I am a true believer that getting organised in your home can make a huge difference to other areas of your life as well.
Some people have a natural tendency towards being organised, and for others it is a learnt skill.
As a child I would organise areas of my room on weekends. Nothing was left untouched. My drawers, study desk, my wardrobe and even cupboards located above my wardrobe. This was a dangerous exercise for a nine or ten-year-old. I would stand on an old chair and add a copy of an old White Pages phone book to add that extra bit of height. I made it through my childhood unscathed, but extremely organised. When I was older, I would expand my skills to other areas of our home. I didn’t know it then but being organised gave me a sense of calm. Maybe it made sense that I became a Professional Organiser to help other people create organised and relaxing spaces in their homes.
A study conducted by the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, found that the more clutter you can see, the more easily you’ll find yourself distracted. It can increase the inability to make decisions. How often have you decided to try to organise a space and been left more overwhelmed than when you started?
I suggest to everyone who asks, or clients that have me in their homes, that the most effective way to start is “small”. Just one drawer, one cupboard or one flat surface. There is no hard and fast rule that says which room to start in . . . it just should be small and achievable. Also, limit the number of choices that you use to deal with each item.
When making decisions try to imagine that you are starting with a completely blank space. Are the items that you choose to keep, going to enhance or detract from that space. One client told me she imagined she was moving to a beautiful French villa. She would ask herself if she really wanted that item in her new space. The answer was usually “no”.
This is especially important in the bedroom. This is a space where we go to relax and recharge for the next day. Make this a space that is also visually calming and easy to fall asleep in.
Reduce Stress & Depression
Having had my own battles with Bi-polar and depression in the past, this is certainly true for me. Not only emotionally exhausted, I also felt physically exhausted. This is not a good combination when wanting to get on top of things. Getting up in the mornings was bad enough, but then dragging myself into my unorganised office was even worse. I found myself unable to make the simple decision to turn on my desktop, let alone deal with phone calls and complete administration tasks. I would turn around and return to my bed where it was warm and cozy.
A wonderful and amazing friend offered to come over and help me get all my paperwork under control. She is an extremely organised person and was able to help me go through one piece of paper at a time and what action needed to be taken. By having a clear and uncluttered space my anxiety was notably reduced. This created the space that I needed to then move forward. It also helped alleviate my added anxiety. I am by no way saying that my organised office was the key to “curing” my episode of depression, but it was a small step in the right direction.
Saves Money & Time
How many times have you found yourself purchasing a second or third item of something because you cannot find the original? This happens regularly for people who find themselves disorganised. These may include small items e.g. a pair of scissors or food items that are already hidden in the back of your pantry, or more expensive pieces such as a child’s toy, or part of a school uniform.
An average person can spend 2.5 days per year looking for lost items. Aside from looking for the car keys or their wallet, I am sure a lot of this time is spent by parents who are trying to get their kids out the door for school every morning. “Where are your school shoes?” they cry!!!
Make Room for What Matters
For example, there may come a time when two siblings no longer want to share one room. The answer may lie in decluttering a bedroom, that over time has become the “junk” room.
Knowing that the children want this so much, the stuff in the cluttered room could suddenly become less important and creating an additional bedroom far outweighs the need to hang onto these unused items.
Note: I was an only child and always desperately wanted a sibling to share a room. The reality may have been much different, especially if there was a spare room that the said sibling could be moved into.
Easier Decision Making
Do you stand staring into your wardrobe thinking that you have nothing to wear? A lesser number of items might make this decision a whole lot easier.
Simplifying decisions, like what to wear, gives you more mental space to make more decisions that you are faced with throughout the day.
We are currently bombarded with messages by the media and retailers that our lives will be much richer and happier if we own their product. If you multiply these messages with the number of products, our clutter can grow very quickly.
I personally found that when our girls were younger, presenting them with only two options, in certain circumstances, made it a lot easier and quicker for them to decide. Any time saved with raising kids can only be a good thing.
I hope this blog inspires you to make a start to restore some calm and peace to your home, reduce stress, save time and money, make room for what matters and simplify your decision making.