your home should be to create a comfortable, livable space that contains the things you need and love, expresses your (or your family's) unique personality, and is easy to maintain.
In other words, an average home.
Sounds like home sweet home to me.