Do you know that a quarter of homeowners with two-car garages use them exclusively for storage and park in the driveway?
How do we become such hostages to the jumble of odds and ends that once gave us pleasure and fond memories and now have outlived its usefulness?
This week, I finally took on the gigantic task of clearing the clutter from my basement storage area and the garage! Whew!
How many times had I said, “we really need to clear out some stuff of this stuff.” It was merely a passing comment…didn’t happen! So to solve the problem, I tried my best to ignore the growing mound of useless odds and ends that had taken over my space.
I finally could tolerate it no longer. So amongst the empty soda cans, the unused boxes of [ugly] tile, the stacks of old magazines, Christmas decorations that had outlived at least 9 lives, the leftover remnants of broken tables, unwanted gifts, non-working electronics, I set out to simplify my life starting from the outside in. I can now get in and out of my car without banging my car door into some abandoned object stored along the sides.
I realized a long time ago, I do not work well or feel productive when there is a lot of disorder. Yet, here I was, again being slowly nibbled away by the clutter monster.
Look around you; are you being steadily gobbled up by the clutter monster?
Did you know that clutter in your surroundings directly affects how you think, work, and live?
Let’s categorize what clutter may look like:
– Things you do not use or love
– Things that are untidy or disorganized
– Too many things in too small a place
– Anything unfinished or not being used
Most professional organizers focus on orderliness and systems to maintain tidy surroundings. But, I want you to also consider how orderliness and clutter can also symbolize your state of mind.
What old beliefs about letting go are you clinging to?
When you imagine decluttering, what emotions do you feel?
Are you feeling a sense of loss, or anxiety, confusion?
How do you make room for new thoughts, ideas and actions?
How do you feel when clutter gets the best of you? Is it difficult for you to make changes? Does the thought of changing make you uncomfortable?
We all may have some clutter sometimes but the best way to begin is with your thoughts about it. Change your thoughts, change your life!
Yes, I know, I’m guilty of not always practicing what I preach! I sometimes let the clutter monster come for a visit. And, it’s usually when my mind is filled with disorder. When I can think clearly and organize my thoughts, there seems to be less clutter around me. And when clutter is consuming my space, I’m less organized and focused.
When you find you’re surrounded by disorganization, holding on to things long past their prime, and ignoring the clutter, give some thought to your state of mind. Are you anxious, uncomfortable, confused, and unmotivated? If you experience any of these feelings, I’m sure you will see it reflected in your surroundings. Gobble up the clutter monster!
Gladys Anderson, founder of Coach for YOUR Dreams, is a certified life coach, licensed marriage and family therapist, writer and speaker. Gladys combines years of experience, training and a genuine commitment to helping nurses, teachers, therapists and other care giving women to set limits so they have more time, and energy to devote to self-care.