To Organize or Not To Organize?

So often we think about all the reasons not to do something. We get hung up on those points instead of changing our view for the positive.  

What about if instead of dwelling on how long and difficult our commute is, we thought of it as a time to unwind and think through issues? Or learn a language or skill from a CD or sang at the top of our lungs? 

How about if we thought of how well our bodies would function and feel if we ate well and exercised regularly. However, we focus on how overweight we are and how bad we feel currently about ourselves.  

Perspective can change everything. Adjusting our views can help us progress in life.  

Taking care of and organizing our homes isn’t any different. How many reasons can you think of to put off organizing? There are so many and I’ve heard tons. Some of your reasons (and sometimes even mine!) include things like: 

  • I’m too busy 
  • I’m too tired 
  • It’s too overwhelming 
  • I don’t know where to start  
  • I don’t have anywhere to put my stuff 
  • I or someone might need this some day 

Now let’s try to look at this from a different perspective. Based on what I’ve heard from clients taking on an organizing project, there are some great reasons to stop procrastinating on yours. Stop think about how much the clutter bothers you and the reasons you can’t do it and think of the following items instead.  

1.Stress Relief on the Other Side 

It’s the same facial expression every time. At the completion (or even part way through!) of a job, the relief that can be seen on a client’s face is sincere. The physical presence of stuff has been mentally weighing them down. Instead of thinking about how overwhelmed you are about your clutter, think instead of the feeling on the other side.  

That moment when you walk into your home the days after completing an organizing project and feeling like you can breathe a sigh of relief. You aren’t greeted by piles of stuff that remains unresolved.  

2. There is Someone You DON’T Know Who Needs Your Stuff 

Note the capitalizing of DON’T. There is someone in the area who needs one of your three blenders or could use a sweatshirt to stay warm. And really, when are you ever going to wear 15 sweatshirts anyway? Someone is just getting on their feet after going through a tough time and could use your extra linens, kitchen gadgets and toys for their kids.  

Yes, you may have children who want some of your belongings to start their own lives and a friend may have a child who would enjoy your toys. How often do these occurrence’s present themselves – where friends and family are asking for your belongings? Probably not as often as you’re expecting them too. There is a greater common need coming from those not asking for help or seeking help from other areas.  

Your stuff can have a new home where it can get used and not just sit in your cabinets untouched for years. Adjust your thinking from I’m keeping this because I or someone might need it; to I’m going to give this away immediately to someone who can use it now.  

3. The More Stuff You Move With, The More Stressful 

There is a category of individuals who are in their permanent home (or at least think they are) who don’t have to worry about moving with their belongings (see below). For the rest of us, the thought of moving is incredibly daunting. Thinking about pulling out all of our stuff and throwing into boxes, finding a truck big enough or worse yet; paying someone to do it for us and having it cost 10’s of thousands. Finding a house big enough? No, most of the clients I see are trying to downsize. No wonder it’s overwhelming.  

Think a year is too far in advance to start decluttering for a new home? No way, not if you want to keep your stress level down. Change your thinking, help yourself. Take the time you need to truly evaluate what you don’t need and eliminate it from your life. When it comes times to pack and get your house on the market, you’ll already know you have the items you truly want.  

4. Your Clutter Gets Left to Family 

For those of you who are in your forever home, think down the road to when you have passed away. All those prized possessions you kept are now left for someone to go through. Your kids, your siblings, your spouse. From my experience, your loved ones don’t value most of the items the way you did. Granted, there are a number of family heirlooms and precious pieces that should absolutely be kept in the family. 

The dance costume, the 5th grade notebook, your financial records from 1992, the antique doll that creeps everyone out – they don’t want it. When you go, they will likely get rid of most of your belongings. Here’s a better idea. Go through your most valuable and memorable items. Mark them or write in a book what they mean to you. Where did you get it, why is it so important and why do you want it to be kept? If you can’t think of a good reason it should be kept, let it go.  

Transform your thinking from holding on to items that mean something to you into thinking about what’s important to your loved ones. What memories will they most cherish when you’re gone?  

Would you rather face the challenge now or procrastinate until you have no choice but to address it?  When you’re ready to take it on, reach out to me:


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