Streamlining Your Life!

 Clutter affects all aspects of your life

 

By Donna Sommers 

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking

                 we used when we created them.”

                                                                   Albert Einstein

Clutter is simply the accumulation of “stuff.”  It encompasses memorabilia, “to do” projects that seem never to be ‘done’, and family members’ additional contributions to the disorder.  This can result in feeling overwhelmed and frustrated which leads to unhealthy stress.  This stress may be a blessing in disguise as these overwhelming feelings may be the final push you need to make you take action for change.

For some, this first step may mean seeking guidance and support.  Making this commitment to yourself to simplify your life and get organized is a significant investment in yourself to achieve personal inner peace and outer success.  Change on any level can be a challenge because it affects everyone in the home – not only you!

Professional Organizers not only help to coach clients through this tough process, they suggest simple systems and keep them accountable to their goals.  “Developing good organizational skills can greatly reduce stress in people’s lives,” says professional organizer Kristin Mastromarino. “However, some people struggle with mastering these skills on their own, this is where I am most valuable!”  

Organization is only the beginning. It is one thing to organize and yet another to allow for the life changing healing that will follow.  Organizing is not only about putting “stuff” in its place; it is about putting something in order deep within you so you can feel free and unencumbered for the successful, stress-free life you wish to achieve!

Disorder often becomes a reflection of what exists inside our emotional self. Clutter can mean there is disarray, discomfort, or unhappiness in your life and this cluttter doesn’t happen overnight.  Change becomes non-negotiable if we plan to move on to a more satisfying and simplified lifestyle.  We cannot keep doing the same things over and over and expect different outcomes. 

De-cluttering involves what, where, and how the “stuff” will go.  By discarding and/or moving “stuff” from your home, you create a void and enter into a process of letting go, of some of these “things” that served you in some way. This is a time to be gentle on yourself and seek as much support as you can to achieve even the smallest goal.  The smallest step is the largest accomplishment.  Short-term counseling is often utilized to help remove existing emotional obstacles to reinforce the organizational process.

Remember, it is a process!  Just like renovating a room in your home, it will get messier before it gets tidy.  Patience and trust, along with the assistance and support you receive from family, friends, and this workshop will be required for the process to work.

This process of change requires commitment, patience, inner strength, and support.  As mentioned, all involved in this process become affected and, therefore, all will feel different emotions throughout this activity. This means the endeavor may involve agreements with family. Gathering at family meetings to prioritize plans can help successfully set your goals in motion.  These meetings may open up communication between family members that may have been absent for a long time. You may need to develop new communication skills and be willing and open to learn how to relate to each other. Too often what arises from this issue is a breakdown in communication; a misunderstanding that becomes only about the mess instead of the change as a whole. 

While there are many situations that are resolvable by simple persistence and communication, there are other more serious considerations of which to be aware. It is vital to maintain a sense of purpose and non-judgment while keeping focus on your goal.

Just as eating, alcohol, and drugs can be problematic when done to an extreme, so too is clutter.  We address this as Chronic Disorganization (CD).  This on-going pattern is a result of grief, overwhelm by life situations, and feeling hopeless and out of control.  It begins as situational disorganization and evolves into Chronic Disorganization.  There are indications of being Chronically Disorganized and out of control.

We all share some aspects of these Chronic Disorganization tendencies.  When our life feels seriously out of control it is necessary to consider this CD can be a side effect of our emotional state.  It is important to acknowledge that CD is resolvable with determination and emotional support.

Some professionally recognized indications of the existence of CD are: 

 – Disorganization, clutter and poor time management that regularly disrupt your marriage, parenting, relationships, work and health;

 – Great difficulty letting go of things even when you no longer need them;

 – Clutter is preventing you from using areas of your home as you would like;

 – You have tried to organize many times but nothing seems to stick;

 – You have purchased organizing books and organizing containers but not been able to apply them to your situation;

– You feel there a sense of hopelessness when you can’t maintain organizing systems.

Do not give up. You are worth it! In a short time these patterns will be in the past and replaced with consistent healthy organization on many levels.

This on-going column is to help dispel and dismantle old thought patterns and help create concrete solutions for new healthy patterns for success in your relationships at home, at work, and most importantly, in your self!

Donna Sommers, RN, Counselor, Life Coach, Energy Medicine Practitioner, has a private practice in Branford, CT.  For over 25 years she has offered her expertise and guidance and compassion for healthy change and ultimate healing.

Join the forming four week support group, “De-clutter and Live Free” Support Group, facilitated by Counselor, Donna Sommers and sponsored by Professional Organizer, Kristin Mastromarino of The Organized Lifestyle Store in Guilford.  This is not a therapy group but a support group with weekly themes and assignments to facilitate the changes about which you have requested. Each group will be tailored specifically for the members.

2010 is a great time for change as we begin a new decade.

New Decade — New Patterns — A New You!        

 A free one-hour introductory session is being offered on January 26 at 12:30 and again at 6:30 p.m. at The Hearth at Tunxis Pond, 100 Bradley Rd.  Bring your friends and/or family members to the introduction to assess if this is indeed for you.  See you there so we can begin effective work together for your success!

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