Let’s assume you have reached the conclusion that your home (or any particular space) needs a good decluttering. It has gradually filled up to a point where the space has become unusable, too cramped for comfort, or it contains stuff that really does not belong here (like toys in the kitchen or a garage so full that you barely squeeze into or out of your car without very specific parking skills). Most of you would probably start by thinking that the space is too full and needs clearing out.
While this is most certainly true, and you are on your way towards starting the process, you are missing a key ingredient at this point: where will that journey ultimately lead you? Of course, your answer is going to be “I want less stuff in this space”, but what exactly is the goal of your activity? It is enormously helpful to figure out what the space is meant to look like once you are done. Having a clear idea of where you are going with your activity not only keeps you from being disappointed with the result, but it also helps to keep you going, stay motivated and recognise when you have reached the result you were looking for.
It’s a sad reality that a lot of people start decluttering and never finish, believing that they have done ‘enough’ to keep that space going for another couple of months or years, that they can’t imagine it getting any better than that, and similar. What they are missing is the big picture: if you have a goal in mind and a clear idea what that goal looks like, you are in a position to determine if you are done or not! It will keep you focused on the prize and help avoid you getting distracted or discouraged. It’s very similar to the distinction between jogging for as long as you can, or wanting to cross the finish line at a race. If you have a clear goal, you will go the distance and push yourself to make it happen. If you just jog along, you give yourself the option to turn around earlier or finish at a sharp walking pace.
Here’s my advice: before you start decluttering, make sure you have a clear picture of the result in mind and maybe even write down a short description of what you expect from the end result. Once all your wish points have been ticked off, you have truly reached with your decluttering goal.
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Hi, my name is Tilo Flache. My current mission: help my clients declutter mind and space.
This blog contains pointers for your journey towards a happier living experience.