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Making Peace With Clutter On Your Journey To Lasting Change

June 9, 2024

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Hello, I'm Jen
As a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization® (CPO-CD®), I am uniquely qualified with the knowledge and experience to help you with ADHD issues, hoarding, chronic disorganization, and aging. 

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Living with chronic disorganization can feel so draining, and making peace with the clutter around you can feel impossible.

You feel like you’re carrying a heavy burden that weighs not only on the physical spaces around you, but also on your heart and mind. 

Every misplaced item, every cluttered surface, every pile that surrounds you becomes a constant reminder of your struggle to keep up with the demands of daily life.

And when you finally decide to make a change? You’re met with even more frustration. 

“Where do I even start?” … “I can’t focus – this is more overwhelming than just leaving it the way it is”…”what do I do with all of this stuff?”…”This feels impossible”…

It’s a relentless cycle of frustration, anxiety, and overwhelm and it can be tough to see a way out.

But all of these thoughts are so valid, and honestly to be expected.  

After all, change is no easy feat. And it’s certainly not linear. But that’s exactly what we want to talk about…every single individual’s journey is going to look different, and if there’s one thing that can be promised – it’s that it will not go perfectly. 

In fact, it’s guaranteed to be messy. 

But if you can go into it with the mindset and expectation that the changes you implement will not look perfect, you open the door to more acceptance and peace within the process. Not only that, it will help you to persevere and make lasting change. 

But how do you develop the mindset to make peace with clutter? 

Let’s delve into this a bit.

Making Peace With Clutter Through SHiFTⓇ 

In the pursuit of a more organized life, many of us find ourselves caught in a cycle of temporary fixes and short-lived bursts of motivation. Yet the quest for effective organization extends far beyond mere tidying up—it’s about cultivating lasting change that reduces stress, welcomes a sense of calm, and enriches your life in a wholesome way. 

This can be an arduous process, but we have developed a method that works. 

If you’ve been following along with us for awhile, you’re likely familiar with the SHiFT Method – a process we use to foster lasting change in our client’s lives. We strongly believe that by making small changes in each area of SHiFT, one can experience monumental transformation in their life (we’ve seen it first hand). 

The components of this method are applicable to all areas of life – so let’s talk about how each aspect of SHiFT (Social, Health, i am deserving, Financial, and Time) plays into the ways of cultivating peace while navigating through the journey of tackling disorganization.  

By gently and compassionately implementing these practices into your daily life, you will open the door to a level of acceptance and peace that cultivates lasting change. 

Here’s how to get started. 

1.  Let Go of Guilt & Shame (Social) 

Guilt is a common emotion that often accompanies clutter. You may feel guilty for holding onto items you no longer need…guilty for not being more organized…guilty for not living up to societal expectations of perfection. 

But the saying is true – perfection does not exist, and it’s important to remember that clutter is not a reflection of our worth or value as individuals. 

Another thing that can often hinder growth and fuel feelings of shame is the thoughts and judgments of others, but these thoughts have no business occupying your healing space. 

What do we mean by this? 

You are the gatekeeper of not only your thoughts, but the thoughts of others – you get to choose what you allow to affect you. Now we know it’s not that simple, but you can practice affirming with your mind that you welcome nothing other than acceptance and compassion from others. If you are met with anything less than that, repeat the affirmation…

“I accept myself and my environment exactly as it is without judgment, and I am deserving of this acceptance”. 

Encourage yourself to let go of guilt and approach decluttering with self-compassion and forgiveness. 

Everyone’s journey is different, and every single process forges its own path imperfectly! 

2. Cultivate Mindfulness (Health) 

The state of your mental wellbeing is a crucial component of your health, and practicing mindfulness has been proven to have a positive impact on wellbeing as a whole

Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, fully aware of your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. When applied to your relationship with clutter, mindfulness can help you to develop a deeper understanding of your habits, preferences, and emotional attachments to your belongings. 

By approaching decluttering with intention and awareness, you can make more conscious decisions about what to keep, what to let go of, and what truly brings you joy and peace. 

How can you achieve this? 

Set Your Intention. 

Begin by setting a clear intention for your decluttering session. Ask yourself why you’re decluttering and what you hope to achieve. This can help you stay focused and motivated throughout the process.

Begin With Breathwork. 

Before decluttering, take a few moments to center yourself. Close your eyes and take several deep breaths, focusing on the sensation of the breath entering and leaving your body. This can help calm your mind and prepare you for the task ahead.

Focus on the Present Moment. 

As you start decluttering, try to stay fully present in the moment and use all of your senses. Notice the sensations as you touch each item, the sound of objects being moved, and the sight of your surroundings. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring your focus back to the present moment.

Take Breaks. 

Decluttering can be mentally and physically exhausting, so be sure to take regular breaks to rest and recharge. Use this time to practice mindfulness techniques like deep breathing or simply to enjoy a moment of stillness.

Express Gratitude. 

As you declutter, take a moment to express gratitude for the items you’re letting go of and the space they once occupied. This can help you cultivate a sense of appreciation for what you have and create a more positive mindset overall.

3. Embrace Imperfection (i am deserving) 

The journey toward organization, much like growth itself, is not linear. 

It’s important to acknowledge that perfection is an illusion, and striving for such does not allow room for the self-acceptance you are so deserving of. 

Instead, embrace the imperfection of your space and recognize that clutter is a natural byproduct of living a full and dynamic life. 

How might you embrace imperfection? 

Practice self-compassion. 

Treat yourself with kindness and understanding, just as you would a friend. Acknowledge that making mistakes and navigating life imperfectly is a part of being human. Normalize it. 

Challenge negative thoughts.

Zeroing in on little imperfections is breeding ground for self-criticism and shame. When you notice these self-critical thoughts coming up, challenge them and replace them with compassion. Remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes and that they don’t define your worth.

Surround yourself with supportive people. 

Spend time with friends and family who accept you for who you are, encourage you to be your authentic self, and who are open to vulnerability themselves. Their support can help you feel more comfortable embracing imperfection.

4. Welcome A Minimalist Mindset (Financial) 

By decluttering your physical spaces, you create room for clarity, creativity, and fulfillment, but how do you ensure that the clutter doesn’t just pile back up again? 

Working toward adopting a minimalist mindset is a great place to start. This involves making the conscious choice to surround yourself with what truly matters, and graciously letting go of the rest. 

Not only can a minimalist approach promote freedom and contentment within your world, it can also encourage intentional spending, which in turn reduces expenses, and fosters a more mindful approach to money management. 

5. Celebrate Progress, Not Perfection (Time) 

And now onto the most valuable asset – time. It’s important to remember that the path to making peace with clutter is a journey, not a destination, and everyone’s timeline is going to look different. 

Celebrate the progress you’ve made, and be gentle with yourself when setbacks occur. Every win, no matter how small, is to be celebrated. Lasting change often requires a few steps forward and several steps back, and regardless of what your journey may look like, you will tread forward so long as you give yourself grace. 

When you learn to lean into the patience required for celebrating progress as it comes, you get back more time by increasing motivation, boosting morale, providing perspective, enhancing focus, and building momentum toward making lasting change.

Making Peace With Clutter – Work With Us To SHiFTⓇ Your Life 

By embracing your clutter and approaching the process of organization with a sense of curiosity and compassion, you can make peace with that clutter in the midst of creating a space that is both functional and nurturing—a true reflection of who you are and the life you lead. 

And when you need a little extra support? We are in your corner. 

Schedule a free consultation with us today!

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