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Blog: Organize This!
Find Time to Stay Organized by Clearing Mental Clutter

When you are having friends over for dinner, how long does it take to get ready?
Maybe the bigger question is "Why does it take company for you to clear away the clutter?" When uncluttering your home becomes a priority, it can be an arduous process that could take weeks and months to do a thorough job. But getting organized physically means first getting organized mentally. Mental clutter can hold us back from organizing our physical spaces and from staying organized. When you clear the clutter from your mind, you set goals and boundaries for what you want your life to look like as you go forward. When you have your priorities straight, then you can clear the clutter from your home and physically let go of things you don't need, won't use, or don't even like anymore.

Peter Walsh is the author of Enough Already, Clearing Mental Clutter to Become the Best You. He tells us that the process of clearing our minds is critical to clearing our homes of clutter. If you are holding on to things, people, or grudges from the past that cause you pain or keep you from living your best life, there is no room in your mind for new goals, new people, and new adventures in your future.     
Let's break it down:
Set a goal Think of a reward.
  • Before you start any long term project, it's good to set a goal: e.g. simplifying your home by living with less clutter, starting your own business, or preparing for grandchildren.
  • Put your goal in writing and place it where you can see it often.
  • Goals are meant to help us stay on track and to ground all the decisions we make along the way.
  • Decide on a reward for completing the project: e.g. take a small vacation, go to New York for a Broadway show, or get a dog. Big or small, the reward doesn't matter, but no retail therapy since that brings more clutter into your home!
Create boundaries and learn to say no:
  • Clear your mental clutter and focus on what is important to you and your family not what others think is important for you.
  • Decide how you will and will not spend your free time.
  • If you don't set boundaries, people won't know how far they can push you.
  • Learn to say 'no' to people and things that suck time from your schedule and from getting organized.  
Make a plan:
     Set a schedule to unclutter each room and take a good look at everything in your home.
     Examine each thing and ask yourself if this item is a part of the life you want as you go forward.
     Maintain your newly uncluttered home by taking as much out of the house as you bring in. Donate unneeded items regularly.
If you do a thorough clean out of your home, it will be a lot easier to stay organized with less stuff. Remember this: You are as good as company. When you are organized, you enjoy your home more, you get to do the things you want to do, focus on the things you want to focus on, and have fun doing the things you want to do.
Clutter Quote: "We must strive to reach that simplicity that lies beyond sophistication." John Gardner, American novelist
Look for my new book on Amazon.com coming in February: "Organize This! Practical Tips, Green Ideas, and Ruminations about your CRAP".

posted on: 1/28/2012 2:30:00 PM by Vali Heist
category: General Organizing Tips

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Organize This!

by Vali Heist

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About Vali:

Vali Heist is a Certified Professional Organizer, the owner of The Clutter Crew for homeowners, and a Certified GO System Trainer for businesses. She is the author of "Organize This! Practical Tips, Green Ideas, and Ruminations about your CRAP. CRAP stands for Clutter that Robs Anyone of Pleasure! She writes a monthly column for the Reading Eagle called "Organize This!". Vali's bachelor's degree is in Business Administration from Shippensburg University and her Master's Degree is in Higher Education from Kutztown University. Vali has an extensive background of 24 years in Higher Education including training, administration, project management, writing, and editorial production. Her passion has always been organization and how it relates to the simplification of work and personal life in order to enjoy both to the fullest. Her ultimate goal is to continue finding simple, easy to implement ideas that work in the real world and pass them on to her clients.

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