by Amelia Pleasant Kennedy, A Pleasant Solution
If you turn on HGTV or scroll through social media, you’ll inevitably encounter the stereotypical imagery of an organized home. These homes are beautifully manicured with matching bins and hangers, they’re brightly lit, and it appears as if no one touches anything…ever. Although we know that these scenes have taken hours of work and require many more hours of weekly maintenance, we’re drawn to the feelings these images elicit: calm, order, and ease. These spaces feel relaxing and inviting.
However, when you look around your own home, you may feel differently. You may fall into the trap of comparison: believing that what is possible for another (more space and less stuff), is not even remotely possible for you and your family.
Yet, bringing the feelings of calm, order, and ease into your own home is possible without a ton of financial investment. It all starts with a mindset shift.
What is “home organization” anyway? You have the power to decide what this means to you. You can decide that the only way – the right way – is the way that media portrays it to be. Or you can start by deciding that your definition is simply being able to find what you need. You can decide that home organization is caring for and raising your children in a loving, nurturing environment where they receive daily attention. Being organized can be showing up at the right time for the moments that matter. It’s not a one size-fits all container.
To work towards calm, start by acknowledging the bounty that you have. Many of us have way more than we need, and that’s okay. Instead of internally reacting to and pushing back against all the kids’ toys and non-stop laundry cycles, begin by recognizing your current abundance. Notice that your children have access to activities and a safe playing environment. Take a moment to breathe in that your baby is clothed appropriately for the weather and that a washing machine simply makes your life easier, not harder.
We often create more of the frazzled feeling when tell ourselves that things should be “different” or “better” than they currently are. When you slow down and drop into a feeling of abundance all the items you’ve brought into your home, you’re in a much calmer place to begin the process of decision making and embracing an organized life.
To work towards order, begin by setting a few boundaries on your space and time. Select boundaries that you can actively and consciously enforce on a regular basis. Imagining yourself as the “gatekeeper” to your home is a great start. Take a moment to imagine a force field around your home. Decide that “free” stuff – giveaways, totes, t-shirts, birthday swag – can’t make it across the force field. Or, alternatively, decide that one birthday/holiday gift from a relative is the maximum at any given time.
Again, organization is in the eye of the beholder. It’s about making small changes that benefit your life, not detract from it. Perhaps that means committing to three homecooked dinners a week for your family and choosing to delegate the other nights to other family members (or takeout). Order is a feeling built on the choice to have your own back once a decision is made.
To work towards ease, choose to notice what you use around your home. When “getting organized,” many of us feel so overwhelmed that we’re paralyzed and don’t know where to start. This is the opposite of ease. Instead, give yourself time to tune into what you love and use on a regular basis. Don’t think about what you determine is excess clutter. Watch what toys your kids play with, notice what clothing items are your favorites. By spending time enjoying the items that enhance your life, you’ll loosen the grip of overwhelm by seeing how you already have everything you need.
Then, commit to donating or recycling one unneeded bag of items at a time. There’s no rush: calm, order, and ease are at your side. Remind yourself that you live an abundant life and that the items you’re letting go will be another person’s treasure.
Sure – you can buy beautiful bins, create zones and categories, and decant all the goodies in your pantry. But a relaxing and inviting home environment may already be what you have. It may not be as far of a stretch as you think.
When you are ready to receive support to learn how to let go of stress, pressure, and emotional exhaustion contact A Pleasant Solution for an exploration call.