If you haven’t been paying attention, paring down and getting organized is just about the biggest thing since buying stuff online. It’s no coincidence that as soon as we figured out how to buy stuff 24/7, we completely lost our friggin’ minds. I’m a professional organizer, and I’ve seen everything. Because you can handle it, I’m going to be blunt. I say this with all the love in my heart: My friends, you’ve simply got too much stuff junking up your space and cluttering up your life. In my professional practice, I help people simplify so they can focus on what matters most, and that is: who we love, what we do, how, and why we live...because everything else is just stuff.
It’s time to check our collective over-consumption and get real. The trick is to distinguish abundance from excess. Once you do, you will feel a colossal weight lifted and experience unencumbered bliss in everything you do. Now, I love you and you gotta believe me when I say this: Simplify your stuff; organize your life — and everything gets better. Everything. Here are seven EPIC examples you probably never thought of.
A clean kitchen is easier to keep clean. A filthy kitchen is probably the biggest turn-off ever. Trashed kitchens don’t inspire fun, festive, and fabulous culinary creations. They inspire fast food. Clear out, clean up, and get organized in your kitchen and you’ll become exponentially more likely to cut the junk food, prepare healthier meals with your family, and find nutritious ingredients that promote a healthy lifestyle. Organize your fridge and your pantry so you can see what’s available. Clear off your counter tops. Wash and put away your dishes as you cook. Create a welcoming environment that inspires healthy eating habits — and you’ll feel better all day long.
Clear an intentional place for daily fitness. Roll out a yoga mat. Plank for 30 seconds. Create some space on the floor to do a few push ups and a handful of crunches. After a week or two, you’ll feel like a million bucks. Purge all that crap from the bottom of your closet and you’ll be more likely to find your favorite running shoes. People who live in chronically cluttered spaces are generally less likely to get out and exercise. Organize your space and you’ll be more motivated to move your body. Move your body more often and you’ll live healthier, happier, longer.
With a few exceptions (artists, genius inventors, etc.), cluttered spaces make sustained concentration much more difficult. There is a well-documented link between chronic disorganization and the impact clutter has on executive function, the brain’s ability to regulate emotion, cognition, and creativity. Simply put, cluttered spaces tend to diminish the brain’s capacity for focus. Clean up a bit and the environment becomes less distracting (especially for kids and people with attention deficits). We tend to seek out uncluttered spaces for studying and concentration. But when we intentionally create those spaces, we achieve greater access to clarity and sustained focus — all the time, right at home.
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If you’ve got clutter, chances are you’re spending too much money. It’s much better to own less and spend a little more on quality stuff made to last. When we covet a handful of carefully selected items, we end up saving money in the long run. We should absolutely love our stuff, and become snobs about what we buy. The goal is to spend our money wisely on life-enriching experiences and the things that support who we want to be and what we want to do before we’re dead and gone. Most of what we buy is just junk, empty calories. Add those mindless little purchases up over time, and you could probably stretch your hard-earned money a lot further. When you support second-hand economies (local thrift and consignment shops), you’ll save even more while reducing your impact on the environment.
A common symptom of the chronically cluttered is isolationism. When your place is a mess, you’re less likely to have friends over for dinner parties and game night. People who keep their homes clean and clutter-free feel a sense of pride in their space and look forward to entertaining friends and family on a more frequent basis. I’ve got clients who haven’t had guests over in a long, long (long) time — and that kind of isolation can be debilitating, often leading to chronic depression, substance abuse, emotional eating, and worse. Clean up and you’ll be much more likely to invite your peeps over for a little fun.
6. Feeling Frisky
I recently wrote a free ebook titled Aphrodisiac: Clearing the Cluttered Path to Epic Love, Great Sex & Relationships that Last. It’s all about helping couples connect the dots between clutter and intimacy. Turns out, it’s not uncommon for people who struggle with clutter to feel disconnected from their lovers. When we create intentional spaces designed to bring people together, we create time and space for meaningful connection. When the house is clean, the bed is made, and the laundry is neatly put away, couples are infinitely more likely to fool around. (Trust me.)
People tend to feel the physical weight of their stuff. My clients describe it akin to drowning — and that’s just not okay. There is a freedom in living a life unencumbered by excess. I give you permission to let it all go. Gift and thrift your stuff out into the world. It’s great for your Karma and you’ll feel inspired to keep going. Sell stuff of value and you’ll literally be creating money. Free yourself of all that stuff you “may need someday”, and suddenly you’ll discover that life is happening all around us, all the time — without those things. The freedom of less is a gateway to a more meaningful life. This isn’t a fad, it’s a lifestyle. And once you discover this freedom, you’ll never go back. It’s a game-changer, believe me.
Simplifying your stuff and organizing your life is all about needing less, becoming more intentional about how you spend your money, and choosing a lifestyle that promotes intention, health, and wellness over mindless materialism. Not only will you feel better, it’s a win for the environment, and sends a powerful message to corporate fat-cats irresponsibly profiting from our collective complacency. Learn more about connecting the dots between your stuff and the impact those things have on a global scale with my book, ClutterFree Revolution: Simplify Your Stuff, Organize Your Life & Save the World.
Here’s a complimentary Quick Start Guide to help you get going today.
The ClutterFree Revolution is not just about tidying up, it’s a global movement — so please spread the word and share!