The secret to home and office organizing that works really starts with your mindset. These three tips will get you started on a path to streamlined success!
Have you ever thought that some people are just made to have an easier time being organized? (And that maybe you’re not one of them?!)
While there may be some traits that do make organization a little easier, the real secret to home and office organizing that works actually starts with your mindset. And mental blocks are one of my favorite areas to coach clients through, because they get these amazing “AHA!” moments that help discover a whole new relationship with their spaces.
Here are three ideas to get you started:
1.Let go of the “I was gonna’s”
Many of us have so many good intentions…e.g., collections and/or half-finished projects that we are definitely “gonna get to.” When working with clients, we may begin to unpack closets, workrooms and garages, and find ourselves faced with both a pile of stuff, and (potentially), an added burden of regrets.
How long have you been saying you’re “gonna scrapbook those pictures”? Or saving those t-shirts to make that quilt for your kiddo? And are you holding on to something because you want to see if X wants or needs it?
It’s important to get real: how realistic was it that you could actually get to all those projects, in the middle of your very full life?
Cut yourself some slack and evaluate the level of joy you and/or your family will get from the project you had planned, vs having your attention in the here and now. If you decide to keep the items, we’ll find a home for it.
But if some of these are primarily taking over your life and space, and getting in the way of your home and office organizing, it may be time to get honest with yourself, release the pressure, and let it all go.
2.Focus on who’ll be happiest
Many people ALSO have a hard time letting things go because they want someone they know to want or need heirloom/old items.
If your family members need whatever you’re getting rid of, fabulous! But if they DON’T need your old set of dishes, and you’re keeping them in the hopes that someday they will, remember, someone out there may need and want those dishes NOW.
It’s ok if it’s not someone you know or in your family.
Focus on the good deed you are doing by donating them, and how happy you’re going to make that person that desperately needs or wants them. Whatever you do, don’t pass your clutter on to someone you care about to make yourself feel better about letting it go.
3.Reframe the whole MONEY matter
Home and office organizing can bring up money mindset issues, too. Often clients struggle to let go of things they aren’t using because they see it as throwing away (or giving away) money. But keeping what you don’t need won’t put that money back in your wallet!
Instead, think of the space those things are using as real estate that is worth money as well. Is that item worth the real estate it’s taking up? How else could you use that space?
If the money still has you hung up, flip the narrative and instead feel good about letting someone less fortunate get a good deal when they buy it from a thrift shop.
How to get past your mental blocks to home and office organizing
Often mental blocks like these prevent us from ridding our homes of items that have gone from being useful delightsto dust-collecting anchors. These blocks may have grown up over time, or we may have adopted them from others, but either way, if we want to move forward and create spaces we love, we need a secret weapon that can help us blast through them!
If you’re struggling to decide whether to keep something or let it go, I find the following questions can help uncover what your gut instincts are telling you, and help you understand how important items REALLY are to you:
- How would you feel if it was lost/destroyed?
- When is the last time you used it? When do you picture yourself using it again?
- If the need/occasion arises, WILL you use/wear it again, or are you more likely to buy new?
- For items you are saving for a family member, is it worth the space in your home to save for an infinite amount of time? Is it more likely that they will want to buy their own?
For anything you are struggling to let go of, negotiate with yourself whether it’s worth the space it’s taking up in your home. (You could even make a pile of all the items to visibly see how much space you are losing, and how much more you could have!) And check out this article we did on what to do with what you don’t need.
In the end, the true secret to home and office organizing that works is reminding yourself of your goals for your space. For each area, consider if your choices are moving you toward your goals or away from them. You’ll get there—one item at a time. And if you’d like some help, send out an SOS—call SOS by Lisa!