The majority of people in the US are marketed to in some form. We hear commercials and see billboards while we drive; we see commercials and “how other people live” while we watch TV; we see pictures of “how other people live” in magazines, on Pinterest, and in our newsfeeds on social media. There is a “your life should look like this” message that is thrown at us at every turn. You might call that an unrealistic “Z” in the alphabet and you feel like you are sitting way back at the letter “A.”
I talk all the time with my clients about going from “Your A to Your B.”
The reality is that “Z” isn’t real. Most of those pictures in our minds are staged. They are set up for the picture to showcase a product or feeling that the advertisers want you to buy. That’s why some of the pictures you see in my after shots still have more items in it and are likely less tidy than the magazine – because people live in those homes.
I do encourage my clients to dream about what they want their spaces to look like, to get a picture in their mind. Then we talk about how their family and home functions in different seasons. With their goal in mind, we work through decluttering and then organizing. While no one is expected in reality to get their home to the elusive Z, everyone will feel better when their space is serving them rather than holding them captive.
If your home feels out of control with piles everywhere, overstuffed closets, cabinets, and drawers you will need to go from Your A to Your B. Getting to Your M may take some time. It takes a lot of mental energy to make the decisions to let go of things. It can feel like a loss to have less items in your home. Likewise, if can feel like a major loss to have a lot less items in your home. So while you may only wear the same 10 outfits, getting rid of all of the rest of your clothes at once could feel impossible.
How can you move from Your A to Your B?
Let’s stick with the clothes example. Let’s say you have a walk-in closet, dresser, and chest of drawers full of clothes (and perhaps they are also overflowing in the laundry room, the couch, and the end of your bed). The most thorough way to go about this task is to put all of your clothes in one place at one time. However, if you are doing this alone, you are probably overwhelmed even thinking about that. You can always call in a local professional organizer to help guide you and keep you going. If you’d like to tackle your clothes on your own, I’ll recommend one way that might work for you.
Keep in mind that you are going from Your A to Your B. Instead of going from a house full of overflowing piles of clothing to a 1-foot section in the closet and half of a drawer, you may well be going from overflowing piles to everything fits in the closet and the dresser. That is wonderful progress!
- Write out every area where you have clothing. Dresser, closet, laundry room, car, etc.
- Choose a goal or two. Do you want to spend less time in the mornings deciding what to wear? Do you want to have less laundry to do? Do you want to see and wear only clothes that you feel good in?
- Take a before picture of your clothes. This will help you see what you are dealing with and will give you a great sense of accomplishment when you finish.
- Take one section at a time to go through. You will likely find that it takes less time than you think if you can give 15-30 focused minutes a day to this task. Check the completed section off of your list to mark your progress.
- Take the clothes you aren’t keeping right away to be donated or schedule a yard sale or online sale. (When making the decision on what you will do with the clothes you aren’t keeping, be sure to think about what you have time for. If one reason you haven’t gone through your clothes is that you don’t have time, you may want to choose to donate your clothing as this is the least time consuming option.)
- Take an after picture of your clothes.
- Celebrate a job well done and enjoy your newly found clothing freedom!
- In about 6 months do the process again. You will find that your decluttering muscle is stronger, you have a better sense of what you like and want to keep, and another season will have passed.