Either by reading her book; ‘The life-changing magic of tidying up’ or by watching the Netflix show; ‘Tidying up with Marie Kondo’, people are finally realizing how therapeutic tidying can be. Marie Kondo has made decluttering a trendy habit!
We could talk for hours about how tidying can have a powerful healing effect on our lives, however, today I am going to focus on a single consequence of decluttering. I want to share with you how this consequence can be a great source of motivation for finally taking action, and explain how a bit of Emotional Intelligence can help us make the task a little easier.
Decluttering will lead to making your Dreams come true.
Why we build up and keep our clutter
Before we look at this benefit, it’s useful to know where all this stuff in our houses has come from in the first place. As per usual, a bit of self-awareness as to why we keep the things we do will inevitably help us let go of it for the right reasons later on.
1.We associate objects we own with our identity.
Thanks to brands and companies working tirelessly to promote the idea of a product being associated with a lifestyle, we often use our possessions to show the kind of person we are. These products usually enhance a quality we value in ourselves. For example, a person who values being perceived as stylish may have a large or expensive collection of clothing, a ‘successful’ person may have a luxury car, or multiple vehicles. These items are hard to let go (without replacing them with a shinier/newer one) because they leave a hole in the picture of who we are!
2. Sentimentalism and Memories
We link the objects we own with past memories where they were present. This is especially prevalent with elderly people who have had a lifetime of experience to collect from, but fewer experience in the future to look forward to. We keep photographs, souvenirs from places we visit, or presents we receive and we have a hard time letting go of them because of the memories they conjure up.
3. The ‘Just in case Syndrome’
Welcome to your cable drawer! Dead technology is a prime culprit, but We random objects of all sorts, in case we need them in the future. People who struggle with this usually have a scarcity mindset and they act through fear;
Worried that they will be left unprepared for every eventuality, or forced to repurchase something they just threw out!
4. Freebie Addiction:
Who doesn’t love a freebie? Lots of marketing strategies like 2for1 use our love of a good deal to their advantage. However, we are often left with more than we need and then we feel bad to throw the leftovers away. As the saying says: Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
It’s obvious that decluttering can be a bit of a task, just thinking about it feels like an effort! So what consequence could possibly provide good enough motivation?
So here it is:
Decluttering enables you to create all those spaces that are essential for doing the things you love.
Here are some examples to help explain this a little, but you can probably think of your own.
Let’s say you want to start the habit of painting after work: Imagine the feeling of coming home to an easel with a fresh canvas set up, a desk with only the things you need on it; pens, paints and water, and your favourite chair that didn’t need to be cleared of random stuff before sitting down. How easy would it be to get started? Vs. returning to a space full of mess and items that needed to be cleared away, and where even is that chair?
Or perhaps you’re determined to cook a nice breakfast but when you get up you find a kitchen cluttered with all the dishes from the night before. Instead of turning the lights on to clean surfaces, a sharp knife and ingredients ready and waiting, you have to do extra effort by tidying before you can even start!
Considering the time of year and the fact this is 2019, maybe one of your New Years’ Resolutions was to be make more progress with an online project, but your laptop’s desktop is completely cluttered with all kinds of unrelated files and folders, and every time you try and save, your memory is full!
When deciding to continue, or start something we enjoy that requires effort, having a space set up for that activity is a great way to make it easy to get into, and as
Decluttering is the art of discarding the things that you don’t need and deciding where to put the things that you love, it can help you make those spaces.
Let go to Move forward
In conclusion, in order to move forward, evolve and become a better version of ourselves we need to let go of our clutter. Unnecessary mess prevents us from focusing, and from valuing and seeing what we love most, so if you are not willing to declutter, the process of getting where you want to be will become much harder.
If you are not sure whether this applies to you, try the following: Imagine a future version of yourself, doing something you love at home. In an ideal world, what does your environment for that task look and feel like? Or for the Instagrammers amongst you, when you take a photograph of your favourite thing, do you point and shoot, or do you carefully remove any distracting elements from the frame first!
Tips for Tidying
Identify why you keep different clutter and act accordingly. I invite you to divide your possessions in three categories (better to do this process through sections as Kondo recommends: Clothes, kitchen utensils, etc.)
- GIVE AWAY- Objects that are not valuable in the market but still work: There are things that you cannot sell but that might have value to others: Clothes, books. Think of how happy other people could be receiving them if you gave them away. You can choose a charity or just give it to people you know!
- SELL – Objects with a financial value that are useful: To make it easier to let go, think of what you could buy with the money you make, and the enjoyment someone else will get from the object you no longer use. A friend of mine had a collection of high heels that she didn’t wear anymore. She hated to let them go, but if there was one thing she loved more than shoes, it was NEW shoes. She had 20 pairs. I encouraged her to sell them and buy 4 brand-new pairs with the money she obtained. Everyone wins: People were so happy with the old shoes and she got to go shoe shopping!
- RECYCLE – Objects that are neither valuable nor useful: Recycling feels good, you help the planet and you will feel freed from things that you don’t need. Think about it: are you keeping any broken, really old, unhelpful objects…? Why? What is that telling you about who you want to become? Throw them away, free your brain.
Remember, the idea is not to throw everything, but to only keep the things that you love and bring you joy! Once that you have done the first big clean up it will be effortless to maintain the habit.
Are you ready for it?
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Love and Satisfaction,