This is what happens when you have taken the time to clear out the clutter, organize your space, and then a week later it seems like you are right back at square one. The clutter has returned and you wonder what happened!
I thought this time it would be different!
I got rid of so much extra stuff!
Why can’t I keep things tidy???
It feels like all that hard work was for nothing and I can understand the frustration. But there is a way to clear the clutter, reclaim you space and keep it that way. It has to do with habits.
I have been thinking about this a lot lately as it seems that clearing, sorting, and organizing is just one stop on the journey to a tidy, clutter-free space. The next stop involves changing habits.
Here’s what I mean
You had a long day, running from place to place, picking up and dropping kids, managing meetings. All you want to do as you walk in the door is set down that pile of mail, papers, bags, and head to the couch.
If you set all of that stuff in the doorway or on the kitchen counter, it will be there waiting when you wake up the next day; staring at you to take care of it, but you will already have a list of things that needs your attention, so the pile will have to wait.
And then it will get added to, and then, and then… until you are buried in clutter again.
That sounds defeating, so let’s quickly clear that sad story from our minds and imagine a different way. What if you were able to gather just a bit more energy as you walked in the door and took 2 mins. to walk from room to room and deliver those items that followed you in the door to the areas where they belong? The mail to the “action items” box on your desk, the papers to the recycling, the books to the coffee table, and the grocery bags back to the car to be used on the next trip.
Ahhh… It took a little extra push, but the pile is gone and you are ready to shift your focus to decompressing.
It takes a little work to create new habits. Thought and diligence are needed to get those habits to become automatic & easy, but it is worth it. Eventually, those little shifts will make a BIG difference.
Challenge yourself this wk. to think of one area in your home that continues to become stuck under piles and rethink the situation. What could you tweak in your routine to make that pile disappear? What are the little shifts in habits that might create big changes in the long run?
A tidy house isn’t about perfection. Things can get messy, spread out, and used, but the key is that when you are ready to clear the spaces it won’t take long, because everything has a home. Tidying can be quick and pain-free when you create habits that keep the clutter from growing again.
If you need more inspiration and ideas on what habits to tweak in your favor & inspiration to get started then read on …
Gretchen Rubin has a new book out “Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of our Everyday Lives,” all about tendencies & habit creation. I have read her other books on happiness and I am in the process of reading this one now. I always appreciate her insight on setting yourself up for success!
Christine Carter’s book “The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work” is full of stories & practical tips that you can begin to implement right away. She is an expert on habit formation and even teaches a FREE 12-wk. course called 90 Days to a New Habit (that Sticks!). I took a version of this course a few years ago & it was motivating!
Let me know what you try & how it goes. Sharing creates even more ideas & might inspire someone else to try what is working for you!