Have you ever watched one of the reality shows where people have lost a massive amount of weight? They spend weeks and so much work and sweat and tears to drop it. It seems a month or two after one of those seasons ends a story comes out about how a contestant has now not only gained it all back but sometimes they gain more than where they started. I hate those stories. We all do. So much sacrifice and hard work and then it all goes down the drain.
Ridding our home of excess stuff is very similar. Clutter, like weight seems to come out of nowhere and add up with such ease. Piling up on counter tops, making our closets and drawers bulge. So how do we keep the clutter from coming back and multiplying seemingly overnight? The key, as with weigh loss, is to maintain.
Maintaining your home once things are minimized, areas are decluttered and life is simplified all comes down to mindfulness, routines, and some rules.
Maintain with Mindfulness
-Grace and gentle reminders for others in your home.
-Be mindful of your shopping tendencies.
-Plan ahead and prepare for holidays and birthdays.
-Expect and plan for hard or busy seasons.
-Choose routines and rules that fit your life/family/circumstances
Maintain with Routines
-Putting everything in its home after use
-Make bed first thing
-Clean up immediately after each meal
–Clean as you cook
-Keep surfaces clear
-Immediately sort incoming papers and be ruthless
-Nightly clean up routine
-Clean up when a task is finished or you stop for a time.
Maintain with Rules
-One in, one out: meaning you buy new shoes, an old pair goes out.
-Limits: meaning you decide to only have 3 skirts or only craft supplies that fit in this drawer.
–Narrowing it down: even after minimizing, deciding to go further by tackling categories of things and narrowing down how much you own.
–Modules: containing special things like projects, or stuff that you only use at a certain time in a container helps keeps things organized and housed to not collect clutter or become clutter.
-As task/project isn’t finished until it has been cleared away: meaning be sure you have time/energy to clear things away once finished, whether its crafts or meals, etc.
-Say “No” to free stuff: no explanation needed. Most of it is junk and something you would not pay money, so don’t pay with your time and energy by allowing it into your home.
Doing a massive purge of excess stuff in your entire home is a huge task. It not only takes time, but physical and mental energy as well. To keep the clutter from rebounding, again requiring a huge amount of work, some daily and occasional energy spent maintaining will be so beneficial and worth it in the long run.