I want you to close your eyes and envision that one space in your home that makes you absolutely crazy.
It’s cluttered, it’s disorganized, and every time you find the motivation to freshen it up, a few days later it’s back to the hot mess it started as.
Now I want you to think about the things you say to yourself when you see this space. Do you blame life circumstances, other members of your family, or yourself for not being able to manage it well? If so, then please know that I’ve been there, done that. But what I’ve learned over time is that living inside of my head and faulting either others in my household or myself for the messes in my home was not getting me anywhere positive. And I don’t know about you, but living in a state of resentment is not a fun place to be.
If you’re connecting with what I’m sharing and are ready to make major changes in the way you view the seemingly perpetually untidy spaces in your home, then I’d like to encourage you to start doing what I did: Stop blaming and start doing. In order to create clutter-free, organized systems that work for you and your family, you need to shift out of the perspective of being upset and angry and into one of being a real-life problem-solver.
In order to move from a state of blame and frustration into one of awareness and action, try moving through the three questions shared here.
Question #1: How does the space currently make me feel?
By connecting an emotion with the target space, you’re able to bring mindfulness to the situation. Becoming mindful then allows you to become more aware of what your needs are, rather than keeping you stuck in a cycle of negative ruminating thoughts.
Question #2: What specifically is encouraging this emotion?
Is it the paper that keeps gathering on the corner of your kitchen counter? Is it the dirty clothing that keeps piling up in the corner of your bathroom floor? Or is it the shoes that keep landing in every space of the home other than “where they’re supposed to be”? Identify specifically what is leading to your negative emotion so that you can begin tackling the issue with a problem-solving mindset.
Question #3: How can I solve this problem once and for all?
Now that you understand what’s truly leading to your negative feelings about the focus space, brain dump ideas on how to solve the problem. I mean it… Go get a piece of paper and a pen, and start writing down ways to conquer the issue at hand.
If the paper on the kitchen counter is driving you bonkers, consider designating a paper drawer or purchasing a wall organizer to store incoming and outgoing mail in.
If dirty clothes keep piling up on the bathroom floor, then identify where you could add a hamper so that the clothing will land there instead.
If your kids' shoes are collecting everywhere other than "where they're supposed to", then consider decluttering their shoe collections or brainstorming how to add baskets, shoe racks, etc. to common drop zones in order to obtain more family buy-in. (PS-Just because the shoes belong somewhere in your mind does not mean they belong there in the minds of your family members. It's tough to hear, but it's true.)
Now that you've brought intentional awareness into the situation, it's time to get into action.
Do not wait another moment. Now that you've identified what the problem is and have brainstormed reasonable solutions for it, the only way to tackle it is to commit to taking immediate action.
Do you need to see your mail in order to remember to open it, but don’t want it landing all over the kitchen counter? Get yourself a wall-based paper organizer from Amazon* or this organizer favorite from 1Thrive. (*associate link)
Will investing in some additional hampers save you from losing your marbles? Buy a hamper for each space in your home where random garments tend to land.
Will adding a giant shoe basket or shoe rack with enough levels for each family member to place their kicks on completely eliminate the whole shoes-everywhere issue? Head to your local HomeGoods store or, once again, log onto Amazon to purchase a containment option that fits the needs of all the members of your household.
The simple truth is this, my friend… When you bring awareness to any clutter-related situation in your home, then you'll be able to move into action and initiate the positive, maintainable change you've been seeking. You have the strategies... Now go get 'em.