Last week we took a look at some action steps to help us find our downtime in our days. First, It involved taking an inventory of what our days look like now. Then we write out what we wanted our days to look like. Lastly, we added our priorities and obligations AND downtime onto our calendar. Once we make the effort to find the time, we can hop off auto-pilot and start living the life we want to live, not just the one that slips away because we are stuck in the trenches constantly. This week, we are slowing down even more by taking charge of our environment.
Most of us have it. It can be shoved into closets, basements, and garages. Sometimes its even in drawers and all over counter tops. Some of you may be asking what clutter has to do with slowing down. For that, I have a simple response: what clutters the house, clutters the mind. In order to slow down our lives (and brains) we need to create space. Space in our schedule and space in our homes. Open space, clean space, and relaxing space. There is freedom and contentment to be found in simple and less.
Start extremely small
This is a job that can get overwhelming very quickly I promise you that. So to avoid the overwhelm and procrastination and eventual failing, start extremely small. Your wallet or purse small. Take 10 minutes and tackle 1 small job: utensil drawer, coat rack, front of fridge, medicine cabinet, wallet. Then see how you feel. Usually, I feel energized to do another small area in that same room. Before you know it, one whole room is decluttered. We have taken out the things that aren’t used or that do not bring me some sort of benefit. Do this a couple times a week and you will be making giant strides. Even break down the bigger projects, like the garage, into smaller time increments. Say 15 minutes a day for a week straight.
After you finish those first few decluttering projects, how do you feel? Lighter, at ease, and energized area a lot of what I hear from people. Imagine coming into your home and not being nagged by the pile of bills on the counter or the stress of not being able to find what you need in the junk drawer. When we have less clutter, our lives run more smoothly. Our brain can function better for the things we like and love without all the background noise trying to grab our attention.
Don’t get me wrong, for the most part decluttering does feel good. There are, however, some feelings that are totally normal to pop up: fear, resistance, regret, and a lot sentimental connections. Like I said, these things are totally normal and okay to take some time to process. What it comes down to is remembering your reason why for decluttering and what is important to you.
maintaining the space
So you have decluttered, now what? Now you need some systems, routines, and processes in place so that the clutter does not magically reappear. This is the hard part. Things like reducing consumption, not buying so many things, and letting go of things you do not need are REALLY REALLY hard to do because the behaviors are based on keeping you safe and secure. I urge you to just start to become aware of your current environment and habits and see where that awareness can take you.
Need a hand at opening up some space in your schedule, home, or life? I would love to help you create habits and routines that support you to live a life that feels good (517) 234-4420.