Daily living with six humans, one dog, and some bonus loves can pile in every corner of our home. Stacks on stacks of stuff. Cleaning once caused serious anxiety; largely due to “where do I start” and “when does this end?!” The collection piles look immense, if not impossible and heavy breathing commences. Are you in that same boat with me? Over the years, working through mental space and room space, I’ve come to find a deep connection.
How our minds function and how our physical home space functions are attached to each other. The question became, how do I create that outer and inner peace at the same time without loosing my mind? What does that look like? From mess, I swung to an OCD like habit. From scattered unhealthy to over controlled unhealthy.
Exhausted and frustrated, I had a “Get It Together” moment. Lots of breathing exercises and a brainstorm later, a system was created. It’s not set in stone as life flows in so many directions. Yet, it allows for beautiful messes to be created and organization, clean to come with ease. You can have both! With sanity in tact. Bonus! To the person standing in the collections of “what do I do with this?”- this is for you. It’s time to Get-It-Together and tackle this check list below. Go step by step. It truly helps to only look at one check on the list at a time. One step focus means focusing on that one step instead of many. Then check it off to go on to the next. The beauty of marking a list is telling your brain and (YES!) your soul that you have an accomplishment. It doesn’t need to be done in a day. Spring cleaning in this house took two weeks. Two or three rooms a week to maintain that balanced flow of renew and being present on everything esle. Print and find living space harmony for you.
It’s important to keep in mind that less is more. However, it doesn’t mean you need to give away everything. It means storing specific items to make your space more manageable. Switch out seasonal clothes and shoes. Switch out toys, books, or certain decorative items through out the year. The every day space that has less is easier to manage and creates a better head space. Clean and organization does not mean total absence of clutter like areas. In front of my current writing and study space is a cork board clutter with joyful images. It holds ideas, memories, family artwork, and inspiration quotes. It is a marked space of inspiration while other spaces are clean.
Sterile is not the essence of clean. Organization can be vibrant. Even a little messy looking. The goal is to remove what is no longer needed, clean up what is needed, and express your unique style. This goes for kids too and they have the ability to do something, if not everything, to clean their spaces. Share the clean tasks with everyone.
Finding a method in tight spaces may be difficult. It takes creativity but not necessarily a lot of mind work. Check me out on Pinterest with my Inspired Home Space and Zen Den board. There are lots of other ideas out there. Walk through a store storage/organization section to see what sparks ideas. As shared in the Get-It-Together check list, go vertical when you can and keep what you need day to day the most accessible. Every thing can be stored away.
Being organized can be a challenge for some. Especially when you have inexperience, focus issues, and life (the dog) in the way. Simply having visuals like lists and pins help to organize our thoughts. Breaking apart the whole home clean up to room by room tasks simplify the process. Then letting go of stark white environment images allows the ease of your individual expression. If most simple works for you. Do it. Like clusters of color? do it. Remember, the goal is to clear away the out of date to make room for new. All while loving what you to need with clean care. Make the most of your space to inspire your head space.
Spring equinox is here. A marked time for renewal and for life to take form. In preparation, cleaning is full swing in this household. Full on every crevice scrubbed and “this no longer reside here” pitching type of cleaning. No, I haven’t been bitten by the Kondo- Joy bug. The spring cleaning habit comes from a deep belief in the connection of clutter and mental health. That belief extends to mental health affecting physical health. Mental space reflects environmental space. Environmental space feeds into mental space. How you set up and care your environment impacts your over all health. Take this change of season as an opportunity. An opportunity remove what no longer helps, to clean out the cobwebs in and out, and create a space for newness in your life.
When weather allows, begin with your outer most space of your home. Simply wiping down an apartment door makes a difference. Your outer home reflect your outer you. It’s the first vision a person has of you. Take pride in its cleanliness and expression. You may not be able to control your home curb appeal or door appeal. The next space to clean and create is your entry way. It doesn’t need to be extravagant and simple creative expressions are valuable. Love your outer you in all physical spaces. This may be a time to reflect, as you work, on your outer you. What is so amazingly unique about how you express yourself? This is clothes, hair, talk, walk, and more. It’s not a time to compare, this time is to find the value in the details of your personal physical expressions of self.
The next area to tackle in cleaning are common living areas. Living room, shared bathrooms, and kitchens are a few common rooms. Any shared space needs an uplifted. Physically wipe down top to bottom. Time or ability may limit this task being done at once. Break it up through the day or by days. Spring cleaning is once year, don’t allow it to consume you. Sweep, mop, vacuum floors. Wipe or clean all furniture lovingly as it has supported you through every other season. As you clean, reflect on what connections and relationships you have. What negative relationships need to be cut? What kind of relationships or people do you want to know more of? Who could you invest more kindness in or provide kindness for? How can I share my common space to create more joy in my life?
Last major areas of your home are bedrooms and closets. There may be small closets, laundry rooms, or side rooms in your home you can spruce up along the way. Once you are to the bedrooms and those closets, it’s time to make it personal. Begin top to bottom. Wipe down walls. Cleaning hack? I used a mop with a washable cloth (no string mops). Made my life easier. Re arrange furniture, dust, and wipe down all furniture. While working in these personal spaces, consider the inner most you. What habits do you have right now that work? Celebrate you. What are some habits and self believing thoughts that need to go? How can you invest in a better you? Mentally? Physically? In Spirit?
While moving through each of these phases of your home and you, de clutter could be necessary. You can try the joy method. See quote below! Often it’s simply looking at how an object has been used. Haven’t used or worn it in a year or year and a half? Toss it. Better yet, donate. Taxes and other important paper forms should be in a clearly marked box or file. Limit and value sentimental items. I really. I mean REALLY need to do a lot of self talk to keep my kids saved art work to a reasonable amount. Two to three pieces a year of their growing is saved. Clothes and shoes no longer fitting or worn can be donated. The year to year and a half rule applies here. Holiday gifts shoved in the back of the closet? Time to go. Toys out grown? Donate or sell. Got a long over due and dusty hobby shoved somewhere? Truly consider its value to you and whether it’s time to let go. De clutter signals your brain and space its time to make room. Room for new joys and memories.
After the cleaning and de cluttering has happened, organize your space. Group like objects together in the kitchen, then put them in spaces that make sense to your flow of every day life. Example, cutting boards are below where the knives are on the counter. Pots, skillets, and baking ware are stored next to the stove. In storage coordinate important papers and momentos together in labeled boxes. Holidays are stored with each other. Clothes and shoes in the closet can be grouped by season, color, and type (i.e. pants with pants, shirts with shirts). This act of organizing space may surprise you as thoughts begin to process. It may be an act of organizing thoughts and memories.
It’s important to decorate your space that is most you and for those who live with you. From outer space to inner space, consider: using colors, displaying sentimental items, functionality of furniture/objects, creating artwork, and more. Make it you. That tangible reflection of you goes right back into supporting you. Clean spaces are renewal. Organize spaces promote growth. Personal physical expressions inspire more you. Love and value your home space, no matter what it is. It’s yours to make unique and gorgeously you.