The majority of us, in this busy and complicated world, do not have what would be considered a “Model Home”. By that I mean literally the Model Home or “Staged Home” when you go to buy a new house. No clutter, no mess, freshly painted walls and clean surfaces.
It’s easy to understand why this is the standard in the real estate market and that is because of one reason. It’s visually appealing.
Our eyes and what we see affects our minds and thoughts. Imagine you walking into a home that looks like yours does right this moment.
Would you want to buy it? Would someone else want to buy it? What if guests suddenly arrived? Would you feel “comfortable in your own home”? If the answer to any of these is “No.”, then you have some things to consider.
There is something to be said about the human being and our need to please. The need to please comes from a human’s nature to want be accepted and a part of their community. This desire transcribes in multiple ways, but the appearance of your home is a perfect example.
Having a clean and clutter-free home is amidst the ever-growing list of what people view as desirable in order to have the perfect life. And while having this “perfect home” won’t necessarily solve all your problems, it can possibly solve some of your stress.
Albert Einstein is famously quoted as having said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, Of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”. While I can see his point quite clearly, this specifies solely a desk and I beg to differ the same applies to an entire home or even a single room.
For example, if you were to look at two pictures, one being a nicely decorated and clean room versus a dirty and cluttered room, I don’t know of a single person who would say the latter is more soothing or calming to imagine themselves in.
So, why do some of us remain living in clutter and collections of purpose-less items? Because we can. It might be stressful, but it is a tolerable stress and one we have even grown accustomed to and slowly accepted as a new normal.
One step further, perhaps we grew up in this environment and therefore it is our norm to begin with and it is actually comfortable for us. If that’s the case, then by all means continue on with what makes you happy and what makes your life comfortable.
However, for anyone who is looking for resolve with this, let’s look at some ways to begin to dig out from the clutter and free your mind of the stress and mess.
Just start. That’s all you have to do is just start. There is no need for a list, however if that is how you function and stay on task then again, by all means, make a list. Just make sure you start the list! For those who don’t require to-do lists skip it, the time you spend making a list can be spent on the task at hand.
So, how do you start? There’s a few ways to come at this project. One being to break it down room by room. Start in the bedroom, kitchen, dining room or living room etc. and once one room is done, move to the next.
With each room take however much or little time you feel like doing because this should be a relieving process not a dreaded task. You are inviting a new life into your home so you want to welcome it with enjoyment and relief*, not distaste or even more stress.
When you pick a room, for some of us even a room can be overwhelming so break it down even more. Start with a corner, a drawer, a closet or a desk etc. taking each item or object and doing one of four things: Toss/Recycle It, Donate It, Sell It, Give It a Designated Spot.
As you’re going through the room every item you touch, do not put it down unless it is going into one of these categories. This way, it either is out of your home or in a designated spot. This is an example of “A place for everything and everything in its place”.
If you run out of places perhaps you need to evaluate just how many things you have. The average home has been said to have 300,000 items. When cleaning, remember this number and think about how badly you really need whatever it is that is in question at the moment.
When tackling each part of the room, once again, some parts can be overwhelming, like a closet for example. So, break it down even further and tackle one side, or just start from the left and work to the right or start at the ceiling and work towards the floor. Just pick a spot and start.
This approach of breaking the task down makes it more manageable and a lot less* intimidating. If you look at the big picture you risk feeling overwhelmed and even more stressed than you started and you’ll end up running for the hills.
Tackling any project little by little, as opposed to as a whole, can give you some confidence in being able to handle its capacity and therefore being more successful in completing it.
Decluttering your home can be a complicated and daunting task, but with the end goal in mind, once you start you can feel relief* almost instantly.
Similar to knowing all the laundry is done or that there are no dirty dishes in the sink, how nice would it feel to know your closet is tidy, clean and void of any clothes that you don’t ever wear.
While accomplishing these tasks keep the picture of a clean, presentable home in mind to drive your motivation. Turn up some music or get the kids involved and even turn it into a game or contest. Anything to distract from making it seem like work.
Once your home has reached your satisfaction your task isn’t 100% over. Now you have to maintain. This is where having a designated spot for everything comes into play. It takes a few extra steps to put something away versus tossing it on the coffee table or the kitchen counter.
Take those extra couple steps each time reminding yourself each time that it’s almost always easier to take a few steps to tidy up rather than several days to declutter and clean your entire home.
Small steps can equal huge victories and having a clean home can be a great example of how some hard work can really pay off. For some people, their home is where they spend the majority of their days and for others it’s simply where they lay their head at night in between shifts.
Either or, why not allow yourself the luxury of having your home be in its best condition so that you are able to have it be a place of rest and de-stress inevitably making you a better* version of yourself.
Feature Image: Shutterstock.com
In-Post Image: shutterstock.com/ & simplymaid.com.au