You've heard of the book, "Think and Grow Rich" and you've probably heard people talk about a poverty mindset but as strange as is might sound at first in the organizing world there's a clutter bug's mindset too.Mindsets shape the lives we lead, the actions we take and the future possibilities of the world we live in. Ghandi said it best,
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
your thoughts become your words,
your words become your actions,
your actions become your habits,
your habits become your values,
your values become your destiny.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
You could say, clutter all starts in your head. It's part of who you are. Yet, you can change. By thinking new thoughts!
This doesn't happen overnight.
Bad habits are easy but they didn't happen overnight either. Think about brushing your teeth. Do you floss? Did your parents? How were you taught to brush? When do you brush? How often?Chances are good you were taught to brush your teeth in the morning and in the evening. My mother had two toothbrushes to help her stay in the twice a day habit. The floss always sat next to her evening tooth brush. I don't do that but it worked for her.In a similar way, your brain was trained to not deal with clutter. It's easy to just, set the mail down. Deal with it later. Perhaps you'll just put those dishes in the sink, you can deal with it later.
This happened a few times and now you're in the habit of doing it later.
Not a big deal really but when you're surrounded by clutter it's overwhelming and hard to know where to start. Suzanna Kaye, creator of the 365 Project discovered that the place to start, is our thoughts. Putting systems in place and labeling things is only half of organizing. It truly starts in our thoughts.Changing the moment of decision from, I'll do that later to, I've got this.My mom had the right idea. She had given herself the mental preparation to brush twice a day. Then she put the supplies needed in the bathroom where she would need them. It was taking the thought, making the goal, equipping the goal. All that was left was the actual activity of brushing and flossing. She'd see her supplies each night as she changed into her pj's and it was all the prompting she needed. Her mother had dentures. She didn't want that and made sure she had the proper behavior to back up the goal.
Try it for yourself. Pick one area.
Use this blog to be strategic and get tips for that space. Know why you're doing it. You might need more than, it looks pretty. My Mom needed the fear of dentures. She's an upholder for those of you familiar with the Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. I'm a rebel, I floss when I feel like it cause I don't want to be average. So flossing is more often than not.Look at your mindset when you walk into a cluttered room. Teach yourself to try baby steps. One little improvement at a time. No big purging needed. Train yourself to stop buying new things but putting things away so you can easily locate what you need.If you need further help or simply want the expert, check out the 365 project. It's got accountability and daily lessons to create the life and home you've always wanted.
Suzanna Kaye is a professional organizer and owner of Spark! Organizing, LLC.
She has special experience with organization for office, financial, ADD/ADHD, elderly, disabled, overwhelmed and special needs. With the belief that cluttered people are some of the most creative and interesting people she knows, she loves working with her clients in a supportive and loving environment.