How to Organize Your Way to Stress-Free Living
I throw away at least one item from my house every single day.
Sometimes it is something large and cumbersome, like a duvet that has seen much better days, other times it is something small and insignificant, like a bill which has been paid, but left on the counter for far too long.
The only true goal each day is to rid my house of something which has served its purpose or is weighing me down.
Unnecessary stuff in your house can be adding to the drama in your life and you may not even realize it. Also, clutter and lack of organization can create an overwhelming environment for you.
I recall I went to a friend’s house awhile back and she was dealing with a fair bit of anxiety at the time that we were trying to get to the bottom of. When I arrived at her house, her living area looked like a bomb had blown up in it. It was cluttered and disorganized, so I suggested we make a cup of tea and pad up to her room, so that we could talk, calmly and try to figure out what was triggering her anxiety.
Upon entering her room, the first thing I noticed was a stack of almost a dozen books towering on her nightstand. “Good grief Sade, why do you have so many books on your nightstand?” I could not help but ask upon seeing the daunting stack. “Oh,” Sade responded, “Those are the books I must-read. I cannot help the stack being so big, but those are all essential reads, so they will all stay there until they are read,” she stated, matter-of-factly. “Unfortunately, I am so bloody lazy that I have to keep all of those there, as a daily reminder, until I finish those books; hell or high water,” she said, clearly disappointed in herself.
The idea of walking into your room, a place which should be peaceful and tranquil, to be slammed with a stack of failure or something you have yet to accomplish seems like something which was clearly adding to my friend’s anxiety.
“Don’t you think just keeping one book at a time on your nightstand might make the task seem less daunting?” I tentatively asked my friend, “Doesn’t this giant stack feel like a really big mountain you have to climb?” “That’s the whole point Aman,” Sade shot back at me, “I have to see these books every day, until I read them all because I do not want to let myself off of the hook until I do.”
I do not know if those books ever got read, if they are all still sitting there, with a dozen more teetering on top of the first twelve, but I know that my friend’s system was not a healthy one.
Make your house a haven. Ensure that you have a clutter-free home, filled with things you love and that bring you joy. Make sure that you rid your house of things which bring you down, have served their purpose or do not add any value. Ensure that your house is set up in such a way that it is inspiring, but not overwhelming, engaging, but not daunting, and comforting, but not cluttered.
When I moved to a new city, I lived with a friend of mine for a brief period of time. My friend’s house was filled to the brim with stuff, I could hardly believe how many things she had.
The first morning I was over, I tried to make myself a cup of coffee, but there were so many other gadgets and gizmos piled on the countertops of the kitchen, that halfway through I gave up and just walked across the street to grab my java from Starbucks.
When I returned my friend was up and grateful for the fresh cup of coffee I had brought for her as well, “Thank you,” she said gratefully. We settled onto her couch to start our lazy Saturday with a nice chat session and I had to ask,
“Why the hell do you have so much shit in your house? Like your kitchen, it sure has a lot of brand new appliances, seemingly unused, in it.” “I know,” Aleesha said, “I haven’t gotten around to using many of them, but they are all so expensive and I cannot imagine parting with them. I am sure that I will eventually make use of them.”
The idea of limiting your life by cluttering up your space with stuff that you might use one day seems preposterous to me. I have a rule in my house, especially in my kitchen: If I do not use it every single day, it cannot be visible every single day. Therefore, the only appliances I keep on my countertops are my Sodastream and my coffeemaker. Everything else I use must have a home in a cupboard because I do not utilize said items every twenty-four hours or less.
Where you live, how you think, what you think about and how you see the world are all interconnected.
A cluttered house creates a cluttered mind.
A messy house creates a messy mind.
A disorganized house creates a disorganized mind.
A house filled with broken objects of the past creates a mind that focuses on yesterday instead of today.
Start seeing your house as an extension of your mind and you will start to see the piles of dirty laundry, unfinished household projects and dusty relics of the past in a very different way.
When you begin to realize that your house must be clean, organized and inspiring you will begin to realize that the way you think will start to transform as well.
For example, when you realize that the pile of magazines from 2015 sitting under your coffee table is actually doing harm and is not harmless, so you throw them away, you rid your environment and mind of unnecessary clutter. It is like closing a tab you are not using on the computer, you are now using your energy on what matters more effectively.
It is when you begin to understand why you should throw away all those size four dresses, which you have not fit into in over a decade. It is not to admit defeat, give up on your goals of healthy eating and exercise, but to see that the space they are taking up physically and mentally are bringing you down daily.
Start with one item a day.
Do not even consider overwhelming yourself by trying to attack an entire closet or room in one day, but simply walk around your house and find one item which you can throw out, donate or sell. Instead of ignoring this recommendation and telling yourself that you will get rid of seven things on Sunday, instead of one thing per day, simply focus on ridding yourself of one item per day.
As the task slowly becomes a habit, you will realize how invigorating the task will become.
You will begin to realize that the habit of ridding the excess from your house is much more consistent and satisfying than spending an overwhelming day or weekend decluttering seasonally or annually. This daily task will also remove the need for an annual purging of your house as well. Start off slow and you will see the potential for the long term success is much higher.