"We always relate to routine and familiar circumstances even if they work against us. That is one reason that people stay in abusive relationships, low paying jobs and cluttered homes, because it's predictable and we become experts in dealing with unpleasant situations." - Ranka Burzan
Clutter is enemy of efficiency and success. Unfortunately, practically everybody does it. Do you know who doesn’t? People who have gained control of their life and learned simplify in order to maximize.
We are owned by our personal belongings and both consciously and, mainly, unconsciously it leads us to less productivity (aka procrastination), we stop valuing our time and space. Although most people are conscious of this fact, they are still naturally carried to live in disorder and mess. They gradually lose control of their time and space, accommodating to a non-productive and self-destructive lifestyle. Our idols, the ones who grind to the top, the figures we admire for their hard-work and unmovable will to conquer, they DO NOT live in clutter, they HAVE NOT lost control of their stuff. Successful people surround themselves with an environment that allows them to focus, to keep their head in the game, to have space and time for personal control.
— Angela (@setmyintention) August 24, 2017
Don’t live suffocated by your clutter, declutter your life.
This is a subject I take very seriously. I also used to live in clutter and when I saw other people doing it too, I thought it was just the way things where. Wrong! I can’t tell you how much of an impact decluttering your life will have in your present and future. You’ll become much, much more proactive, mentally and emotionally healthy and consequently more ambitious! All this equals success. People will start admiring you instead of the way around.
10 Tips to Declutter Your Life and Control your Stuff:
1- Visualize the result.
If you are familiar with the Power of Visualization concept you know how important it is to visualize your success and the road you must follow. To those who are not familiar with this concept, it is simple: “Visualization is a cognitive tool accessing imagination to realize all aspects of an object, action or outcome”. By doing this you will empower the mindset required to succeed in your goal. It is not just a tool of motivation, it is a self-awareness tool that will assist you improving the way you act towards your objective.
- Visualize the desired result and the road ahead.
- Fix your mindset towards that goal and don’t give yourself excuses.
- Recreate what you visualize into the real world.
- Remind yourself of how bad you feel when you are not acting on your objectives.
2- Learn to say “no”.
This is a highly important step. You must cut the root of the problem. Learn to say “no”. Now that you have decided to declutter your life, not only you are going to get rid of what you don’t need, you are also going to say “no” to the stuff at first stance. It was being say “yes” that you got into this mess in the first place, don’t give yourself the (bad) opportunity to clutter more stuff: say “no!” right away! No “ifs”, no “buts”, no “only this won’t make a difference”; when you get this mindset into your routine you will start feeling proud of your ability to empower your decisions.
3- Do now; “later” is the drug of procrastinators.
This is an obvious one, nonetheless very important and something most people disregard. “Later” is the doorway to more of the same, nothing will change if you don’t realize how this word is another nail on the coffin. Do it now. See something you don’t need? Declutter it from your house right away, act on it. Conscious about that ‘one thing’ that is sitting ‘you know where’ and you know it’s just more clutter, get up, act on it.
Very often, we humans are impulsive on the things we know are negative for our lifestyle, but we overthink and procrastinate on the positive things we are aware of. Do now, you won’t be able to snowball your way to success without it.
4- Start with your bedroom or office.
When decluttering your house start with the room where you spend most of your time, the sooner you do this the sooner you start collecting the benefits. I would advise you to start with your bedroom, it’s where you start your day and finish it too. If your bedroom is decluttered you will feel much more empowered to continue that mindset throughout the day. If you don’t surround yourself with a positive environment you won’t be able to implement these changes in the other aspects of your life.
5- Start your day by making your bed.
This is a smart and quick tip most blogs and experts have not yet figured out. You know who has? Someone who represents (and is in command) the very essence of “declutter” and “control”: Admiral William H. McRaven. Don’t we all respect and admire the ability of the army personnel to stick to the routine, focus on the objectives and grind their way to success? Soldiers and officers have an impeccable lifestyle, they are in full control, were they born with this? No. They learned it. Admiral William H. McRaven says this:
“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”
Watch Admiral’s speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxBQLFLei70
6- Give away before you throw away.
One of the main reasons why people clutter is because they can’t accept the fact they are getting rid of something that is theirs and they may need in the future (trust me, most likely you will not, and you know that too). What is the solution to fight that conflictious emotion? Try to give away before you throw away. Embrace the feeling of helping others while you still grind towards your goal; someone’s useless belongings can be others useful belongings. With time, and by providing means of happiness to others, you will gradually stop thinking “getting rid of this is a waste” or “one day I may need it”. Empower your stuff, don’t let it have power over you.
7- The Rule of 7
This is simple, a decluttering schedule, draw a map with the days of the week and everyday get rid of something. By the end of the week you will have 7 less items. By the end of the month you will have 28 less items. By the end of year 365 less items. It will make a huge difference and you will snowball your way into turning The Rule of 7 into a routine.
8- Keep it doable; don’t go too extreme
Don’t over-do. Don’t rush. One of the most common errors when decluttering your life is going from 8 to 80, take your time, allow your brain to rewire into this new mindset. If you over-do, if you rush, if you get too anxious about seeing immediate big results, you will set the bar too high and end up disappointing yourself when you can’t keep up. Give yourself small wins, these will result in small amounts of proud and you won’t get exhausted by the change.
9- Feed yourself motivation
Somedays you will feel very demotivated, you won’t have to will to declutter and simplify, you will crave your former self because that was the easier way. Fight this by keeping yourself motivated with this change, watch videos on the subject, read books, hear other people’s stories, participate in this community (yes, you are not alone, at all, this is a global problem). Allow me to share some TED videos that kept me motivated when I started (and still do to this day, I still watch them when I need that weekly dose of motivation):
10- Stick to it. Turn the declutter into the default mindset
Keep doing it. Keep saying “no” to cluttering, even if on a day to day basis. Stick to your decluttering schedule. Allow your brain to embrace this new routine, with time it will become your default mindset. Before you know it, you will be living a different lifestyle, you will gain back control over your life. Such change will influence all the other aspects of your life and help you grow into a more healthy and successful you.