After recently returning from a trip out of the country I found myself faced with piles of laundry and endless To Do lists from all areas of my life. Not only was I jet lagged, but I was also overwhelmed and depressed by the chaos in front of me.
"Tidy home, tidy mind." "Clean house, clean head." You have probably heard variations of these sayings before. But you may have never fully realized what decluttering and organizing your home and workspace can really do for your mind. Throwing away old things and organizing is a powerful way to give your mind clarity, focus, peace and balance.
Over the years I have learned several, very simple, but life-changing lessons that have helped me become better organized:
Life Changing Lesson 1: Many years ago, while attending a class I heard a participant say; ”If I want to have a clean house, it is essentially up to me.” What?! As simple as that thought is, it was something that I had not consciously realized! It changed my life. No longer was I the helpless victim of chaos and disorganization, blaming the disorder in my home on my busy schedule, my children or my husband. It was ultimately up to me to take on the responsibility of having an orderly home. With the help from my family, I could (and did) take control of the disorganization in my home.
Life Changing Lesson 2: Use the little moments of downtime to organize an area. My sister-in-law has a knack for accomplishing a lot in 10 minutes. One day, during a visit to her home, I noticed that while she was waiting for her houseguests to assemble for a shopping trip, in 10 minutes she had baked a cake and finished making a salad. A lot can be accomplished in 10 minutes. For example, it only takes 10 minutes to:
- Clean out a drawer
- Empty the dishwasher
- Organize the mail
- Clean out expired food from the fridge
- Wash the microwave
- Clean off the nightstand
- Tidy a room
- Empty the trash cans
- De-trash the car
- Sort ink pens
- Sort plastic food containers
- Organize your desk
- Tidy the laundry room
- Vacuum the kitchen
- Put away shoes and bags
- You get the idea....
Life Changing Lesson 3: Get to bed early and get lots of rest. Organizing and de-cluttering is a creative process. When you are rested, you think more clearly and thus you are more productive.
Life Changing Lesson 4: Make the bed every morning. This really does set the foundation for the day. And isn’t it wonderful to walk into the bedroom and see the beautifully made bed?
Life Changing Lesson 5: Clean the sink and the kitchen every night. Getting up in the morning to a clean sink and kitchen is such a boost for a busy morning.
Life Changing Lesson 6: Every morning put your shoes on, even if you are home for the day. This seems like an unusual thing to mention, but doing this will enable you to be more active and productive at home. Really. Try it.
Life Changing Lesson 7: And finally, determine when during the day you are the most energetic and are the most creative. Use that personal creative time to organize a problem area in your home or at your workspace. Again, organizing is a creative process, which takes creative thinking to solve an organizing problem area.
This whole organizing thing is a process. By adding in new, good, habits you start to crowd out those bad ones. Focus on one step at a time. One day at a time. It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you don’t stop.
Your physical environment has a huge impact on your mental and emotional well-being. By committing yourself to developing organization, you are actually making a life change that will positively impact your own feelings of ease, calm, and success.