Look at your bedroom. Look at your desk. Look at your car. Are they tidy? Are they a little messy? Are they a total disaster?
How does the state of these spaces make you feel?
If your spaces are a disaster, it’s likely they make you feel anxious and depressed.
Who needs that kind of baggage just from clutter?
Your clutter says a lot about you. You might have a hard time making decisions or may even be a perfectionist who worries about making a mistake in throwing something away.
“I’m busy!” you cry. “I don’t have time to de-clutter.”
But do you have time to search for that bill you needed to pay yesterday or look for your keys so you can get out the door to work?
The truth is clutter may not just be wasting your precious time but also holding you back from your Best Day Ever.
But there’s hope buried under that pile of papers.
In her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” Marie Kondo gives several examples of her clients that, once uncluttered, found both mental and physical freedom from their clutter, allowing them to lose weight, increase sales at their job and improve their relationships.
“A dramatic reorganization of the home,” writes Kondo in her book, “causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective. It is life transforming.”
And as “Happier at Home” author Gretchen Rubin says, “outer order contributes to inner calm.”
One of my favorite tips from that both Kondo and Rubin suggest is “getting organized” shouldn’t be the priority if your home (car, office, life) is a mess. The first order of business should be to throw out, recycle or donate what you don’t need anymore.
Once you’ve made the herculean effort of getting rid of all those things you no longer need, Rubin suggests methodically going shelf by shelf to get organized.
You may also consider tackling zones within your home. We all have those messy “hot spots” when clutter accumulates. Creating order in the worst zone in the house is a big win that will motivate you to move on to the next one and the next one.
Kondo suggests using categories, starting with clothing – which always seems to overtake our closets! – then moving on to books, papers, sentimental items and miscellaneous “stuff.” (You know, that broken iPod Shuffle you’ve had since 2004.)
Whichever tactic you choose for tackling your clutter, you begin to feel lighter and less frazzled almost immediately. And once you’ve conquered that clutter, you can move on to bigger and better things.
“Outer order contributes to inner calm.”