Life clutter is the tangled little messes that keep you doing the same thing, day after day. Imagine the tangled mess of power cords living behind your computer desk or entertainment center. You know they are there but usually choose to ignore the mess. We do the same thing with our personal life clutter because it is exhausting.
Life clutter can start with your finances, relationships, work or any other big component of your life. When the big clutter is cleared out, all of the little clutter takes care of itself.
The simplest way to identify your life clutter is by comparing your personal values with the current state of your life. If I said one of my core values is having a healthy body but I haven't eaten a vegetable that wasn't fried in weeks, I have a big ole pile of life clutter. My life is obviously out of balance with who I want and know I can be.
What is holding you back from clearing away some major clutter in your life?
- It is difficult. Most of us prefer to stay in our comfort zone!
- It is all we know. When we have done things the same way for years, shaking that up may seem risky and nerve wracking.
- No one has shown us how! For this, you may need a role model. Sometimes those around us have good intentions but they are stuck doing things the way they have always been done. Finding a role model outside of our comfort zone can inspire us in ways we never expected.
- We can't see past our current situation. It might feel like you are going to be in this season of life forever. The decisions we make add up each day to change our future.
- We can't see the benefits. For me, this was hiring a professional to take care of important tasks. Once I finally changed my mindset, I couldn't understand why I was so opposed to it in the beginning. Sometimes we need to take the time to research a subject and find inspiring "Whys" for our actions.
- We haven't risen the bar for ourselves. Our standards set what we expect from ourselves. If we never set the standard that we need to get our act together, it just isn't going to happen. We become exactly what we allow or don't allow for ourselves.
Can you pin point the life clutter you are avoiding each day? Wondering if it is even worth it to change now?
I want to share with you my personal story that started my love for organization. It starts way back as a newly wed. I was married just a few months shy of 19 years old. Super young and in love and thought I was ready to run a household. Even though we didn't have much physical clutter, we had a big issue causing tremendous life clutter.
Our first home was a teeny, tiny duplex apartment, sharing parking with the auto mechanic shop next door. Each room was "efficient" with just enough space to sleep, sit or cook, not an inch of space to spare for storage or a dining room table. Fortunately, the price was right at just $365 a month and I didn't think much of it having spent most of my life sharing a room with my younger sister.
Shortly after moving in, the concept of space was a never ending concern. Why you might ask? This young, 19 year old girl wanted a baby. Without a dollar to her name or a square foot of extra space to put a bassinet, a baby was on the brain. My husband and I talked it over time and time again. It just wasn't going to happen with our current living situation.
That's when the wheels were set in motion. Nothing motivates more than wanting something you can't have and believe me, I was one motivated woman. It all started by finding better work.
I started working full time which gave us the extra money to move. I was going to save all that extra money so I could start building a better life and work towards starting my own family. Oh Naive, 19 year old self, that wasn't going to happen! As soon as the paychecks rolled in, the money rolled right back out to the tune of a new car loan and a small lifestyle upgrade. We made the same mistake we had been warned time and time again about. The lifestyle creep. Spending just enough money to keep us in debt, living paycheck to paycheck.
How could we still struggle when the money coming in was double my original weekly pay? It didn't take long until I realized we had absolutely no clue what our financial situation looked like. Sure, we paid our bills but now we were in debt. What would happen if one of us got sick? We were living blindly and it was a constant source of life clutter.
So I decided to take what I knew about creating Excel spreadsheets and I made my first budget planner. It was an eye opener! The first time I took a look at our bank account statements, I was blown away. We were spending double our rent on going out, fast food and groceries. Our money was being wasted at every turn. As painful as this first budget review felt, at least I was starting to get what was keeping us broke and frustrated. Now I had the opportunity to improve it because I knew exactly what part of our finances was weak.
I did research, picked my financial role models and set out to improve our lives. Within a few years, we were able to buy our first home and now have a sweet 18 month old boy!
Not only was I able to change my life in a few short years, I also removed a piece of life clutter that was bogging my family down. Now, when big unexpected expenses hit, our family isn't scared, worried how we can manage another payment. Our financial life isn't perfect but it an amazing improvement.
I hope my story has helped you identify a piece of life clutter that is closing doors in other areas of your life. Want to take action? Raise your standards of what you expect from yourself each day. Make it a habit to add or subtract whatever it takes to reach your goal. Research the right action to take and follow through. Find a community or role model to
Keep you accountable to your goal.
We all have room for improvement and when we take the opportunity to clear up life clutter, we open doors for the things we truly want t, providing space in our lives.
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