We’ve all done it. Standing there. Staring aimlessly. In a rush to go; wishing you could just get on with your life. But, oh wait. You’re half naked. No, I’m not referring to a costume party gone wrong; I’m talking about something much more personal. The relationship that you have with your CLOSET.
Do you find yourself wearing the same 4 outfits because you have no clue what else is in your closet? Or maybe you can’t actually get beyond the threshold of your closet door because it’s packed and boxes keep hitting you on the head. Or maybe the chair in the bedroom has become a catch-all because you can’t get the closet door open.
No worries, I am not the one to judge. I confess, before I started organizing professionally I had my bouts with “clutter-relapse”. You get busy and even the best of intentions to keep everything in its place can fall apart. It’s a known fact that the way you start your morning often sets the tone for your entire day. It’s great when you can center yourself through meditation, yoga, or a work out; but what if you can’t? Suddenly you find yourself standing naked in your closet. Or even worse, you’re rushing, grabbing and trying to demand more order from your closet than it has to give you. Chances are you’re setting yourself up for a mountain of stress that could have been avoided; and what if this happens almost every day?
You know the old saying that goes something like, “When Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”. That same concept can be applied to your closet. If your closet is bulging, busted, disorganized, and unhappy, your attempt to get out the door and on to bigger and better things is severely stifled. In my almost 14 years of professional organizing, I’ve found that the first steps to avoid being stressed and naked in your closet are:
#1 Recognize your Clutter Triggers.
#2 Have a System that flows with your Personality.
Although there are many variations to the following examples, we’ll start with a few of the most common.
Which one of the following best describes the way you handle items in your closet?
- a) Put it here for a ‘minute’.
- b) Throw it in the general direction that it belongs.
- c) Deal with it (i.e. hang, fold, try-on) later.
Recognizing YOUR CLUTTER TRIGGERS will alert you when you’re about to “do that thing you do”. That split second decision is what starts or stops the mountain of clutter in your closet or elsewhere. It’s at this moment that you MUST “Disturb This Groove” (Shout out to the Old Skool 80’s group, The System).
Yes DISTURB your regular ‘groove’ or way of adding clutter to your life!! If you’re in the habit of putting a jacket, a shirt, a book, etc. somewhere “for a minute”. OR if you’re about to throw an item or decide to deal with it later, DO something physically in that moment to alert yourself of this pattern.
What works for me is a loud CLAP of my hands. If I’m about to put something someplace that I KNOW it does not belong, I CLAP my hands loudly. If I’m procrastinating about dealing with an item right now, I CLAP my hands loudly. What this does is stop me in my tracks and 1) makes me recognize the pattern and 2) reminds me in that moment to begin breaking the clutter habit. Try it. It totally works. When you’re about to do that thing you do, clap your hands loudly. This one simple action will show you how many times a day you are incrementally adding to your stress level and allowing clutter to get the best of you. That awareness gives you the personal leverage to DO something about it.
Your Personality Flow:
Which one of the following best describes the way you flow through your day?
1) You’re a free spirit who often flies by the seat of your pants.
2) You’re sometimes a little too methodical with certain tasks.
3) You’re often indecisive.
Aligning with YOUR PERSONALITY FLOW is one of THE most effective ways to stay organized. Having a system that works with your personality and the way your day actually flows will allow more peace of mind into your life. If you’re a free spirit and you know there’s no way on earth you’re going to keep up with a detailed organizational plan for your closet, decide on more adaptable tools. If you’re a little too methodical, perfectionistic tendencies can paralyze you and increase the clutter in your closet. Understanding your personality flow is vital to allowing more flexibility in the way your closet is organized. The goal is to honor your need for order without beating yourself up when your environment gets a little out of control.
Decide not to be stressed and naked in clutter any longer. Your closet is literally the foundational physical starting point of your day. It’s about finding the right balance between your personality flow and the day-to-day triggers that contribute to the clutter in your life. Start by recognizing and alerting yourself to your clutter triggers. Realize the actions that are keeping you from having the tranquil spaces you deserve in your environment. If you find that you really don’t have the time or energy to tackle your closet chaos or other areas of your home or office, I’d love to help you. For more info or to schedule an introductory phone consultation visit www.lindakharmony.com
Much Love and Life Harmony, Linda