Do you ever feel like you’ve been organizing for so long but not getting anywhere? It’s highly likely that you feel lack of progress because you’re skipping these five critical steps that need to take place BEFORE you organize:
Before you even lift a finger, I’d like for you to take a comfortable position and meditate not only on the space you are about to organize, but more importantly on your personal values, such as spending quality time with loved ones. Ask yourself: What does total alignment between your inner and outer spaces feel and look like? What routines take place in this space? How do the items within the space help support your ideal life? After taking a moment to picture your ideal space in your mind’s eye, describe your vision as vividly as possible in a journal. This visualization exercise is important because--I’m not going to lie--organizing is hard and emotional work but the payoff is so satisfying if and when you get there. Having a compelling reason to push through the discomfort and a way to reference your vision is what will help you keep going.
Now that you have your amazing vision for your space, commit to it. Prove to yourself that your wellness is THE highest priority by scheduling and dedicating a significant amount of time into your calendar to transforming your space. Too often, we tell ourselves that we will “get to it later” and don’t mindfully block off time for organizing. As a result, organizing gets pushed further and further down the to-do list. Avoid this pitfall by building some accountability into your project. For instance, you can enlist the help of someone like a Clutter Coach, who is not emotionally attached to your belongings and can help keep you on track. It is also a good idea to clear your social calendar while you are organizing, so that you don't get pulled into distracting directions.
Specifically, you need to make a plan for the items that you will not be keeping. If you fail to come up with an exit strategy to get your unwanted items out of your house IMMEDIATELY, you risk living with those things INDEFINITELY. My recommendation is to have opaque garbage bags and boxes ready prior to your decluttering session and to move them out of your living space as soon as you are done decluttering for the day. Do this each time you declutter, rather than wait to amass a large donation pile. If you cannot do a donation drop-off the same day, then put the unwanted items in the trunk of your car, so they’re less likely to become an ever-growing, and ever-menacing mound of clutter.
4. Practice Gratitude
A lot of people struggle with decluttering because they worry they will need an item as soon as they let go of it. Others find the idea of letting go of something they paid for to be wasteful without realizing that not using that very thing is equally wasteful. Here we see scarcity mindset at play. You can overcome this by keeping a gratitude journal. This practice trains you to operate from an abundance mindset and makes it easier to part with items that no longer serve you, so that you can make room for all that does.
Organizing without first decluttering is essentially moving junk around. Here’s the truth: anything that takes up space, also takes up time and energy. So, if you want to to cut down the amount of time in the future that you spend tidying up your home, it would be wise to declutter as much as possible before you start organizing (ie. finding logical homes within your home for your stuff).
Are you practicing all five of these pre-organizing steps? I hope this post has shed light on the most common pitfalls that lead to you feeling drained and constantly pouring energy into upkeeping your home even though you technically “organized” it already. If you need any assistance, you know you can always reach out to me. Book a complimentary Compatibility Call to see if my Clutter Coaching program is a good fit for you! Happy Pre-Organizing!