Updated: Aug 13
Once we organize a space, how do we keep it from getting cluttered again?
1 Stop buying unnecessary crap and bulk
It's not cheaper if it costs you your peace of mind. It's not a good deal if it's going to add clutter and stress.
When shopping, take an extra moment - think about your future self and ask, "do I really need this? Do I have a place for this? Does this serve the life I want to be living?"
If this sounds overwhelming, doesn't all that stuff add up to be overwhelming later? It's 100% worth it to take those few moments before putting each item in the cart and soon it'll become a habit.
2 Stop just for now-ing
Just for now is like water torture - creating insanity with a slow drip. A few seconds of relief now adds up to hours or days for your future self.
When you internally say, 'I'll do this later' ask yourself, when is later?
Unless you put that later time on your calendar and stick to it, all those laters add up to create torture time searching for things.
If you think, "I'll just put this here for now,' shift to, "I'm going to put this in its home now."
If don't have a home for it, make a time to create a home for it.
If you don't know how to make a home for it, find an organizer who can help you learn.
No more just for now.
3 Do a little bit every day.
Decluttering is not hard. If you think it's hard, it's going to be hard.
If you think brushing your teeth is hard, brushing your teeth will be hard.
Sometimes when we're depressed and feeling overwhelmed, brushing our teeth and going to the grocery store actually is hard. But we do it anyway when we can, right?
Taking time to clear space daily, even if it feels "hard" at the time, is well worth it in the long run.
With practice, decluttering and organizing can be a simple act incorporated into every day life.
This might mean making a couple decisions, tossing things in the trash, spending 10 minutes putting things away, or taking a little time to declutter a small area.
Just a few minutes and a couple decisions each day adds up to hours over the course of a year or many years.
"Inching forward is better than moving backwards!" Corinne Crabtree
4 Think of decluttering & organizing as self care and an act of love
Decluttering and organizing is like brushing our teeth, taking a shower, eating vegetables...we don't always feel like doing it, but we know it's good for us in the long run.
And taking care of yourself is an act of love for those you deeply care about.
When we don't brush our teeth, we get toothaches and dental bills.
When we don't take a shower, we get stinky.
When we don't eat vegetables, our bodies don't hold up as long and disease finds us more easily.
When we don't take time to declutter and organize regularly, we end up creating stress, overwhelm and anxiety.
Anxiety and stress affect our bodies, lives and loved ones in so many ways.
Think of clearing space as self care and great love, then it becomes less of a hardship and more of an act of love.
5 Manage thoughts about your stuff
Your brain is what creates clutter. Stuff does not create clutter.
Super organized people still have stuff coming into their lives. People are still giving them gifts they don't want. They're still inheriting heirlooms they don't know what to do with. They're outgrowing their clothes and changing their style.
It's not the stuff that makes you cluttered, it's your thoughts about your stuff and your life.
When you're worried about the clutter, or you're letting it affecting your ability to achieve your goals and dreams, it's time to change your thoughts, change your habits, and/or get help.
If you don't know how to manage your thoughts, seek support from a coach and start reaching out to connect with those who can help you.
Learn to pay attention to and manage your thoughts and life opens in amazing ways!
Have you organized a space and felt clutter creep back in? Have you cleared a space and kept it clear? I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences!
PS - Remember you can get support with mindset, decluttering and organizing! Learn more at The TidyWild School of Organizing.