Right now everyone is watching the Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, and people are cleaning out everything. And you know what, I couldn’t be happier. I LOVE IT! People are seeing the power of getting rid of stuff. They are realizing that there is a tie between physical clutter and mental clutter. When you live in an untidy, overly cluttered space, so many other areas are affected. Your relationships, your stress level, and your entire mindset. Of course, we could go waaaayyy into the psychology behind all of this and the bigger issues at hand here, but we won’t. Instead, let’s talk about organizing your life.
Let’s say you have rooms or an attic full of boxes you need to go through, closets overflowing with clothes you don’t wear, a car that appears as if you’re living out of it. You also have a full-time job, a full-time business, a part-time job, or you stay at home with your kids. OR your kids are all out of the house and so much of their stuff is still at your house. Not to mention a social life, volunteer work, your church, and any other outside obligations. You’re busy. I get it. So you feel in over your head and you have no clue where to begin. Where do you start? How do you even get the ball rolling if you feel totally overwhelmed?
Here’s how to get started:
Pick the area that you feel the most overwhelmed by.
Is your house causing you a lot of stress? Are you feeling like your business is running you? Is your calendar so packed full that you don’t have time to sit down? Do your finances feel out of control? Where do you feel the most overwhelmed?
Start there. And start small.
Let’s say your calendar has you stressing. Print it off (if it’s digital) or open up your paper calendar and look at the month. Just this month. What’s stressing you out the most? The social obligations? Committed to too many things? Figure out what’s not working and what you need to stop doing. You get to decide what you want to take on and what you don’t. Or maybe you need to get help. No shame in the asking for help game. Figure out what’s stretching you too much and what you need to stop doing.
Or, maybe your bathroom drawers are overflowing with products you rarely use, but you find yourself continuing to take samples at Sephora. Start there. I think the KonMari method is great, which goes in order by category and she recommends going in that specific order. I don’t disagree, but if you’re totally overwhelmed and short on time, that might be too much for you. If you’re in the bathroom, start with all of the products. Then the makeup. Then the makeup brushes. Then the towels. That little bit of progress will build the momentum you need. I love the idea of going in order, taking it all out and holding each item in your hand to see what sparks joy, but you don’t want to start this off by piling up all of your clothes, feel overwhelmed and quit the whole thing leaving a pile of clothes in your floor for weeks. I’d rather you enjoy this process enough to have small wins and keep making progress.
Do one thing per day.
Only focus on one thing at a time. Just your business, closet, car, schedule, finances, or whatever it is that is you are struggling with most. And then just one thing within that category. Finances stressing you out? Instead of getting out all of the bills, receipts, setting a budget, and putting your info into a budgeting app, start by printing out the last three months of expenses and highlighting them by category. Once that task is completely done, move on to the next. Do this one day at a time or one weekend at a time.
Give yourself a timeline and plan ahead.
Plan to have your entire house done in three months. Or one month. Plan to have your finances done by February. Or make February the finance month and focus solely on that. Put it on your calendar like you would anything else. Don’t let this pile up on your to-do list and never get done, only to leave you with more stuff and feeling more stressed. Commit to it.
Finally, I will say that I loved the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I’m loving the Netflix series just as much. If you’re ready to go all in, reading the book and following her method is an amazing way to do so. And if you want to get your life in order, I know a coach. 😉