Simplicity Day, celebrated yearly on July 12th, is an unofficial holiday commemorating the life, times and work of American philosopher and proponent of simple living, Henry David Thoreau. Professional Organizer Karen Brothers offers tips to simplify and declutter your home, office and mind.
Have you ever misplaced your keys? Have you ever wondered where something belonged and, since you didn’t know, it lived on your coffee table for weeks or months? Have you ever overbooked your schedule because you couldn’t remember what was already on it? Yes! Of course! We all have. But this doesn’t have to be you any longer.
Using organizational systems and routines can be life changing, like being able to find that much needed coffee mug in the morning because it’s always in the same cupboard. This is the simplicity (and beauty) of being organized. If you had to spend five minutes looking for your coffee mug every morning, you’d probably give up coffee.
The average American spends one year of their life looking for lost or misplaced items.
– US News and World Report
Not being able to find things you use daily can lead to stress. Instead, choose a place to put your keys, purse, wallet, phone, etc. and make a habit of putting them in the same place every day. This will make your life simpler. When you need them, they are right where they should be. Place them somewhere else by accident (or laziness…it happens) and you’ll spend minutes, hours or sometimes days trying to find them.
When deciding how to organize your space, it’s important to know yourself. Don’t use an organizing system just because it works for someone else. Create a system that works for you. How do you function in your space? If it doesn’t make sense to you to put XYZ here, then choose the place that does make sense. If you always drop your purse at the front door when you arrive home, then place a hook or shelf there to hold it rather than feeling there is a more proper place somewhere else. Don’t fight what comes naturally to you. Work with it. This is simplicity.
How do our homes and offices become so cluttered anyhow? Clutter moves in when we either don’t know where to put things or we don’t have time to put them away. So, stuff just sits, wherever we have placed it. Once you have determined where things will go, a simple routine such as taking 5 minutes each day to put things back where they belong can make a significant difference in how your space looks and feels.
In addition to organizing your space and being able to find what you need when you need it, it’s helpful to declutter your mind. According to David Allen in Getting Things Done, moving thoughts out of your head and into a collection tool that you reference regularly (calendars, to-do lists, project lists, etc.) is the key to clearing your mind of mental clutter. Putting all your appointments, business and personal, in your calendar can keep you from double booking or over committing. Without mental clutter of trying to remember everything you need to do each day, you can spend your mental energy on more important activities, like growing your business.
The good news is when it comes to organizing your space and establishing routines…it’s all about you. There are proven systems that work well for many people, but if it’s not right for your personality, your work style, your lifestyle…if it doesn’t simplify your life…then it isn’t the right one. Taking time to find what works for you is worth the effort, and the investment if you hire a professional to help.
Professional Organizer Karen Brothers serves residential and business clients. She works one on one with each client to bring order to their home or office by creating personalized systems which decrease stress and increase efficiency and productivity. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), serves as an independent consultant for The Container Store’s Contained Home organizing service, and is FreedomFiler® System Certified. Connect with Karen @brothers_karen.
Photo credits Pixabay and BrainyQuote