Shawndra Holmberg, CPO-CD
The 8 Tenets to a Clutter LESS Lifestyle
Living a Clutter LESS Lifestyle means:
1. Being aware of my strengths as well as my challenges.
To create your Clutter LESS Lifestyle, you need to become aware of and use your strengths. This may be as formal as understanding how you learn best, how you take in and use information, or what your predominant personality type, style or preference is. You can also become aware of your strengths by listing your successes, your interests, what others commend you for, and identifying what has worked for you.
If all you focus on are the things you can’t do or haven’t been able to do, then you are doing yourself a disservice. Certainly, you will evaluate what hasn’t worked for you in the past but it’s about gathering information to solve the problem and create workable solutions. It is not about pointing fingers and making you less than you are.
2. Having the desire to change my habits that cause clutter.
You will need to have more than a passing inclination to change if you want to live a Clutter LESS lifestyle. A quote I often remind myself of is “Insanity: doing the same thing and expecting different results.” If something is not working for you and you want a different outcome, you will have to change what you’re doing. I’m here to help offer suggestions and ideas. And I’m here to make the change less stressful and terrifying. But you have to be willing to try.
3. Bringing home less and letting go of more.
It’s a simple equation to a Clutter LESS Lifestyle — bring in less and let go of more. If you continue to buy, accept, pickup, grab, try out, or get a bargain at the rate you currently are doing then your clutter will not decrease. I’m not suggesting go cold turkey. Pick one area you could cut back on just a bit. If you bring home one, let go of two (or more). Now you’ve truly begun to live a Clutter LESS Lifestyle.
4. Letting go of attachments that no longer serve me.
A Clutter LESS Lifestyle occurs when you own your stuff rather than your stuff owning you. The attachments you have to objects, spaces, tasks, information or self-perception can either support you in creating the life you want or it can hold you back. Let go of the attachments that are no longer serving you.
An attachment is neither right nor wrong. However, an attachment is either moving you in the direction you want to go or keeping you stuck. Only you can decide what you want to create and where you want to go.
5. Setting aside time, daily, weekly and monthly, to get organized and stay organized.
Sorry, the truth is that staying organized takes time. It takes energy and your precious time. You probably get excited about projects and new ideas but lose interest when it comes to the routine dreary maintenance that it takes to keep organized. So, part of setting aside time to stay organized (or get organized) is also creating an enjoyable maintenance experience. Yes, sometimes it is about just doing it but it’s always about how you can make it more fun and interesting.
6. Acknowledging that there is no magic wand and it will take time, energy and determination on my part.
You will not wake up one morning to see everything neatly in its place. This is not about creating a clutter FREE lifestyle. Sorry, I have no magic wand to wave and miraculously sweep everything away and alter your attachments for you. You have a lot of clutter to clear and you have a life to live at the same time. It will take more time than you expect. That’s normal.
It will take a lot of energy dealing with your attachments and some days you may or may not have enough energy (or time) to do everything. Take care of yourself and be gentle with your expectations. It will take your commitment and determination to keep trying, to keep going, to keep creating a clutter LESS life. You can do it!
7. Understanding that returning to old habits (relapse) is NOT failure nor is it a good reason to quit.
This is an ongoing attempt to create order in your life. As an estimate, think how long you have been living your current disorganized life. It will take at least that long to permanently change your habits, your actions and your thoughts to support your Clutter LESS Lifestyle with ease. It will not be easy at times, you will return to old habits. That’s normal and expected. If you’ve committed to creating and living a Clutter LESS Lifestyle, than you have committed to trying again, trying something different, trying something smaller, trying something more fun, but ultimately, it’s just trying again.
8. Doing the best I can at each moment, which isn’t necessarily the best I'm capable of.
Some days will be easier than others. You don’t have to do the very best you’re capable of every day. That would be exhausting. But do the best you can at the moment with the time and energy you have. Life happens. Some days you will have the energy and focus to climb mountains; other days, getting out of bed may count as a win. Take each day and each moment as it comes and do the best you can at that time.
This is what committing to living a Clutter LESS Lifestyle means.
Do you commit to playing with these tenets?