Declutter Your Life: Embrace Simplicity with these 5 Helpful Tips
Declutter your living space and join the latest trend that many are embracing! Clutter has become the scourge of our generation, with countless how-to books, blogs, vlogs, and mini-series dedicated to the topic. By sifting through and donating or discarding your countless items, you are able to clear much-needed space in your home, life, and mind.
There are compelling reasons for this heightened focus on the need to declutter and the benefits of organizing space. Living or working within a cluttered environment can lead to depression and contribute to procrastination. The overload on your senses from clutter can escalate stress levels, leading to a decrease in overall mental and physical well-being!
Clutter competes for your attention, both visually and mentally, impairing our ability to focus and make decisions. The importance of organizing space becomes evident when you consider the time lost searching for items in a cluttered home and the additional expenses incurred, such as ordering takeout because the kitchen counter is too cluttered to cook. Remember the frustration when you couldn’t find your keys? Or the time that cluttered kitchen counter resulted in you ordering pizza instead of making dinner? These instances underline the need to organize your home and declutter.
Embracing the decluttering trend helps us lead happier lives by organizing space effectively and creating a harmonious environment. But, are we all on board to organize your home and declutter? Unfortunately, achieving a consensus on decluttering can be challenging, especially when family or co-workers are not willing to participate in organizing space. So, what strategies can be employed when others around you are reluctant to declutter and organize your home?
Tip #1: Declutter by Example
Anyone who has experienced life with a toddler can attest to the fact that you cannot tell someone what to do. And as you can imagine, this fact does not alter with age. No matter how many times you may tell your partner or co-worker what the benefits of decluttering are, they still may not buy in. In a home already bursting at the seams with stress and discomfort, the path of least resistance will be for you to “walk-the-walk”.
In other words, the best idea is for you to start the process by decluttering your own items. This can benefit you in two ways. First off, by tackling your own cluttered spaces such as your closet, drawers, or desk, you will be helping to relieve your stress level and anxiety. As we have learned, decluttering brings us peace of mind; “when the excess is gone, we can enjoy the things we truly love”. Not only that, but it is much easier to ask someone to declutter if you have already done it for yourself.
The second benefit to decluttering your own space is that your spouse or co-worker may notice the far-reaching benefits of the clean-up. Perhaps they notice that you are not as stressed, depressed or frustrated. Maybe they observe that you are able to find items much quicker than previously. If you are both trying to leave for work in the morning and you’re able to locate your keys while they search for theirs in a pile by the front door, this may have an impact. It is much better to lead by example than to badger and complain.
Tip #2: Approach Decluttering with Empathy
Before you experienced that “declutter bug”, you may have been resistant to someone had they told you to throw out 60% of your coveted DVD collection. It is a good idea to keep this in mind when you are asking your spouse or co-worker to toss out their collection of black markers. Compassion, empathy and understanding go a long way towards a smooth transition to a decluttered home.
Although it is glib to claim that clutter is an indication of what is going on in someone’s mind, the things that make up all of that clutter are personal. People resist donating or discarding their own items for various reasons. We need to be mindful of why our spouse feels such an sense of attachment to a specific item, and understand why some things are harder to let go of.
Tip #3: Open Communication
Communication is the key to any relationship, and that goes double for any couple trying to declutter a home or work space. It is important to communicate to your spouse or co-worker what the effects of clutter are to your peace of mind. Let them know too what it is that you consider to be clutter. Perhaps their hesitation to pitch in is due to the fact that they honestly don’t notice it.
Asking your partner to address the pile of shoes in the front hall will have no significance if he or she walks over it without a thought. It certainly will not be important enough to become an addition to their to-do list. If you explain why it is important to you, it just might become important to them.
Tip #4: Start Small the Go Big
When trying to coax a reluctant partner, co-worker or friend to declutter, a great idea is to begin with a common area. After all, it may be that the task of streamlining a home or office is overwhelming to them. Much like the adage that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, if you begin with the common goal of decluttering a shared space, the job might seem much less enormous. Once the benefits of decluttering have been discovered, it may be enough to motivate your spouse or co-worker to continue to streamline their own personal clutter. Again, if you offer to help with his or her individual area, it just might be enough to overcome the hurdle on the track to a decluttered space.
Tip #5: Seek the Help of a Professional
Sometimes, in order to conquer the clutter the job calls for a professional. In this case, a Certified Ultimate Professional Organizer™ . Because he or she is an objective third party, utilizing a proven method, they can help sort through the clutter that is emotionally significant to your spouse or co-worker. Ultimate Academy’s Eileen Taylor Method involves help such as implementing storage solutions and paper management systems, as well as create a system for keeping these items organized going forward.
Having a home devoid of clutter contributes to a happier life and grants us the ability to focus on what is important. While the path to living a decluttered life may be clear for some, others experience hurdles. Armed with the tools presented those determined to vanquish the scourge of clutter can easily overcome these obstacles.