From Clutter to Beauty
Diann Higbee, Founder of Think it Beautiful
For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.
If you haven't been able to declutter and organize in the past you might need to use a different approach.
I created a system that uses the acronym BLISSFUL. It's unlike any decluttering method or advice you've ever been given. But it works. When I work with my clients I use this system to help them declutter their environment to achieve a blissful feeling.
Here are 4 of the steps I’d like to tell you a few of the steps.
The B in BLISSFUL is Block out the time (no phone or distractions). Let me suggest right now as you are reading this that you pull out your phone and block out a chunk of time. Block out 15 - 30 minutes and set a reminder. Then during that time turn off your phone and tell everyone including your family that you are not to be disturbed unless it’s an emergency. It's so easy to get distracted when we are decluttering its like we are looking for any excuse to stop. Now that you have a time, find someone that you can be accountable to. It could be a family member or a friend or even a co-worker.
The L in BLISSFUL is Lay the Groundwork. One of the first things I have my clients do is List what is important in their life. Grab a pen and paper or a notebook and right now make a list of what are the most important things to you in you life. This is important because as you pick something up and contemplate what to do with it, look at this list and ask yourself if that thing will benefit what is most important in your life. Each time you start to declutter, take out the list and read it out loud. Let go of the past. From now on you are going to be focusing on what is important right now and in the future. +
The I is Identify and list the storage areas and where things go. I always do a walk through in my clients home and look for all the spaces, all the shelves, and cupboards, and I can often point out storage places they didn’t see. See if there are any cubbies that you hadn’t considered for storage or think about if maybe you could put a nice looking basket on a shelf that you can use. As you are doing this you might see spaces that you will want to reject because they are already full of clutter. List them anyway.
The SS&F in BLISSFUL is See it and Say it and Feel it.
Let me just explain the science behind why See it Say it and Feel it. What do you think happens when someone goes in and clears out a room or organizes the cupboards for someone else? I always ask my clients that have kids, when you go in clean your childs room what does it look like 2 days or a week later.
Your subconscious doesn’t accept that that is how it is supposed to be, so you are uncomfortable. It doesn’t feel like home. It’s easy to set things down and leave them anywhere and everywhere.
Your brain is trained over the years that things are supposed to be a certain way. Here is an experiment. Cross your arms. Which arm is on top. Now cross them the other way with the other arm on top. Your subconscious immediately says this isn’t right.
You must retrain your brain. Fortunately the part of your brain that is trained by the past doesn’t differentiate between what’s real and what’s imaginary. Pick and area that needs decluttering or organizing, close your eyes and visually see what it looks like when it’s perfect. Make a declaration about it. Start with I love this clutter free room. Then describe it and actually get emotional about how good it looks. Do this for several days. Then when it is clean your brain will be retrained and you can walk in and say. Yes. That’s what I’m talking about. This is how it feels. And when something is out of place there is cognitive dissonance and you’ll have to put it away.
If your interested in hearing more about the Blissful Technique email firstname.lastname@example.org
When I start to de Clutter, I like to refer to it as a "LOVING YOUR HOME SESSION"
3 Steps to begin letting go of clutter
But I love all my stuff; why do I have to let it go?
You don't. Keep what you love, but do you really love all of it?
When we are surrounded by things that we have carefully (or not so carefully) purchased. When we can see our wonderful collections and memorabilia, it's difficult to reason that we might be living in chaos.
We see it everyday. So, our subconscious mind says this is comfortable and normal. So when we consciously make an effort to clean up, our subconscious mind rejects the effort by sending negative emotions, and all kinds of roadblocks.
There are tunz of evidences from our past that step in and say, "You're screwing up my normal, STOP CLEANING!"
Then we spend 20 minutes looking for a stupid pair of scissors, and find them in a drawer that we can't re-close because it has come off the track from too much stuff. And end up abandoning the project we wanted the scissors for because the other supplies are in a box . . .somewhere?
So, with new resolve we make another attempt at cleaning. Determined that this time we will get it done. Yet the subconscious eventually wins out again, emotion kicks in because of the evidence from our past, and we give up that resolve yet again.
So how can we remove what our subconscious sees as normal and replace it with a new and better normal?
3 steps to get you started.
1. Pick your spot.
When you are making a decision of where to start it's a good strategy to think first about safety. Then think about clearing out space as permanent homes for things. Books need to go on a book shelf, so the books shelves need to be available. Then consider how much time you have available. Perhaps you can only clear half the stairs today. Maybe you only have time for one box or bag. Even if you only have 10 minutes you can find a spot to work on.
2. Look at the whole picture.
This is the most important and beneficial trick we can play on our subconscious mind.
Try to remember when you were looking at your home before you ever moved in. That may be too far back for you to remember but you probably thought about how you would arrange your furniture, how your decorations would look, and you might have imagined what you would be doing in each area of your home. Try to capture a visualization about the area as if it is already free of clutter and perfectly arranged.
Of course it would be overwhelming to consider cleaning the entire area in one fell swoop.
However, if you pick a box or a bag to work on, and let's say the box or bag has 40 items in it. If all you see is those 40 items, then all you are really seeing is 40 decisions that have to be made. 40 decisions that your subconscious will want to reject. If you can consciously and continuously be looking forward to the beauty and comfort of the area, then all those decisions become small and easier to make.
It may still take several days or weeks to finish the area, but if you can visualize the whole picture each time you have a loving your home session, the closer you get to that picture the more motivated you will become.
3. Keep a journal of your successes.
Write down the area you worked on and what you accomplished. Then write down a goal for your next 'Loving Your Home Session'. Note down emotions that you felt and the roadblocks that made you want to quit before you reached your goal. Consider keeping a separate note book negative thoughts and roadblocks so that you can brainstorm and remember how you got past them.