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When I first begin to declutter I would dive right in. I never looked at the whole picture and ask my self, how did this happen? Why does my room keep looking like this? I would continuously ask myself so many questions.
In order to succeed at your end goals you need to dig deeper into finding you’re why. Why is this happening? Why does my room(s) always look cluttered? Why won’t this stop getting so cluttered?
We all ask our selves these questions at some point in our lives. The answer always is we never discard as many items as we bring in.
So let’s dive right in and find the root of our why and how we can stop making these mistakes for good!
HOW TO FIND THE ROOT OF YOUR WHY?
This is the most frustrating, how to find your why and how to go about doing it. You can declutter, declutter, declutter and still end up decluttering months later. Life also gets in the way a lot as well. We come home tired and we throw our work stuff on the first cleared off furniture item we see.
Then we forget about it and go on with the night time routine of eating dinner, relaxing and then going to bed…. and… the same thing happens the next five days. Soon you know it you have a pile of your work items, mail, shoes and anything else that you have with you.
HOW TO BEGIN SEARCHING FOR YOUR WHY?
Print out the workbook I made to help you with these critical steps so later on you can look back on them in case you need to switch your routines around.
ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS
- Which areas in your home are the most cluttered?
- Are these high traffic areas or you go to areas?
- Are you discarding as many items as you bring in each day? (Including mail)
- Are other people bringing over items for you?
- Do you take everything that is free?
- What do I do after I come home from work/school?
- What does my home look like at the end of the week?
- What do I do each day when I am home?
After you take some time to ponder each of these questions and write down your answers. Take pictures of your home where it is most cluttered. You will refer to these pictures often after you are finished completing all the tasks.
TAKE PICTURES OF YOUR MOST CLUTTERED AREAS
Note: upload the pictures to Asana, Trello, or Google Drive etc. that way they are all in one place and organized.
- Take a picture of where you first lay down your items when you walk into your home and label the picture (most cluttered area, before pic etc.)
- Take a picture of the second area you lay down items at. Label the picture
- Take a picture of the third area you lay down items at. label the picture
- Take a picture of your most cluttered area even if you already took a picture take another one and label it.
- What about outside? Is your patio on the front/back cluttered? Label the picture.
- What about your garage? Is it cluttered? Label the picture.
- What about your basement? Is it cluttered? Label the picture.
- What about your attic? Is it cluttered? Label the picture.
- What about your car? Is it cluttered? Label the picture.
After you are finished taking pictures of the areas that are really cluttered, think about how long it took to get like that. Just know that not everything will be getting organized overnight. This is one process that will take a while to do, and that is ok sometimes the tasks that you do need to be done at your own pace and on your own time.
HOW ARE YOU FEELING?
Your emotions play a large part in how your home looks if you live alone. If you live with other people, take a look around and honestly ask your self who does all of this stuff belong to? You, your children, partner, roommates or other family members? Now, remember after your finished deciphering whose items are whose do not yell at the person who has the most, keep it to your self for the moment and make a plan as to how you can solve this problem with that person.
After figuring out where most of this clutter belongs to focus on your self. If none of it belongs to you… great… you probably don’t need my help then. If it does belong to you lets figure out why? Use your workbook and document for seven days everything you do.
Use your workbook and document for seven days everything you do.
- How do you feel coming home from work/school
- What do you do as soon as you walk in your home?
- What do you do when and after you make dinner?
- Do you leave your dishes out or put them away?
- Do you randomly do dishes during the week?
- Do you have your days planned out?
- Write down anything extra you do that adds clutter (laundry, trash, papers, etc.)
After going through a week’s worth of documenting, make a list of everything.
1. What you do every day to add to the clutter?
2. What you do every day to help get rid of the clutter by not adding to it.
After looking at your two lists and everything you write down. We can start to determine your why and how we can find a solution for it.
DETERMINING YOUR WHY
First, take a look at how you feel when you come home from work. Are you tired, exhausted, sick, wide awake, etc. Look at this every day even on weekends and write down what you are typically tired or wide awake.
Next, determine what you do each day when you come home from work. Use the workbook for this list and look at everything you wrote to see where you laid what down.
On your weekends /days off determine what you do and when where you put items or cleaned up etc. Also note when you relaxed, watched tv hung out with friends or anything else on the weekend.
What keeps adding up to be more and more clutter? Mail, laundry, dishes, shopping items, etc.
Do you hide your items when it gets to be too much? For example shove items in your closet, under your bed, in your dresser, the garage, basement, attic, shed, etc.
Now, look at all these lists together spread out on the ground. Now that everything is documented we can start dissecting everything to fix it.
DISSECTING YOUR LISTS TO FIND YOUR WHY
1. Your mood- If your exhausted or tired what do you do specifically? Are you lazy and relax the remaining of the night?
Highlight the negatives on the list. If you are mainly tired/exhausted – this is what we need to use to discover our “how” how do we fix this?
2. The first place you put down your items.
Highlight the negatives on the list. If you mainly put your items down in the entryway- This will be our discovery on how to fix it.
Go through every task you wrote down so we can fix your why.
FIXING YOUR WHY
Now that we have dissected your why, we need to come up with solutions as to how we can fix this issue to make your life stress-free and more simple.
An easy solution is to designate two full days to plan and begin to execute. How ever if you can’t designate two full days together then you need to plan for a week and then begin executing for a week.
You don’t have to do this project today and have it done today. There are so many steps as a beginner to know your why, dissecting it and executing a plan.
By doing this you will have more time with your family and friends, becoming more stress-free and productive.
I hate coming home and there is “stuff” all over the glass table in the entryway or “stuff” all over the kitchen table. I found solutions that have worked for me that I have been using for years.
FINDING YOUR SOLUTIONS
Depending on what type of person you are you may want to decorate, just have a clean space. Either way you need to find the solution that works best for you.
Monday night you come home at 6pm your exhausted. You just got the mail and you have 15 pieces. Walk through the door go immediately to the trash/recycling and get rid of all the junk mail including ads/coupons. Hang up your coat/purse/wallet and any work papers, brief case in your office area. Change your clothes and immediately put it in the hamper or washer. Fix dinner, clean up as you go don’t wait until the end. Finally sit down to eat. After your done eating immediately clean it up and don’t let it sit where ever your at. Sit relax and then go to bed.
Example one is one step in the right direction. You clean up after yourself immediately so clutter don’t start to build up.
In the entry way put a table cloth that has a design on it (depending which season or holiday it is) Put some fake or real plants on with a flower display and candles. This type of setting will catch your eye on leaving it clean. I use bright colors for my displays to be more inviting.
Your more inclined to putting items on a cleared table then you are on a decorated table. If your dresser is all cluttered do the same thing decorate it. You can make your own flowers and make your own vases if you cant spend any money.
DID YOU FIND YOUR WHY? NOW IT IS TIME TO FIND A SOLUTION!
Finding your why and dissecting every little thing you do can help you change your routine, save you time, doing the week and be stress-free with clutter.
Remember it takes time to do everything, our focus here was our why and a solution for our why.
If you filled out all your worksheets, took your pictures then you are off to a great start!
Remember after you find your solution and you execute your plan take a picture of what it looks like after words. This will help you keep on track and if you fall off track you have a reminder for what you want.
If you have an area that becomes cluttered again, dissect your why and what solution will help you. Your first attempt may not be your last because what works for me and others may not work for you.
Let me know in the comments below what did and did not work for you. If you have any questions at all please let me know I am always here to help you!