The other day, I was speaking to a woman who is starting her own business and feels worried about working from home because – by her own reckoning – the space is a mess.
When I asked her what she meant by “a mess”, she said that everywhere she looked, there were piles and piles of stuff and it made her feel heavy.
The room was distracting her attention and she had to look for things first before she could start working.
“It’s not like in a hotel room”, she said.
“I LOVE staying at hotel because there’s so little stuff there.
The surfaces are clear and I feel calm and happy. But how can I focus in this mess?”
My client realised what you may instinctively know too: that overfilled spaces interfere with healthy functioning.
Improvement at your fingertips
It’s hard to think, work or relax when there’s too much stuff around you.
But it’s also distressing to think about it because the prospect of tackling the mess can feel overwhelming in itself.
With moral and practical support, you can declutter and reorganise rooms very quickly!
My client chose to do it in very short spurts over two weeks, but the hours it took her to transform her office are the equivalent of just two days.
Within two daytimes, her work surfaces where cleared, the volume of stuff pruned and organised and everything got cleaned and tidied.
Within two daytimes, we co-created a workspace where everything has one obvious and easy to maintain “home”.
In two daytimes, the woman’s experience of the space was transformed: from feeling heavy and overwhelming to evoking feeling energised and inspired.
She did it with my online support only and started having better work flow right away.
Why it’s worth doing
Granted, I don’t think my client could have created her room transformation on her own.
That is where support like mine comes in.
The point is that – with a bit of support –
you can completely transform a room in a matter of hours.
It beats stewing and suffering for weeks, months and – for some people – years. Doesn’t it?
If you keep getting overwhelmed in your home or office, I’m hoping to get you inspired to reduce the volume of stuff and feel clearer and happier as a result.
Every single day.
Because, as clients have reported, a decluttered and cared for space will make you feel calmer, happier and … held. Whenever you spend time there.
Even if your original distress was caused by something outside it.
Where to start if your space is “a mess”
You probably haven’t spent years on learning to organise stuff (unless you’re crazy about it like me) so I’d like to start you off with a few tips.
1. If a room or work room of yours needs attention, please be compassionate.
There’s a lot of judgement but little education around when it comes to cleaning and tidying.
Please remember that in our culture, we’re bombarded with influences to think that we need more stuff than we need.
Mess practically creates itself where people are busy and live/work with a volume of things that can’t be managed easily.
Nobody can handle what’s too much for their capacity or what they don’t know how to do.
You simply need support to turn things around.
2. Consider who you can enlist for support.
You can well imagine how easily you could get overwhelmed or bogged down if you started rearranging an overfilled room by yourself.
That’s why many people suffer without doing anything about it for far longer than is necessary.
But support can be easier to get than you think.
If you are not ready to hire someone like me, you can ask a friend to help you take the first few steps.
a) Can somebody listen as you think out loud and get clear about your needs in relation to an unhappy room?
Or get pen and paper NOW and pour your thinking there. Paper is patient and won’t judge you. 🙂
b) Could a friend sit with you as you empty the first shelf or drawer so that there’s room to rearrange other things into?
c) Could they check in with you later to help you complete that step and actually move on the stuff you decided to let go of?
3. Be realistic about your resources so that you don’t give up before you get there.
Another reason why many people don’t start decluttering or give it up quickly is that it takes energy.
If you’re tired or overwhelmed, you may not feel like tackling stuff, especially if you imagine you need to do it in one go or in a short time.
But you don’t have to exert yourself to improve your room.
You can and should CHUNK UP your decluttering into simple and completable steps.
Such as the examples above.
I really recommend using a timer and super specific intentions.
“In the next 10 minutes, I’ll decide and make labels to name the onward destinations to move my surplus stuff to. I want to feel good about where it goes and to have more options than just waste or recycling.”
4. Educate yourself a little so that you get more bang for the buck.
If you’ve read this article, you can tick this point as “done” because the tips you’ve read here will point you in the right direction.
And, if you are somebody who best learns from a good book, the best one I can recommend is Marie Kondo’s “The Magic of Tidying”.
I found it hugely inspiring and practical and lean into the approach to help people declutter.
5. Email me and get a list of questions to ask yourself before you tackle your room.
I really hope to have inspired you to see tidying and organising as something you CAN access.
As Lou Holtz said, “it’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s how you carry it.”
If you’d like to take the next doable step towards more peaceful space, please download these 12 useful questions to ask yourself first: