I am not a doctor. I am providing information based on experiences that my mom has with natural remedies. The purpose of this blog is to help folks to educate themselves. Use this information with your own discernment.

24 January 2010

How to Get Started on Attacking Clutter

Clutter.  Piles of papers and mail that you brought in and dropped on the first flat surface... contribute to clutter.  Clutter is contributing to your lack of creativity, the feeling of being stuck. 

All summer, I prefer to be out in the yard, gardening.  The inside work doesn't get done, not like in winter when I begin to live in the clutter and can't understand why all of a sudden I feel bad.  Often I would blame it on the winter doldrums until I began to take notice of my environment. 

My entire life I have battled clutter.  Fighting the tide of all the shit that just wants to pile up and screw up my peaceful energy.  Like an alcoholic, the first thing one who is afflicted with clutter must do is realize that there's a problem. 

Years ago I realized I had a problem with stuff, having too much stuff, not wanting to throw stuff away just in case I needed it.  Clutter caused me to have "lack" thoughts.  I became a horder which didn't help me one bit.  I believed that if I didn't keep all this stuff, I would need it.  I didn't believe that I would have what I needed when I needed it (how I think today and I'm happier.)

Worried that I would never have enough, I kept everything.  Stagnant energy enveloped my life and my life sucked.  I was obese.  I was unhappy.  I felt ugly and unworthy of all the great things in this world.  I was alone, even though I wanted to have someone in my life, I didn't find the right guy for me until years later when I realized that clutter was screwing up my happiness.

What I had learned from this period of my life is that my happiness was being suffocated from the stagnant energy from all of the stuff that I was acquiring.   The stuff was not in any order.  When I needed an item that I knew I had, I couldn't find it so I would go out and buy another one, only to find one day that I had 7 of the same item.  

Clutter was making me insane, I needed to get control of my life... I needed to control my stuff instead of my stuff controling me!

I've read a lot about how to be organized, how to attack clutter and the underlying theme was to stay on top of it.  Once you get the big cleaning job done, the secret is to keep it this way.  A little attention every day as is all that is required. 

Observing myself, I notice that it's easy to fall out of the habit of spending 5 to 10 minutes a day picking things up.  Especially as a care giver, it's even easier to fall out of the habit of picking up every day because one never knows when the next hallucination or emergency will come along.  It does seem that these visual absurdities always come around just as I'm cleaning things up.  I have to stop to help my mom calm down and then I find myself having a difficult time returning to the unfinished task because something else takes my attention.  Before I know it, I've got clutter magnets all over the house, prepared to suck the happy energy out of our home.

Take out your camera and shoot your home!

I've found that if I look at everything in small pieces, snapshots, it makes keeping things clean easier.  If a room feels uncomfortable when I walk into it, I look to see what clutter is creating that sort of energy in the room.  A trick I use is to use my digital camera and take pictures of the troubling room, small areas at a time.  It's like looking at the room with fresh eyes.  I can see the "noise" in pictures, the clutter that is disturbing my life of happiness.

Breaking the clean up into small pieces is like making it into a project that has a beginning and an end.  Part of the problem with cleaning one's home is the approach we take.  Many of us believe that we have to do it all in one day.  I know that's how I was thinking for a long time and found myself in a viscious cycle of clutter and clean. 

People like to have a beginning and an ending.  It gives us a feeling that we accomplished something, which always makes me feel good.  It brings out the happy vibe, my personal goal in this lifetime, to be genuinely happy.  Every little bit of the nectar of happiness counts and adds up, just like when we were kids and we saved out coins.  It added up and allowed us to buy something super.

Save up happiness points, it is like saving pennies in a piggy bank.  Every time we complete something, it gives us a little bit of inner bliss that we add to the bliss bank within our souls.  The place where all the good vibes are stored and add up so that the rainy day blues are kept at bay.

Create an Organization Plan.

Step one:  Take pictures of your living areas

Step two:  Pick one room.  Determine how much time you have to spend on cleaning.  If you have a short time available to you, break the room up into sections.  Use the picture to help you to see which area would be the best place for you to start. 

Step Three:  Start.  Put on music if you must, but get moving.  Once you start moving you will build up momentum and realize the cleaning job wasn't as bad as you thought it would be.  There's a Universal Law of Nature that something in motion remains in motion. 

Step Four:  Move.  Move your body and clean.  Start at the top and work toward the bottom.  Dry clean first and then if necessary finish up with wet cleaning. 

Step Five (or it could be step four): If you have a huge disorganized mess, sort your stuff.  Make piles and put all like things in one pile.  Next, sort each pile and determine if you really need it or if it can be thrown away or donated to good will.

Step Six:  Once you have your sort piles of stuff, measure the piles and determine how many clear plastic containers that you'll need. 

A helpful tip is to buy the containers AFTER you have cleaned and sorted your things.  Buying the containers after, helps you to keep the project under control.  Bringing in containers too soon, too many or too few, not the right size... all of these annoyances will take the focus off your original task of  decluttering.  You will just add to the clutter if you bring the containers in too soon.

Step Seven:  Label each plastic container.  Put in a manifest of all the items that you placed in the box.  Using clear plastic containers allows you to write on a piece of paper and place it on the inside so that you can read on the outside of the box, what's inside. 

Another twist to this idea is what I had started to do with my own stuff that I use when I do home staging.  I took pictures of all of the items that I placed in the box and taped the pictures to the inside of the clear plastic container, facing outward so that I can quickly see what is inside the box.

Step Eight:  When you get your mail, stand over the recycle bin and make a decision on junk mail.  I get a bunch of catalogues.   Before the catalogue even lands on a flat surface, I look at it quickly and if nothing catches my attention, it lands in the recycle bin.  I have less paper clutter when I address the stuff immediately.

Creating a plan to attack the clutter will be time well invested in your future happiness quotient.  Breaking the task of decluttering into small projects will make the task less daunting.  Especially if you have a gargantuan mess.

I remember my cousin Josie, when we were together at my Uncle Al's house, she would always talk about dishes that she had to do at home, or laundry, or whatever.  One day my dad said to her, "Josie, you know that every time you talk about doing those chores, you are doing them in your mind, over and over and over again.  If you just do the task, then you are free to think of other things that are more enjoyable than the drudgery of housework."

Often when I find myself thinking of cleaning a cluttered area that needs attention, I hear my dad's voice in my head, telling me exactly what he told his cousin Josie 30 + years ago, just do it now and free your mind to think of more enjoyable thoughts which will create a happier tomorrow for you.

And that's how to get started on attacking clutter.

No comments:

Post a Comment