Recently when I started to describe what I do as a professional organiser and how I can help others with overwhelm around their environment, I mentioned de-cluttering, organising or tidying their things and paperwork. I noticed the quizzical look of my listener “isn’t it all the same thing?” he asked hesitantly.
They can all bring the same result, and reduce stress. However someone who likes lots of things, a collector for example, may not want to de-clutter, but feel the need to be more organised and know where to find things.
DE-CLUTTERING is a thinking process, and all about making decisions. What to keep and what to let go of, do we use it, do we even like it, and is it a treasure or a pleasure. Where could it go (if I no longer hold onto it) that would be useful to others, or environmentally good for the planet?
For most of us de-cluttering is the stumbling block, it is often charged with emotions over what was or what might have been. It can be intense and leave us drained, it can lead to guilt or shame, remembering the cost to acquire. Mostly we don’t even want to open this can of worms and so, find easy ways to avoid it altogether.
It is at these times, when it can be helpful to have someone with you who has no emotional link to your things, yet with kindness, can clarify the questions, and the reasons for keeping the momentum going, whilst you’re still making the final decisions. Often people will ask a family member or trusted friend, and although it is preferable to have someone that you feel safe and comfortable with, this could bring its own stress and strain on that relationship, if there is resistance or disagreements. Time could be limited and you feel rushed or pushed to make a choice.
When avoidance tactics come into play we could consider what it is costing us emotionally, to keep these things around us. Are they keeping the past hovering on our future plans? Are we holding on too tightly to the future we had intended, when in reality it’s no longer viable? With mountains of paperwork in the home office, is it blocking productivity or creativity?
ORGANISING is also a thinking process but much less emotionally charged. Having let go of things we no longer need, we can now decide on logical homes for remaining items to live. Group relevant things together, eg this is my hobby space; this is where all instruction manuals are kept. When things have a home, it saves us time and money.
No more wasting time looking for things and no longer buying duplicate items, (A place for everything and everything in its place). Storage solutions can be kept simple, mainly for the seasonal or hobby items.
TIDYING is more about returning the items to where they belong.
This can be done regularly, as things get out of place, a quick tidy up before the guests arrive, or in the morning as you leave the house, it’s an easier routine to manage, when everything has a place.
All of the above processes create space and shift energy. In most cases it can change how we think and feel about our environment, for the better.