When you are organized, people can feel it radiate from you. I am serious. You can feel disorder. People can feel your own disorder.
None of this is necessary. Disorganization is self-sabotage. And we are into building here, not destroying.
Chaos, confusion, energy blocks: they show up in your face, in your eyes and in your ability to express yourself clearly.
I want you to glow. And I bet you want you to glow, too!
Here’s a whole lot you need to know about organization from a super-pro, Melinda Massie.
Get organized… and you will glow!
From Melinda: ” When clients come to me it’s because the clutter has gone beyond their abilities to handle on their own. In my experience I’ve found that the main pitfalls to successfully de-cluttering and organizing our homes are 1) not understanding exactly what clutter is, 2) being derailed by unexpected yet common pitfalls and 3) not having the “ground rules” to smoothly work through a major amount of clutter. Today, I’m going to cover all of that for you.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly what “clutter” is. The word itself can be generic making it hard to determine what stays and what goes.
So what exactly is clutter?
Clutter is anything standing in between you and the house you want.
This means that any item – no matter how expensive or valuable or useful – is clutter if it doesn’t contribute to your goals. So don’t let guilt or anything else sway you into keeping something. If it isn’t adding to your home and happiness then it’s taking away from it.
You’re worth more than that, Sunshine.
So now that we know exactly what clutter is, let’s put it into action!
As much as I love organizing, sometimes it’s not all glitter and unicorns. Following are 5 of the most common occurrences in de-cluttering and organizing that stink. When we know exactly what we’re getting ourselves into, it’s easier to work through it.
- You’re going to make a hot mess. Any current mess will get worse before it gets better. If you don’t currently have a mess, then you’ll make one. Broken systems must be torn apart to be rebuilt better. But once it’s better, it’ll be worth the mess.
- Double or triple the time you think it will take. Minimum. I’m all for good, old-fashioned, three-martinis-in optimism but I also know that it took some time for things to get to their current state. So it’ll take a while to get out. The average room takes 8 – 48 hours to repair properly. You can grumble or take charge. (FYI, grumbling is neither productive nor fabulous.)
- The process is tiring – physically, mentally, and emotionally. The physical is expected, but the mental and emotional often less so. Clutter is really just unmade decisions. So mentally, you’re going from not making any decisions to making bunches of them at once. This creates “decision fatigue.” Honor that and take a break when necessary. Emotionally, you may have negative, emotional ties to the clutter that are holding you back. Sit with those feelings sans judgment, offer them one cocktail and then set them free. Remember, as we clear out the negative we’re creating space for good things to come in!
- There could be tears. With the negative emotional ties often come tears. Our first impulse is to stop them, but go with it. Crying is cleansing and makes it easier to move on. Just don’t wallow. Let them flow then let it go.
- You have to break current habits and build fresh, new habits. Current habits created the current state. Develop new, different habits to change it and prevent it from reoccurring. While working through this change, be compassionate with yourself. Have patience. Soon the new habits will become second nature.
Now that we know where our potential pitfalls are, it’s time to learn the steps to get through them. Here are 5 steps to creating some fabulous organization:
- Rip off the Band-Aid. Keep telling yourself that you’ll do it “later?” Later doesn’t exist. Rip off the Band-Aid and do it now. Every bit counts. Start in a small, defined area like the refrigerator and hit it. Each small success boosts motivation and prepares you for larger tasks like the “spare room of doom.”
- Know the basics. Every room must have its purpose and each item in the room must support that. (i.e. Sheets don’t live in the kitchen.) If an item is worthy of valuable real estate in your home then it must be something you truly need, actually use and dearly love. Each of these items must also have a specific place where it lives in your home. No homeless waifs allowed.
- Take it one step at a time. Set small goals to reach your big one. Sort like with like. Let go of what isn’t serving you. Then think about how you want your room to function and place your things accordingly. While working, focus on one area at a time. Finish one room before moving to the next. Work in a methodical fashion around the room so you see progress. Bouncing from place to place and room to room will only hold you back. Multi-tasking is for suckers.
- Commit to it daily. Don’t try to fix everything in a day. It took longer than a day to get to this point anyway. No need to put that much pressure on yourself. Commit to 5, 15 or 30 minutes EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. to get rid of clutter. This cultivates the habit of daily maintenance of your home which will keep you organized once you get there.
- Enjoy the process. Can it feel tedious? Hell yeah! However, as you start letting go of what no longer serves you and see your new, organized home take shape, everything becomes quicker and easier. The hardest part is getting started.
Getting organized is a process. Things will occasionally go awry. That’s OK. Tend to it and keep going. Reward yourself and celebrate each little win, no matter how small. I recommend a lovely bottle of bubbly or anything else that you love and can indulge in. Stick through it and with time you’ll get there. You can do it!”
Melinda Massie, owner of Organizing with a Side of Fabulous, is like a therapist for your clutter. Her education in advertising and marketing means she can guide you past the common traps in today’s mass consumerism “stuff” culture (you know, the b.s. that leads to unwanted purchases and excess clutter) while her former careers in professional ballroom dance and event planning means she still likes to make everything sparkle.
She was named “Best Personal Organizer” by Fort Worth, TX Magazine and her tips have been featured in Good Housekeeping, Elle Décor, SHAPE, Woman’s Day, and Experience Life as well as many other publications.
When not clearing clutter, Melinda enjoys performing as a supernumerary with the Fort Worth Opera, yoga, cooking and eating indulgent food and believes that champagne is meant for the everyday.