Imagine your dream home. Walk up to the front door. Open it, step inside and look around. What do you see?
Do you see any clutter?
When I ask this question during a workshop people always started smiling. It’s a smile of recognition. We know intuitively what is good for us but still find it hard to get started with the tedious job of reducing stuff we accumulated over the years. We rather visit to the dentist than going through all those things we do not really want or need and make us feel unhappy.
You have too much stuff but still there is something missing. What is missing is a true understanding of how your life will improve when you quit clutter.
People always want to know “What Is In It For Me?” so here I share some clutter statistics that help you find your WHY.
Getting rid of clutter eliminates 40% of housework
That is what the American Cleaning Institute has found. Surfaces can easily be wiped, vacuuming is done quick and efficiently because no items have to be lifted off the floor. Returning items to where they belong is simple because there is enough storage space. Less stuff is less cleaning; it is as simple as that.
We spend 153 days over our lifetimes searching for missing stuff
Misplaced items cost us 10 minutes a day (plus a whole lot of stress and frustration). I found this statistic on the database of The National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals. We lose books, phones, car keys and even the car itself. Sounds familiar? The things that are hardest to find are papers. The average person at work wastes 4.3 hours per week searching for misplaced papers.
Clutter is the root cause of anxiety
According to Dr. Benson, Mind Body Medicine Professor at Harvard Medical School, clutter and disorganization cause depression, anger, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart attacks, infertility and legionnaire’s disease. In today’s hyper-paced world, better organization is the key to better health.
Clutter is distracting and stops you from enjoying the moment
Chaos reduces your ability to focus on what you are doing now and deal with work effectively and efficiently. This is the outcome of a study by neuroscientists at Princeton University. Physical clutter in your surroundings complete for your attention. Did you ever have those nagging voices in your head that you should tidy your home while you have a friend over for a cup of tea? You are not enjoying the moment because of the stuff in your head that is distracting you.
Move 20 minutes a day to stay young
During my summer holiday I read the book Ikigai, The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life. The writers explain that a sitting existence is the ”enemy of staying young”. Moving for at least 20 minutes a day is what Japanese centennials have done all their life. I was happy to read that part of the book since one of my own life goals is staying and I know that when I work with clients I am constantly physically active. I am standing all day while decluttering and putting items where they belong. Organizing gives you a healthy dose of daily activity, and as a bonus a tidy space.
How do you feel about those statistics? Hopefully, one of those is a reason for you to reduce chaos and clutter from your life.
Some tips to get started:
- Take a sticky note and write your WHY for getting organized; what do you want to get out of life and how is getting organized helping you. Place the sticky note where you see it every day to remind you of your wishes.
- Tell a friend or family member about your plan to declutter and you are more likely to get it done.
- Draw or cut out pictures of what you want your space to look like. Fact is that once you know what your want, your unconscious actions will align with your vision (book The Secret).
- Next schedule time in your calendar to tackle the room, closet or shelf that bothers you most. Don’t plan to do it ‘someday’ but schedule ‘someday’ in your calendar.
- Get to work, all the time remembering your WHY. Every step you take brings you closer to your goals.
- Share your progress and pictures on Facebook or drop me an email if you have any questions.
Getting organized is the action you take to create and experience the life you imagined.
Do it for you, make yourself feel good!
I am here to support you.