We can make all kinds of changes in our lives and our homes with decluttering and organizing, but to be really effective and to get to where you want to be, you have to do some mindset work.
If you’re in a home that’s cluttered and you want to be in a home that’s minimal, it begins with the way you think.
The main shift is what you believe you are capable of.
What you believe can happen.
If you don’t believe something is possible, then you won’t take the steps needed to make it happen.
We can see this in other areas of our lives, if we don’t believe we can have a certain occupation, we won’t actually try for it – we think “Oh I’m not smart enough, I couldn’t complete the degree I would need for that, school would be too hard, it would just be too hard because I have kids or not enough money.”
But if we believed it was possible, we’d research financing, we’d figure out a cheaper living situation, we would look into having tutors and see if there were available grants for childcare for students.
The only difference between trying and not trying is the belief that it’s possible.
If we believe we can, we will keep working at it until it happens.
If you don’t believe that you can embrace minimalism (to whatever form of minimalism fits YOU), you won’t bother trying.
But if you believe it’s possible, you will keep working at it, and you will make time to get it done.
This is most evident in our decluttering when we have thoughts of, “I don’t have the time” or “I don’t have the energy.”
To shift that, you need to tell yourself, “I have the time to do what I need to do. I have the energy to do what I need to do. I am capable of decluttering my whole house. I am capable of embracing minimalism. I am capable of living a simplified life.”
And then make plans.
One of my YouTube followers, Jess, said she built decluttering into a daily ritual. Every afternoon she and her child load up a wagon clutter and take a walk to their nearest disposal area. It’s come to be something they enjoy doing together.
Even if it feels overwhelming, each item you remove from your home gets you closer to the home you want.
Again with the mental shift: You have to believe it’s possible to change your habits.
We will self-sabotage if we really don’t believe it’s possible.
How many times have you thought “I’m going to change my morning routine” And then proceeded to write out 25 different things to do and only 30 minutes to accomplish all of it.”
We might start the next morning, but we won’t get very far before we realize that it’s impossible to do all of it in the short amount of time we have, so we give up.
And then we throw our hands up and justify, “Nope, I’m not capable.”
Instead, require small things of yourself.
When I teach routines, I tell people to only focus on the basics:
- Put things away – toss the trash
- Wipe off the counters and stove
- And wash a load of dishes
It doesn’t need to be done perfectly if you only have a 12″ section of counter that you can wipe clean- then wipe it clean. If you have 3 days’ worth of dishes, don’t stress it; just wash ONE load.
If that seems overwhelming – wash one dish.
If you require too much of yourself, you’ll just want to quit.
We have to make the barrier of entry very low.
The hardest part is starting. So make your starting point easy for yourself.
Freeing up your calendar
Here it is again: If you don’t believe it’s possible to have free time, then you won’t take the steps needed to make it happen.
You need to believe it’s possible to have free time when you sit down with the calendar and look at it. When you believe it’s possible, you can determine what you want there and what you don’t want.
And you can take steps to remove yourself from activities that don’t add value to your life.
Remember, if you don’t want to be there, your presence isn’t adding value.
I have no desire to attend a PTA meeting. If I forced myself to go and be involved, I would hate every minute of it, and I would not be bringing my best self to the table. Forcing myself to do it would not be adding value to my life, my family, or my kids’ school.
As far as that goes, I detest meetings in general. It’s a good thing I don’t have a corporate job.
You do have a choice in how you spend your time.
Yes, there are things that are unavoidable that we have to do. But there are also a lot of things that we allow to take up time that we don’t have to.
Decluttering and organizing
It’s here as well!
If we don’t believe that we can live with less or that we are capable of making the right decisions, we won’t do the work.
To simplify our homes, we have do work on it regularly. (Taking a week’s vacation to declutter and then being so burnt out we don’t do housework for weeks doesn’t actually help us, trust me. 😉)
We have to do little things every day.
We have to move things out of the house and make decisions.
In order to do it, you have to believe that you are capable of decluttering.
And you are capable!
Each one of us is capable of getting our homes in order.
It might be little steps at a time, but every little step will get you closer to your goal.
That’s it. That’s the shift that you need.
It’s just to believe that you are capable and believe it is possible.
When you believe it’s possible, you will take the steps needed to make it happen.