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Mary's Moments Blog Post

CLUTTER FREE: Me?

For those that walk through their front door and immediately feel stressed.

 

Wishing to get rid of all your belongings or move to a new space just to start over?

 

During the winter months we tend to spend more time than ever inside, it’s no surprise many of us are discovering our homes are a source of STRESS.

 

Is it possible to TRANSFORM your home into a place where you feel calm, refreshed and productive?


How do we find time to overhaul our home when we barely have time to clean up after dinner every night? Never mind the famous "Spring Cleaning".

 

When you're juggling after work or a busy day, the last thing you want to deal with is clutter, right?  


There's no denying, it needs to be done. However, shame is a horrible motivator. Feeling shame for an untidy space is not how to create a home that feels comfy. When you feel this way, it saps motivation and energy, pushing to avoid the tasks altogether. Nobody is a failure for not doing the laundry.


I try to look for SIMPLE ways to make things better.


There's no denying, it needs to be done so when pressed for time: I focus on just one small area. I pick the spot that's bothering me the most and give it a quick declutter.


It might not be a massive overhaul, but even clearing out a little bit can make a big difference on those busy nights. 

 

There are so many declutter articles circulating this time of year. I think the goal is NOT to overwhelm ourselves. 

 

When choosing the room, I find it works best to pick the one that you spend the most time in, the one that is MOST in need of care, or even the one you think will be the EASIEST to complete.  If doing a whole room seems overwhelming which is often the case for me, I start off small.


There's also the 5 step clearing method that I use during really busy times . The idea is simple by just focusing on clearing up the following 5 categories of things: trash, laundry, dishes, things that have a place and things that don't have a place.


When it comes to trash; to keep from getting out of hand, I usually just grab a large garbage bag and scan each room for any trash I can dispose of. Including the smaller garbage cans throughout the house. Filling the bag quickly with anything that can be tossed.


Next is laundry. Scooping up any stray laundry to throw in the hamper. It's surprising the places you find dirty socks!!!!!! If I have a few extra minutes and feel up to it, I'll have a look in the closet.


Signs for me that it's time to organize the closet:

 

1.     Closet interactions are exhausting

2.     Own too many duplicates

3.     Too much time figuring out what to wear

4.     Can’t find that one thing

5.     Have more clothing than closet space

6.     Last time I wore that outfit?

7.     Last time I cleared out the closet?

 

It's like a never-ending struggle for me, but I've realized - if I just stick to keeping only the clothes I actually wear, I can save so much hassle every morning. No more agonizing over what to wear or putting on something that doesn't feel right. With a decluttered wardrobe, everything I grab will be a perfect fit.


Dishes are a never ending task in our house. On days there is limited time, I just corral all the dirty dishes to the sink. The idea behind the 5 step clearing method is that you don't need to take out the trash or load the dishwasher or do the laundry. During this process, the goal is to create a starting point for feeling less stressed and eliminating the possibility for fatigue.


Number four on the list is things that have a place - need to go there. The obvious, clean clothes to the closet, pencils and pens on the desk, books on the shelf. For those items that don't have a place, I usually put them in a pile in a corner. Whatever they are, from donations to Amazon returns, they can stay in the pile until I'm ready to deal with them. Once those 5 things are all set, I can then start a load of laundry, do the dishes or even just call it quits for the day. Depending on what is happening at the time. It's meant to be an approachable method that doesn't wear you out in the moment or over time.


I won’t go into all the reasons we NEED to declutter – especially this time of year, when we are inundated with that topic.   I just thought by doing a bit at a time I could avoid having to do the big “Spring Clean”.

 

I think it’s obvious to most of us when we have a look around that we need to get at it. It shouldn't be stressful though. So much of our distress comes not from the unfolded laundry but from the messages we give ourselves: lazy, failure etc. You don't need to be good at care tasks to learn how to develop a compassionate inner dialogue. Challenging those critical messages we give ourselves will go a long way in relieving distress.

 

If you can find the time and energy, clearing out clutter, whether it's a messy drawer, a jam-packed closet, or any other chaotic space (for me, the office), can have a profound impact that you might not expect.


It's not just about tidying up your physical surroundings; it's like a breath of fresh air for your energy and emotions too. Decluttering is not just organizing stuff, it's clearing out mental cobwebs. A transformation that goes beyond just cleaning up—it's rejuvenating. Decluttering moves you from chaos to calm, and it works like magic. It may sound crazy but clutter really does block positive energy– once you get that “ahhh feeling” - you’ll be inspired and motivated to clear more!

 

There are times I do room by room only to finally finish and the first room I started with is a mess again. 

 

Reasons we can’t finish decluttering:

Why is this crap still in my house?

 

1.     Someone I know needs this

2.     It is sentimental

3.     It’s worth something

4.     The epic baby-stuff exchange

5.     I might need it

6.     I identify with this

7.     It is secure (if I have stuff, I feel safe)

 

I need to be ruthless during this process or many of those excuses crop up for me.

 

In all fairness, there may be some sentimental items that should be kept, such as irreplaceable family heirlooms.  If the plan is to pass these items down one day or they're still used or looked at often – for sure I'll keep them.


I'm now looking into options for digitizing photos. Have way too many and don’t want to spare the physical space to store them anymore. Thinking it would also make the images easier to share. Photo albums are nice to have but honestly - how often do we really take them out?


Surroundings tend to shape our self-image more than we realize.


Our environments, the people we surround ourselves with and how we speak and carry ourselves reflect powerful messages about our beliefs and ourselves.

 

Some things that I have learned/relearned/realized during my decluttering experience . . .

 

1.     The line between ‘enough’ and ‘excess’ is easily crossed

2.     I’ve wasted so much money

3.     I’ve been filling space for the sake of filling space over the years

4.     I’ve made so much waste

5.     This is all just a distraction

6.     Life is still messy

7.     It is a mindset, not an end goal

8.     It leads to more

 

If you're someone who's already a pro at decluttering, hats off to you! Maybe you've seen all the decluttering tips in magazines and online year after year. Well, to be real – we can always use a little extra inspiration, right?


Whether it's a gentle reminder to stay motivated or a fresh perspective to keep things interesting, there's always something new to learn or relearn when it comes to decluttering.  And there always seems to be a need to do so.  Year after year the build ups continue.  For me, the momentum is there – I just need to align action with my thoughts and keep moving with a renewed sense of purpose!

 

Naturally we often think of our home when we think of decluttering however, there are many areas of our lives that can benefit: car - vacuum - wash; simplifying your finances - automate, pay off debts; choose practical - buy things that make you healthier, wealthier, or provide you free time; follow the 1 in and 1 out rule - purchase one item, then donate, toss or sell another; find a home for every item -“Ensuring that each one of your belongings has its own spot is the only way to maintain a tidy and clutter-free home” –says Marie Kondo

 

Common sense required, of course – I saw this message recently and thought I would share:

 

“I tried the Japanese method of decluttering where you hold every object that you own and if it does not bring you joy, you throw it away.

 

So far I have thrown out all of the vegetables, my bra, the electric bill, the scale, a mirror and my treadmill.”



You can pick and choose from Marie Kondo’s way – there are some practical ideas – find what works for you.

 

Photo overload on your cell phone?  Maybe it’s time to delete the duplicates and open up some storage space?


There are so many ways and so many things to work on but the most important decluttering we can do (in my opinion) is: the Mind Makeover.


While thinking about the old sweatshirt we can't bear to throw away, it takes up precious space in our head. We tend to choose our clothes more carefully then we do our thoughts. Why not give our minds a makeover, just like we would our wardrobe?


Dress your mind with thoughts that make you feel confident, capable and ready to conquer the world. When negative thoughts creep in (and they do), swap them out faster than last season's fashion trends. By doing this, you will find a mental closet with thoughts that inspire, empower and make you feel great all around.


So are your thoughts helping or do they feel like those old worn out clothes that need to be donated?

 

Decluttering isn't just about tidying up physical spaces; it's about freeing and balancing. Even small steps toward decluttering can make a big difference in simplifying your life.  It's okay if it takes time. Each item or thought you let go of makes space for something better.  It is a process. Once a few areas are tidied up, you start to feel lighter – it does feel good.


How do you think about your home?


An organized, beautiful space - "You deserve to feel good".

Cluttered and neglected - "You're not a priority".


When you thoughtfully create the surroundings and thoughts that honour the person you want to be, you're constantly reminded to live that vision.

 

And here’s another thought…….. 

 

If you choose to collect experiences going forward rather than things, you will never ever run out of storage space!

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