1.) Every Life Category Is Connected
We often compartmentalize our life into different categories, unaware of the synergy between them all. Our careers, relationships, health, spirituality, home, friendships, and hobbies intertwine, creating our lives.
A great way to start decluttering your life is by drawing your life categories into a pizza pie and rate them on a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being the worst, 10 being the best) or write adjectives and descriptive phrases in each category to get a bird’s eye view of how everything is flowing. You would be surprised how much of an eye-opener this can be! My clients are often shocked about the ratings they give their life.
Although they are in separate categories, always remember they are all interwoven and connected. If you are unhappy in your career, that may influence your spouse, or your health is suffering, which may affect your happiness.
If you are financially successful but unfulfilled, it will affect your happiness and peace. It is all connected. By writing everything down, you begin to see your life from a bird’s eye view, and you can determine what you need to work on, what you need to declutter, and what you need to add more of.
- Relationship with spouse
- Relationship with family
- Relationship with friends
- Relationship with colleagues
Career, dreams, goals, purpose
These can be the same thing or different. For example, your life purpose can be different from your career, but it can also be one and the same.
Health and wellness
- Your physical health
- Your nutrition
Hobbies and fun
These are things you enjoy doing simply because they make you happy
- Your relationship with your internal self
- Your relationship with a higher power (however you define that)
- Your relationship with nature
- Your internal state of peace
- Your happiness
2.) The True Meaning Of Being Organized
Living an organized life and having an organized home is not about being perfect. You do not need to have everything picture perfect out of a magazine or in color coordinated order. Although I will admit, the organizer in me loves everything in ROYGBIV order. Keep it simple. Being organized means:
- You have systems for your home and items
- You do not feel like your stuff consumes you
- You know where everything is
- Every space has a function
- Your items have a “home,” and you know where to put them
- Your home feels airy, open, and beautiful
- You have time for things that make you happy
- You have time for the most important things in life
- You do not buy duplicate things
- You are conscious of what comes in and out of your home
- You do not overbook meetings/appointments
- You feel at peace at the end of the day
Being organized simply means YOU control your life. You choose what enters your life and what you declutter. You make a conscious choice of what you buy and the experiences you have. You may have crazy days or a room that is a little messy, but for the most part, you feel organized, and your life, stuff and clutter (both mental and physical) do not take over your life.
That is what being organized is all about!
3.) Declutter Anything That Does Not Bring You Happiness
When I say the word declutter, people often think of clothes and physical items like kitchen utensils. Decluttering physical objects is very important, but it is just as important to declutter experiences, careers, relationships, friendships, living environments and anything else that does not add happiness to your life.
I have worked with many clients who feel miserable at work, have negative friends, do not love the place they live, or are unhappy in their relationship, and it is important to note you can declutter these things too.
I am not necessarily saying to call your boss and quit today, but if you are unhappy at work, this is something to think about and figure out how to declutter it from your life and fill it with meaningful and purposeful work. If you are constantly surrounded by friends who add lots of drama to your life and are always complaining and being negative, they may not be the best friends to have in your life.
If you desire friends who are positive, loving and drama free, you may have to let go of those friendships and make friends who are more aligned with your outlook on life. It may not always be a simple or quick decision, but you do have a choice. If it is not in alignment with your life, values, and mindset, declutter relationships, work, and environments so you can add new ones to your life!
4.) Christina’s 8 Minute Rule
I swear by my 8-minute rule. I usually suggest my clients use this rule for their bedroom, but it can be used for any room in the house. Set a timer for 8 minutes, and put away as many things as you can within that time. It may not sound like much, but a lot can be put away within that time. I like doing this before I go to bed. It puts my mind at ease and completes my day, but you can do it at any time that is right for you !
The goal is to put as much away within that time, not necessarily clean the whole space.This is going to prevent the space from getting chaotic. Cluttered spaces and homes are just small actions postponed. We often tell ourselves we will “do it later,” but that time never comes, or it has been such a long day we throw something on the floor until our room looks like a tornado. The 8-minute rule allows you a small amount of time each day to contain the space and create a habit you get used to. Eventually, you will not need to set a timer. It will be part of your day, and you won’t even think about it.
We do not need to be perfect. We do not need to organize to perfection every day. But if we spend 8 minutes a day tidying up, your space may have a few things here or there, but it will feel so much more open, organized and peaceful.
The 8-minute rule ensures your space does not get out of control, but it is always a good plan to have one day dedicated to cleaning and organizing. People often like to do this on the weekend, most often Sundays. If you use the 8-minute rule, Sunday will become a day of tidying up a few items, dusting etc., but if you do not use the 8-minute rule and leave everything until Sunday, it will feel overwhelming and stressful. This 8-minute rule is sure to change your home!
5.) Don’t Let An Object Have Power Of You
Clutter can be very tricky. When decluttering, you will find that objects can have a lot of power over you. We may think to ourselves, “well, that is silly. It is just a mug,” but people have a very hard time letting go of things because we add an emotional charge to them. It is important to have the awareness that it is simply just a physical object. Of course, things can be very special to us, and those should be cherished forever, but there are a lot of items that do not have any special memory to them, but we still have a hard time decluttering them.
A trick I tell my clients is to remember it cannot hurt you, and you have more power over it. Let’s take a mug, for example. It cannot hurt your feelings. It cannot yell at you, and it certainly can’t cause you physical harm. It just sits there. Yet, we often give that object so much power.
Always remember, YOU hold power. You could break it, yell at it and smash it into a million pieces if you wanted to. It is an extreme example, but this is one of the hardest things people go through, and it is important to showcase the difference between you as a human being and a physical object.
Some things to consider when decluttering:
- Does it add more stress and anxiety to my life?
- More clutter is more to clean
- More stuff is more to organize
- Does it add more debt?
We often confuse what we need and what we want. Before every single item you pick up, ask yourself, “do I need this, or do I want this?” I can almost guarantee you that 99 percent of the time, you are going to say I WANT THAT, not I NEED THAT.
If you are fortunate enough to have a home, a comfy bed, electricity and hot water, you have the most important necessities. By no means do you need to get rid of everything or never buy another item again? Having a beautiful place you call home is one of the best parts of life. Fill it with memories, knickknacks, and decor that makes you smile! Preserve the core of what your home should be filled with – your loved ones and memories. Don’t let clutter take that away. Let the beauty of your home and the love within it shine.