We don’t complete a task or reach a goal unless we put ourselves in the right mindset to achieve those goals.
The same is true for organizing your home.
Here are some mindset shifts that will help you reach those home organization goals you’ve set for yourself this year.
Old mindset – I can’t let go of these things; they remind me of someone special.
New mindset: Memories last forever, not objects
Items that have sentimental value are the hardest to let go. We believe they hold the key to our memory and experiences with that person, but it’s not necessarily the case in reality. These items can trigger your memory, but if you aren’t using them in your daily life, it may be causing you stress and anxiety due to the overwhelming clutter in your home.
Consider triggering your memory with other cues such as a picture. Take a picture of the item and use that to trigger the memory. Then put those pictures in a decorative photo album and put it on a coffee table. Now you can look at those pictures daily and remember as opposed to being packed away in a storage area of your home- rarely taken out and enjoyed—all the while giving you more space and less clutter.
Old mindset: All my stuff brings me joy and happiness
New mindset: More stuff doesn’t make life better
Yes, we can experience joy and happiness from our things. Especially if that object repeatedly brings us joy, like a car taking us from one place to another. But when we have more than we need or duplicates or items we never use- do they make life better?
Science tells us that when we first purchase something, we get excited and happy, but it’s usually temporary. After a short while, the excitement and happiness it brought begins to fade and, at some point, may become clutter. And science tells us that clutter can lead to unhappiness and even cause us to gain weight!
Another reason why too much stuff may lead to less joy in our lives is the competition trap.
Someone else will always have more. If you’re always trying to buy more things to make you happy, you might wake up one day and find you wasted so much time trying to accumulate that you missed out on your life and happiness.
Old mindset: I can’t give this away, (fill in the blank) gave this to me.
New mindset: Gifts are not life sentences.
We tend to put ourselves in the gift-giver role when we receive a gift. We tell ourselves that we can’t let go because a friend or loved one had spent money. But that doesn’t really make much sense because if we kept every gift we were given, our home would be full and we would be keeping things that we don’t even want.
Let it go! Donate it!
Old mindset: what if I need this someday
New mindset: I haven’t used this in 6 months
Just in case isn’t a thing.
In this day and age, we have everything we need at our fingertips- literally.
With a few clicks of the mouse, we can have most items delivered to our homes within 24 hours or a few days. If you don’t even want to wait that long, you can get in your car, drive to a store, and get what you need.
Yes, this may cost you money in the future, but this is one of the decisions you need to make. Do you use this item- or are you keeping this item just in case?
I’m here to tell you, just in case is not a reason to keep an item.
If you haven’t used it in the past year, you are likely not to use it in the future. So let it go. If you do need it in the future, you might be able to borrow it from someone, or you can purchase it at your local shopping center. Or order it online.
Keeping things just- in -case means it’s taking up valuable space but isn’t useful to your everyday life. It’s not even for sentimental reasons. Lose the just-in-case stuff to make room for the sentimental or valuable items you want to keep.
Live in the present; deciding whether an item adds value to your life now is easier than trying to see into the future if you’ll need it then.
Old mindset: I don’t have time
New mindset: I do have time
One of the tricks that clutter can play is that it signals our brain that there is too much to do. So we tend to shut down, cancel plans, and time seems limited. When we have more organized space, we feel less overwhelmed and can take on more. Therefore, decluttering can give us a sense of more time to tackle more things in our day.
According to NAPO, we spend an average of 1 year of our lives looking for lost items. YIKES!
Organizing your home will give you more time to spend on more important things.
Old mindset: it’s too expensive to get organized
New mindset: Not being organized is costing me more
Americans collectively spend billions of dollars a year replacing lost items on average. Not to mention the time spent looking and shopping for those replacement items.
But even more than money- psychologically, clutter can cost us our health from the stress of too much stuff; it can cause us to procrastinate, feel overwhelmed, and even affect our sleep. Check out our podcast for more information on the cost of clutter.
You may be very surprised to hear how much clutter is costing you!
Btw, some people will think that it costs too much for pretty storage bins and organizers. But today, there are tools for organization for every budget.
Tip: if you don’t have a big budget, focus on functionality over aesthetics. I know it’s easy to get caught up in the prettiness of home organization. Still, when you have everything in its place neatly organized, it won’t matter that you used a woven basket with a ribbon or its plastic alternative. You’ll just be happy that it has a home. Check out some of our favourite home organizing products HERE.
Home organization is something everyone on any budget can do. If you’ve been putting off decluttering and organizing your home, we hope these mindset shifts for an organized home will help you in your journey.
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