I listen to many genres of music, but one of my favorites is country. For me, the lyrics are plain, sweet truths and often get to the heart of what matters. One that has caught my ear many times is, "Homegrown," written by Niko Moon, Wyatt Brown, and Zachary Brown. The lyrics sing joyfully of having just what you "need and nothin' that you don't." I like that!
What if you were to begin with the end in mind and expect to find joy with less stuff? Would you feel inspired to reevaluate your surroundings, home and office, and to consider letting go of what no longer fits into your current life?
What if I told you that having just what you need and truly want in your life opens up your spaces and redirects your energy toward what is important to you?
It is now the second month of the new year. What will you do with your space and time? How do you get to the place of joy with less?
It is easy to become overwhelmed when you look at the big picture, especially if it has been a long time since you spent time organizing your home or office. I am going to give you a few guidelines to help you stay focused on your goal with a manageable first step.
Clear your surfaces and open storage spaces.
A lot of unnecessary items congregate and fill up surfaces and open storage/shelves until they are overflowing and the room no longer functions in a way that pleases you. And let's be honest, facing the clutter and disarray is stressful, anxiety producing, and even shaming.
I have a client who didn't used to take the time to file or purge no longer relevant materials. He is a busy man, and his time is best spent doing what he does best. The problem was that there was nowhere to sit in his office, and no surface for a notebook during meetings. This is not ideal when you have daily meetings with staff and colleagues. Keeping surfaces clear on a regular basis has made a huge difference in the function of his work space.
Keeping surfaces clear for the work that needs to be done there, whether it is peeling carrots for dinner or taking notes and brainstorming the next big project at work, is critical.
Before you start, grab 4 boxes or bins and label them…Trash, Donate, Recycle, Relocate
I find it helpful to begin at one end of a counter and then work clockwise through the room. That way I don’t jump around and miss something.
Here are a few questions to ask as you touch each item.
1. Is this item useful, relevant or important to me?
2. Do I use it in this room?
Sounds obvious, but things have a way of migrating into other parts of our homes, offices, and lives. If it needs to stay in the room and has a designated place, put it away. If not, then put it in the Relocate box. If the answer is "NO" and it is no longer relevant or useful in your current life and does not have a purpose in the near future, it either goes into the trash, the recycle bin, or the donation bin. You decide.
Clearing your open spaces is a practical first step. You will be greeted by clear, calm spaces every time you enter the room which may be just the encouragement you need to look behind the closed doors.
But that is a next step. And, we will get there, one thing at a time.