I hear so often from friends and strangers alike how disorganized and overwhelmed they feel and how they dream about taking the time to declutter and get organized. Whether it’s getting organized in your work, your small business or your home – if you are disorganized in one area of your life, it tends to affect ALL areas of your life.
The reasons that follow are often always the same:
- I’m too busy to take the time
- I’m too overwhelmed and don’t know where to start
- I can’t afford to hire help so I must enlist (aka burden) family or friends to help
- I’m too exhausted to have the energy to deal
- My spouse/family has been nagging me to deal with this, but they just don’t understand
- I’m waiting for a break in my schedule to do it all at once
I could go on with all the reasons I hear, all well intended and honest, but at the end of the day the piles and mess are still there (and growing). Your physical environment is a 3D view of your internal environment.
The reason for the clutter in the first place is typically due to lack of time and attention to regular decisions needing to be made. If you look around your home or office, you can easily view any pile as a pile of “delayed decisions”.
That’s what happens when we are overwhelmed and exhausted, we get “decision fatigue” by the end of the day and we stop dealing with things…and those “things” grow exponentially as we continue to delay those decisions until it starts to resemble Mt. Kilimanjaro, but not as beautiful.
Maybe there are reasons for those delays, like not knowing where to put things or finding permanent homes for new things. Maybe it’s about not making the time to sort through old items to purge, or bringing in more items than you have space for. Maybe it’s about having time to sort through stacks of mail or papers that need sorting or action taken, and needing to create a new system to accommodate the influx of paper.
The reasons usually fall within these three categories: lack of time, lack of energy or lack of know how.
While there are many reasons how being more organized will change your life, here are the top 5 for why making the investment in time, energy, and know how will pay off:
1) More Time
The average American wastes 55 minutes a day (roughly 12 days a year) looking for things they own but can’t find. Newsweek
Average Americans spend one year of their life looking for lost or misplaced items. US News and World Report
Who wouldn’t want to spend the extra time used for looking for lost items on something more meaningful like sleeping in a few more minutes, enjoying that morning cup of coffee a bit longer, starting your day off not feeling rushed or stressed, starting that morning meditation practice, or just being able to use that time for something more helpful to your life or your business.
Spending less time searching or deciding, and more time feeling ease and flow.
2) More Money
I have worked with enough clients to confidently say that each time we sort through paper piles, we almost always find at least one uncashed check, and in one case as much as $10,000 in uncashed checks. Sadly, often times these checks are too old to cash or the company is no longer in business. Lost money for no good reason.
When you get organized, you spend less money re-purchasing items you already have but can’t find, and you spend less money on unnecessary items because you are in a calmer state. Many people suffer from “retail therapy” to combat their stress, but that actually causes more clutter to enter your home, causing for even more stress and defeating the purpose of your attempt at a stress reducing activity in the first place.
When you get and stay organized, you stay on top of your spending, your bills, your financial paperwork and your investments. This impact is helpful for not just the life of your business but also the business of life.
3) Better Health
Clutter creates stress, and stress in your body over a period of time creates a whole host of health issues. When you get organized and clear the visual clutter, your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems start to relax. When you relax, your sleep improves, your desire to eat healthier improves, your desire to exercise improves, and your overall health and outlook on life improves.
If you run a business, you know the importance of needing to be well rested, healthy, energetic and focused to be able to stay on top of things.
4) Stronger Relationships
Clutter causes stress for the entire family, all relationships suffer from too much stuff. I’ve worked with enough couples to witness the same dynamic of one partner blaming the other for the clutter. Not until an ultimatum gets launched, does the guilty party take the threat serious enough to commit to dealing with the clutter. All family members are responsible for their own clutter. Often times messy kids are a result of disorganized parents, and they are in need of learning new organizing skills to help them learn to keep their own spaces tidy.
Once each family member “owns their zone” and takes responsibility for keeping that zone tidy and clear, families and relationships start to recharge and rejuvenate. People often start to enjoy hosting dinner parties again or even simple play dates for their kids without the stress or embarrassment.
Clutter in business will often put stress on relationships with current clients, detract from gaining new clients, add stress to work staff and ultimately affect the bottom line.
5) Better sense of Well Being
When you invest in getting organized and create sustainable systems, you create a calmer environment for yourself and you have more time to spend in a creative space. More time to reflect on your life, your business, your dreams. You create more space to invite in new relationships (friendship, romantic or business) and new opportunities to take you new places. Your overall sense of well being improves dramatically, and with your improved health and more time, you no longer delay those decisions as you once did. You can easily stay on top of the piles with weekly maintenance that you may actually learn to enjoy.
** Be forewarned: When done regularly, organizing can be incredibly empowering, uplifting and addicting. **
I invite you to ask yourself these questions:
- Which of these 5 benefits could you use more of?
- What is your disorganization costing you?
- What excuses do you use to avoid tackling what’s holding you back or delaying those decisions?
- What will it take for you to invest in yourself (or your business) to stay in front of the clutter and disorganization rather than behind it?
- What will more time, more money, better health and relationships afford you to do?
P.S. If you want one of the 5 benefits, if not all of them right now, let’s talk! Tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start and a clean slate. No more excuses from living a life of ease and flow. Email me to start the conversation.
“The more things you own, the more they own you.”