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It should be a goal for all us. To clear our lives of clutter.
We should all aspire to get organized.
And minimize our stuff. Our junk. Because if we don’t get a handle on our stuff, our mess, then it may quickly end up like this pile of cords I recently organized.
All jumbled. Disorganized. And really, it takes so much work to find anything when everything is a mess, it seems… disheartening.
Our stuff can take over our lives pretty quick. And too much stuff is just… junk. Literally junk. And it can become suffocating. And stressful.
Starting My Business
In 2017, I started my blog. It was a stressful time. And for me personally, I know one of the biggest obstacles for me when I was starting my own business was organization. I needed to organize and prioritize. Not just my piles and piles of papers on my desk. But my life. And actually, as simple as it may seem, having a great planner helped.
It may sound cliche, but really, the gift of organization? It really is that. A gift.
And in case you’re in search of a planner– not just any planner mind you, THE perfect planner, I recommend the Living Well Planner. Because before I got a planner, I kept having to work through the clutter. Bit by bit. Because I didn’t have a specific place for all my stuff. In this case, stuff being my important papers.
And it was frustrating.
I got through it. Developed a system. (Again, this planner was a lifesaver).
And you know what? It really has helped my business- and stress level. Hint, hint. Get a planner. You don’t realize how badly you need one until you get one then WOW.
Progress Is Sometimes Slow, But Worth It
For me, for a long time, I was investing hours and hours running in circles it felt like.
I’d clean up one mess on my blog, or in my life, only to be met with another.
When you’re trying to start your own business, by the way, it’s tough. Financially. Emotionally.
And you know things will be better one day. Some day. You hope.
But in the mean time… what do you do?
Financially, at least initially, you’re pouring into your blog or business and honestly, you’re not seeing an immediate return. It may be months before you see a return.
It was for me.
And while the temptation is there to do things half way in the mean time. You know, before you have the money to hire an assistant. Before you have the money to hire a tech expert. Before you have the money to get a “real” system in place. Take it from me.
Don’t Put Off For Tomorrow What Can Be Done Today
You can’t- or rather shouldn’t- do that.
Trust me when I say that things will calm down in all ways really, once your business takes off. But when exactly will that be?
There’s no telling.
And so you have to put in the extra work to stay organized. To stay on top of well, everything, even now.
I know. It’s a lot. So to avoid overwhelm, stay organized. Put in the extra time now, so later you won’t have to. Or rather, later, when finances allow, you can hand over the most tedious tasks to an assistant and if you’ve been organized all along, it won’t be you handing them a mess. More like a filing cabinet.
Balance Will Come- With Time
You’re doing all the right things. You’ve purchased the right tools. You’re making posts, and updating content daily. You’re putting in the long hours, late nights, and early mornings.
And all this around your current job and your all time family!
It’s become a balancing act of monumental proportions and-
Dear one, you’re not alone. Many an entrepreneur before you has felt this very same way. But perhaps due to our technological advances and our busy schedules it’s compounded.
Now focus on what you can change, in the midst of so much you can’t.
Clutter will kill you. So focus. You need a system. Get one.
Organization is Key
If you don’t have a system in place, the clutter will kill your productivity and it will kill your drive. Clutter is bad. It’s unnecessary.
In fact, do more than organize. You need a good purging of the unnecessary. Again, do what you can, with what you can. Let God do the rest.
Start small. Like your work area. Papers take up SO much space and get so untidy so easily.
Folders, boxes, bins, cups, a desk- buy it, make it, or make do. Get rid of the extras, like papers. Go through your papers and organize them. Stack by stack. If you no longer need it, get rid of it. If you can go digital, do. Have a bin for the urgent, and the important. Unimportant? Find a way to take it off your plate. You need to focus.
Artwork your kids bring home? I strongly encourage going digital.
I take pictures of most of my kids art and put in Shutterfly or Chatbook form so it’s all clean neat and together.
Or put it in clear page protectors and put it in a 3 ring binder- I can’t tell you how many of these I have. They’re great. I pull them out when I need them, but otherwise, they’re neat and organized and out of the way. This goes for more than just artwork, it can be ANY sort of papers.
Planners or Folders or Both?
Next, personal life/ LIFE! Get organized!
Write it down. Get notebooks, SEVERAL if you decide to go that route, and calendars. A couple of calendars. Or, again, a planner. It has all of that inside. One simple place for your calendar, notes, everything.
Calendars for your business. Calendars for social life and family appointments and extracurricular activities. Write it down in the planner!
Or put it in your phone.
Have one (or two if digital/virtual) places that you place reminders for yourself so you don’t end up falling behind.
More ways to organize your TIME, your most valuable asset. Don’t clutter your personal life with your work life and vice versa. Separate. Color code if need be. By the way, with this planner by Living Well Spending Less, you get STICKERS so no need to color code (unless you want to).
You Are Only One Person
If you can contract out, do. This is mostly reserved for those of us that have extra resources, but if for example, you hate cooking, hire a friend. Or just ask. Free is always good!
Need someone to pick up the kids? Carpool.
Need someone to pick up the dry cleaning and groceries? Uber eats, amazon fresh, Shipt, Grub Hub- all are options depending on where yo live!
House cleaning? Same thing. Merry Maids, Care.com- there are options. They may not be daily or weekly options but maybe once a month with budgeting- you pick.
Need alone time? Babysitter.
Now the big one. Your home.
Clutter in the Home
It’s EVERYWHERE. Clutter. Junk. Stuff.
We all have SO MUCH STUFF. And if we’re really blessed, we have not just a home for our stuff and us, we have other little homes. Like, a garage. Essentially a home for our car. A shed, a home for our tools and gadgets. And for those of us that can afford it- storage facilities. To keep the stuff we want to keep but don’t have another place for- like Christmas decorations and the items we’re actually storing for other people who have dumped on us during moves or downsizing- er. Or maybe that’s just me.
Less Stuff = More Happy
Get rid of much of the above as you can.
In the case of the paid-for storage facilities, either make a shed or out building on your own property so as to make that extra payment disappear or get rid of it.
Have a yard sale.
Post items for sale online. If you’re not using it or wearing it, sale it. Turn the extras into extra cash. Can’t sale it, if it’s broken, missing parts, just sentimental and taking up space- donate it. Goodwill. Re-gift it. Set it out on the curb, anything. Get it out of your house.
More space can be freeing. Less stuff can be freeing.
Start small. Breathe. Pray. Focus.
And give yourself grace. It’ll take time. A day or two at least, possibly a couple of weeks. But make it happen. For your sanity. And your health.
Now keep pushing forward. You got this.
And if you have any tips of your own to share about how you declutter, comment below! We’d love to hear from you!