Does walking into your home make you feel overwhelmed by all of the stuff taking up space? Are you constantly making excuses to not have people over, and even avoiding your own abode as much as possible? If so, it's time to get organized. But where do you even begin?
"The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace. A persistent simplification will create an inner and outer well-being that places harmony in one's life." -- Peace Pilgrim, an American spiritual teacher, mystic, pacifist, vegetarian activist and peace activist.
Here are a few simple rules for keeping your home and your life in order:
--Stop buying stuff. If you don't have an immediate need for it, don't buy it or accept it.
--Find your motivation and then set a goal. What would you like to do with your space? Some ideas include setting up an office or a reading nook.
--Determine where to begin. What room or corner bothers you the most?
--Declutter every day. Don't give things a chance to pile up; spend 15 minutes every day doing a little bit of cleaning.
--Remove the clutter immediately. Toss, donate or fold it as soon as you pick it up.
When Rachel and her husband were moving from the house they raised their family in to a smaller retirement home, they desperately needed to downsize. First, Rachel collected all of her children's school art projects she had saved for sentimental reasons, pulled her digital camera out and took pictures of the cardboard dioramas and collages so that she could store the memories in a compact photo album. Rachel found it difficult to toss many "perfectly good items," even though she had no use for them, so she donated household goods, books and even some excess groceries to worthy charities, some of which actually picked these items up from her yard.
Roberta always tackles the buildup of clutter one corner at a time, especially with two active youngsters running around the house. Each clean corner encouraged her to tackle another one until her whole house was done. She also found that by storing items in the areas of the house where they were used made it much easier to put them away afterward. She kept cookbooks on a shelf in the kitchen, board games in the den where the family enjoyed game nights, etc. By keeping these "use areas" specific, she made it incredibly easy to put things back where they belong after each use.
Janet labels the clothes hanging in her closet with the date of last wear. With the exception of special party clothes, if she hasn't used the clothing hanging in the closet for one year or more, she'll get rid of it. If she's not sure, she'll give it two months (or until the next season) before tossing. She gets rid of clothing that doesn't fit, especially because she recently lost 30 pounds. Her rule is to have enough clothes for a few weeks' worth of outfits every season. She gets rid of clothes that are beyond repair or she just doesn't like anymore. If the article of clothing no longer does the job, she throws it out. If the clothing is usable, she'll donate it.
Elizabeth Wissbaum, the owner of Loving Rose Psychic, uses vision boards to help her focus. "If you're not familiar with those, they are visual representations of what we want to manifest and bring into our lives. I use pictures of what I want my house to be, as well as positive words and statements. Just getting those hung in places I walk past regularly has been helpful. They seem to lift the energy of my house, and they lift me up as well." She added, "At the age of 67, I am finally doing what my mother told me all the time I was growing up ... If I'm going from one room to another, I pick up something and take it with me and take care of it."