It’s the start of a new year and with that always comes the hope of creating the new. Now, I absolutely LOVE this kind of energy, but let’s be realistic … most New Year’s resolutions die out with the sparkle of the flattening champagne.
I’m going to encourage you to try something a little different.
Instead of trying to go full force into creating something new, we need to first accept where we currently are and the transitions that took place to get us here.
In my work, I’ve noticed that the cause of much, if not all, clutter stems from a major life transition that wasn’t fully adjusted to. Sometimes these are good transitions: marriage, having children, children moving out, or even just generally stepping up in adulthood. Sometimes they are negative: serious illness, divorce, and death. However, in all instances, the person didn’t acclimate or maybe even fully accept the new life.
Notice that I very specifically say “life” here rather than “situation.” Because these changes are often permanent, the situation that took place has created a new phase of life.
By fully accepting and embracing who we are now:–widowed rather than married, married mother of three rather than single gal, healthy rather than seriously ill–we can then start to make the changes we want to see.
These changes can then extend into creating a home environment that supports who we are.
In the very now.
How do we do this?
- First, settle into the idea of who you really are now – good, bad, and ugly. It’s helpful to do this in silence, first thing in the morning while there’s still a beautiful stillness to the house. We’re often so over-stimulated with clutter and TV and technology and over-scheduling our calendars with activities that we don’t know what stillness is anymore. Find stillness and hang out with it. (This will totally be awkward and uncomfortable at first if you’re not used to it … go with it anyway.) It’s in this stillness where you can begin to identify and then accept whatever your personal transitions are. Who you used to be no longer exists. (Sure, parts are still there, but not that exact whole.) Who you are to be isn’t here yet. Luxuriate in the feeling of who you are now. If you don’t like who you are now, still sit with it. (No judgment, of course!) Feel uncomfortable. Get REALLY uncomfortable. Change happens when the fear of change sucks less than the fear of staying the same.
- Now, if you don’t like who you are, or haven’t accepted who you currently are (especially if it’s been change for the good!), what do you need to do to fix it? What changes need to be made in your home to support your life’s transitions? Do you need to release a little or a lot of clutter? Do you need to make repairs or remodel your home? Maybe you need to switch the functions of rooms to break free and function better. (Example: in the home of one of my windows, because she could no longer sleep soundly in the bedroom she shared with her late husband, we turned it into a dressing room.) From here, create your road map. Get it down on paper or use your favorite app of choice. This will help you keep your head clear. After all, we want to keep our heads clear so we can better accept our current life transitions!
- Know that changing your home will create even more transitions that must be adjusted to! But we’re doing this all with grace, right, Sunshines? That means that if you’re typically messy and leave things about, you’re going to transition into a person that puts their things away when they’re done, yes? Yes! If you used to have a model-perfect home and now have children, you’re going to loosen up a little and have a kid-friendly home. (Don’t let the toys overrun the whole joint; just ease up on the idea of “perfection.”) If you’ve been ill, you have to clear out all the accumulated clutter and negative illness energy to allow fresh space and healing energy to re-enter your home and life. If you’ve moved, you will fully settle into the new house even if that means changing EVERYTHING from how you did it in the old house.
New Year’s resolutions come with the promise of new and better things. However, instead of trying to force even more “new” onto a life that we haven’t fully transitioned into, let’s start by fully accepting and embracing the transitions that have brought us to where we are. This will give us a solid foundation on which to build where it is we want to go.
Melinda is the sassy, redheaded best friend you always wanted. Called everything from slave-driver to life-saver to organizing ninja, her natural organizing skills and vivacious attitude will make getting organized suck less.
Melinda works with mildly cluttered to mildly hoarded people all over the country. She’s also teamed with extreme-cleaning crews to safely clear out massive clutter situations. She was named “Best Personal Organizer” by Fort Worth, TX Magazine and her tips have been featured in Shape, Woman’s Day, and WeTV as well as many other local and national publications.
When not clearing clutter, Melinda enjoys performing as a supernumerary with the Fort Worth Opera, yoga, cooking, and eating indulgent food, and believes that champagne is meant for the everyday.
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