With the turning of the season, as we awaken from our winter doldrums, we may have noticed an accumulation of things cluttering our spaces: piles of old papers, documents needed for taxes buried under old mail, clothes that need mending, bags of holiday wrap and a host of miscellaneous items strewn on the dining room table. Now is the time to address those things.
Clearing space clears our minds. It gets us out of the groggy spell which clutter induces. We can redirect our energies to putting our time and attention on the things we need by getting into action. Where previously we’d face this accumulation of stuff and want to go back to sleep, when our areas are cleared, we have the freedom and choice to make new decisions. We become energized and motivated as we reclaim trapped/blocked energy.
So how do we get there? We got to this point by not making decisions and not paying attention to our things. We habitually piled things in corners and on tables and, over time, the piles grew and became more unwieldy and unmanageable.Procrastination was our friend and it supported us in waiting until “tomorrow” or “later”. Yet tomorrows came and went and the piles grew bigger and more unmanageable until we could no longer get into our garage or close a cupboard door.
So how do we get out of it? It takes one paper at a time, one pile, one box and bag, and to continue sorting and making decisions of what to keep and what to discard. Do we have designated places for what we’re keeping? Do we have places that can take these items and do they make sense for holding such things? Is our space too small for what we have? Do we need to eliminate more? Are we using the storage space to the best of its abilities? Can it be used better and more effectively? Why are we keeping piles of old magazines? Are there clothes, tools, kitchen items that have outlived their usefulness? Make those decisions and the clutter dissolves.
So how do we maintain it? Maintaining our spaces requires new habits and new behaviors. If we keep throwing our mail onto the dining room table, if we toss our clothes onto the floor, if we keep saving boxes, plastic and paper bags then we will quickly revert to where we once were. Only by instilling new behaviors can we change the outcome of the space. When mail comes in, we make an immediate or near immediate decision about what’s recyclable, what’s to shred and on what’s to take action. When we undress, dirty clothes enter the dirty clothes bin and clean ones get rehung. We make decisions in the moment so the lapse of time doesn’t create another cluster of things. New behavior leads to new habits. It takes less time to put the item away in the moment than to handle it multiple times and never reach resolution.
With the arrival of Spring, what a perfect time to address problem areas and get clarity and order restored to your home and office. Start making decisions about your things so they don’t rule you and your space. Creative Space Organizing offers professional organizing and interior design for Oakland, Marin, SF, Walnut Creek and Contra Costa and the surrounding area.