By Marie-France Lamothe
I was raised in a home where I remember very little clutter surrounding me. My mother was very meticulous about keeping things organized and not having things around that we didn't need. She taught us that there is indeed a way of living a decluttered life. It was foundational in how I think about the physical space I live in. And an organized way of living is where I thrive. I believe that most people do as well, but many never get to experience the feeling of a clean and organized environment for a number of reasons.
And let's be clear for a moment. As much as I love this way of living, I am far from being there at this point in my life. But I am working towards getting there once again, living in harmony with my physical environment.
Things that can cause you to live a cluttered life
There are many factors that come into play when it comes to living a cluttered life. For me personally, living with 5 other people who don't put the same amount of care and thought into keeping things organized makes it excessively challenging. It can be frustrating and overwhelming, sometimes even giving me a sense of not wanting to be in this space.
When Fraser and I moved in together a little over 6 years ago, we combined two homes into one. There was a lot of duplication of stuff. And, with a newborn to look after, it was very challenging for me to organize all of this. In the end, I ended up taking some of the clutter into out new home. I was running out of time and out of steam! But, I did it the best way I could at the time. I did enjoy the process, even if it's still ongoing, because I love to organize! It's who I am.
The challenge of living with others
Creating a living space that is free of clutter, organized and clean when you are living with many different personality types is extremely challenging. I am much happier when my space is clean and tidy, but this does not appear to be the case for everyone else. At least not to the extent that they want to put the time and effort into doing the work it takes to make it happen.
I suppose there are different levels of tolerance for clutter. And for Fraser and his kids, their past physical environment makes the state of our current environment appear a lot better. This is where the difference lies for us. I realize that this is something I need to accept. I also realize that by doing what I can to create a clutter-free environment sets an example for the rest of my family. It's important to trust that my habits will rub off on them eventually. I just need to be patient.
And I can see that my habits have begun to make their mark. For instance, Fraser is seeing how having an uncluttered garage would be so much nicer. It would give him the space he needs to do things he wants to do. But I know that he too feels overwhelmed by the mountain of stuff. But, bit by bit, he is getting there.
Knowing that I cannot control what others do, my goal is to create and execute my ow decluttering plan. Hopefully this alone will entice others to do the same in their personal space.
For now, I am taking it one pile at a time and one room at a time. Eventually, I will get there and everyone will be happier for it.
Where do you even start?
It can feel overwhelming to look at your home in its entirety and think "I have to clean up and organize all that?" It's enough to make you quit before you even begin. Don't despair. Your way to a living a decluttered life comes one baby step at a time. In the next several days, weeks, months, I will take you on a decluttering journey. I invite you to join me on this journey and see where you can take baby steps in your own home.
I'll be putting together a plan of action for myself and share it all with you, along with my progress. I will share tips and tricks with you along the way and together we can improve our quality of life just by improving our living space. You will be amazed at the impact this will have on all other areas of your life.
Are you ready to do this? If you're ready to join me on this journey, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what your biggest struggle is. I would love to know what I can do to help you overcome it!
You can also visit me at https://mariefrancelamothe.com for more!
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