How do you care for yourself, your family, your home?
Self-care /ˌselfˈker/ noun
the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.
the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress
As many of you know, I am big on self-care! I am always striving to do my best to care for my body, mind, and home.
I find that incorporating *a little bit of everything* goes a long way. That looks like: keeping my space clean and tidy, eating better, sleeping the amount of time that my body needs, moving, establishing routines, nurturing relationships, and caring for my body. It is all connected to your wellbeing and how it affects your everyday life.
I will expand on all of the items and topics in separate blogs, so stay tuned and check back regularly!
At the top of my self-care list is: Organizing!
In one of my previous blogs “A clear home and mind,” I touched on organization in your life and the impacts it can have. I want to expand on that today.
Organizing can be an overwhelming process and often people get paralyzed by the thought of how much work it can take. Many don’t realize it could also be fun… you just need to change your approach!
The secret is to break down the project to manageable bitesize tasks.
Some say start one room at a time… depending on the situation, though, that could be an anxiety inducing thought, so we start very small: ONE DRAWER at a time. Start with the low hanging fruit, the easiest things to address. The goal is to get you into the habit of making the decisions of “toss or keep” and to build your “decision” muscles. Starting small and being consistent with whatever you are doing can lead to BIG results.
You are not only going to feel relief that you are getting rid of things that are cluttering your surroundings, but you will also become more confident in your decision making. As they say: “cluttered house, cluttered mind.” There is plenty of research that shows that when we are surrounded with clutter and messiness, we get more anxious, depressed, distracted, etc. So let’s get you on the path of self-care through organizing and caring for your home.
You can approach the project in one of two directions: largest to smallest areas or smallest to largest areas. If you are very overwhelmed with the whole process, start with the smallest area and build your momentum, so you can be even more ruthless and efficient when organizing and decluttering the biggest pain-point in your home.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to approach the “big project:”
- Think about which area of your home needs immediate attention. The one that always drives you crazy and gets you so frustrated when you see it or are in it. Think about how that affects your daily life- do you get depressed just looking at it and therefore your mood is down, or do you get angry that things are not where you want them and then you start small arguments with the people around you because you are irritated? Do you realize the impact that particular area has on your life?
- Think about your habits and your flow, your sequence of movements. What do you like to do, how do you like to move, what are the things you use the most? For example: My bedroom dresser drawers are organized by the flow of which I dress – undergarments, shirts, pants, clothing items that I wear from time to time.
- Once you’ve identified the space and functions, think about how you want it to look… craft your vision. If you are just organizing and putting things away without having a clear idea of what you would like it to look like and how it will function, then this project might as well be over before you’ve even started. The space will go back to its original state pretty fast.
- Start eliminating – You may want to get everything out and start making decisions on what you would like to keep. Ask yourself:
- “Is it useful?”
- “Is this a gadget that I bought that is cool, but I don’t really use?”
- “Is it old and it’s time to let it go?”
- “Is it too large for the current space?”
- “Do I have another item that serves multiple purposes, making this item redundant?”
All these questions will make your decision making sound and easier. Especially if you tend to have regrets later – finding the reasons to keep or not keep items will eliminate the self-doubt and difficulty to make a decision.
- Once you see what you have left, let’s work on the actual organization This is where the habits and workflow I mentioned come into play. For example: if you prefer to use salad forks over dinner forks (I know few people that like that at all times), why the heck would you bury them all the way back?! Instead of opening a drawer and “blindly” reaching for one, you have to look for it. Simple things like that will make your life so much easier. Forget about how things are SUPPOSED to be and do what works for YOU! (I have so many suggestions I could make here but it’s all very individual, so it is hard to generalize it!)
Bonus Round: keep in mind – what kind of space are you working with?
Is it a shallow drawer, deep drawer, one of those 2 tier drawers, deep cabinet, lazy susan type cabinet, dresser, closet, shelves?
Inspect and assess the space and decide whether you will need containers or any props to facilitate the organized state of the space. For small items, I like to use containers to keep them together. This could look like a drawer full of shallow containers housing different items in separate categories. It could also be boxes or storage totes. If you want to use what you already have – great! I’m all for utilizing what we already have on hand and only get what we need.
Where can you find these organizational items?
Anywhere!! Just look for ideas online and start organizing!
The key here is to make your space work for you the way you live, NOT trying to fit into it!
Stay tuned for the next edition of the Self Care Series.
Still not sure where to start? –>> Click HERE