A Quick Guide to Clearing Clutter & Creating Your Perfect, Organized Space - Part 1
Cleanliness, order, beauty, and clarity -
The ability to find what you need without thinking, or the ease of putting things away quickly with the confidence you can find them again - these are the gifts of getting organized.
Being organized creates open time and space. It offers a sense of control over your environment and efficiency in all your endeavors. Think of getting organized as not only a decluttering but a makeover for your systems. Every system you create will change how you live and function. It is a process. And you can always hire someone to help. To do it well takes a conscious effort to understand how you function in your environment in relationship to your things. But it changes everything.
So how do you dig out from the piles and untangle from the snarls to never spiral into them again? First and foremost, it is a process. Trust it. Be gentle. Have patience. Don’t lose sight of the end within the details. No matter how small the drawer or how massive the life-rearrange, you can organize it. With diligence and mindfulness you can pare down clutter and design your life to become whatever you desire it to be.
My approach is a little different than other popular authorities on the subject. I have learned through the years of helping people do this that instead of two phases to getting organized, there are actually three.
1. Creating a guide: The act of learning your habits and desires to create a plan for your project.
2. Clearing the space and eradicating the clutter: Deciding on and clearing out what doesn’t belong, then only keeping what you need and want.
3. Organizing: Actualizing new, customized systems that are easy to maintain and that support the unique ways in which your life functions.
As a rule, I’m not a rules person. So, there’s freedom in the order in which you do the first two steps of planning and clearing. You can plan first (for months even) or plan while you clear clutter. Or maybe clear the clutter then make your plan.
But keep in mind that, like on a staircase where each step is as crucial as the last, it's critical to give as much value to making a plan as you do to the rest of the process. Without a plan you risk flailing, throwing things into new piles and creating new tangles, or shutting down. In the act of planning, you learn your needs and habits which will help you avoid pitfalls.
Contrary to popular rhetoric there's room for fluidity in the process of getting organized. I stand by the theory that most rules can be limiting, but I do maintain one absolute: creating organized systems comes last. Until you clear what doesn’t serve, it’s impossible to know what you have left to fit into your systems.
So, let this resonate. Get excited about what's possible. Then when you're ready to learn strategies for the crucial step of creating a guide, go to the next entry to learn t observe your needs and habits as a strategy to create a guide for enacting permanent change.
Up Next: Creating a Guide Through Journaling