Decluttering, cleaning up, organizing…
For years these words have haunted and taunted me.
I love order and beautiful clean spaces, but I have never in my entire life been good at creating them myself. I made strides this past year after discovering the book Smart But Scattered (you can read about my experience with it here.) That book helped me realize that for those of us who have weaknesses in the executive functions of organizing and planning, the first thing we can do to help ourselves is reduce the amount of items we're dealing with.
Now I have the next step in gently increasing the order in my life. This post contains Amazon affiliate links to this resource which means if you purchase through them I am compensated at no extra cost to you.
A few weeks ago I started a book I'm loving. A Year to Clear by Stephanie Bennett Vogt is, as she describes it: a daily guide for creating spaciousness in your home and heart.
What this means is that she works with you to create lasting change. Instead of a new way to organize, or ideas for how to store stuff, she gives you daily prompts for an entire year. Each week has a theme and each day gently leads you through the theme.
The themes work on your heart and home. So you begin a transformation from the inside out. The daily drip, drip, drip format keeps it manageable and allows you to come to your own insights then let them sink in.
Each day has a short reading and a couple journal/thought prompts. Each week wraps up with a few more in depth questions. If you're a fan of journaling, this book will really resonate with you.
Slow Drip Clearing Approach
This “drip” approach is extremely helpful for digging through what's going on that is keeping me from succeeding at my goals of consistently having a welcoming, clean home. As a person motivated to keep a clean and comfortable house who often fails at this anyways, I find this internal work is incredibly valuable.
I also find the drip approach helpful because I have a busy life, and it can be really disruptive to suddenly uproot long help habits. For instance, a couple years ago I read Marie Kondo's Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I loved a lot about that book (I still recommend it for the way it helped me look differently at possessions). However, when I dove into that book headfirst, it created a huge upheaval in my life. I got rid of loads and loads of books and clothes and more – and yes, long term that was good, but it was also a tumultuous couple months integrating so many new thoughts about all the STUFF in my life.
All that to say – I appreciate the slow drip approach because you still have profound realizations about yourself, but they feel more natural to incorporate into who you are.
I am a month in and feeling excited for where this will lead this coming year. Feel free to grab a copy if this is the kind of shift you need this next year too.
You can find A Year to Clear on Amazon here, and if you're curious about the lovely gray journal I have in the pictured above, it's unlined and really beautiful to use (the spine is such that it stays open when you're writing in it). It's from Airship Notebooks and especially nice if you enjoy drawing too.
You might also enjoy these posts on journaling and self development: