Who doesn't want to be a little bit happier?
I certainly do. That quest for increased happiness is what led me to hire Gina Novish (ImpactStyling) to save me from my closet, which led me to Marie Kondo, who taught me that I have a skill and passion for decluttering, which led me to becoming a Tidy Fairy! It's also what inspired me to pick up Gretchen Rubin's book, "The Happiness Project". It's a delightful read about her personal journey to increase her own happiness through measurable, actionable, daily steps based on ancient wisdom, scientific research, pop culture (and of course, advice from friends).
I didn't pick this out thinking that it would have anything to do with tidying. And yet, there it was; in the very first month of her Happiness Project. I just can't escape my love of decluttering. (Who am I kidding though; I was so excited to discover this portion of the book! HashtagNerdFeels)
"Toss. Restore. Organize."
Her first month was all about boosting her daily energy. As a part of that task, Gretchen decided to get her house in order, citing her own personal experience of feeling her energy drain as soon as she stepped into her cluttered home, as well as research that suggested that eliminating clutter would cut down on the amount of housework by 40 percent (let's all do less housework! Hooray!).
I can absolutely identify with that feeling of coming home after a long day out, and feeling so depressed at the sight of piles of stuff on the counters, clothes on the floor, "junk" everywhere...it's not a relaxing or welcoming environment to return to. It used to zap whatever energy I had left at the end of the day, leaving me to defeatedly fall into bed with some junk food and junk tv, without even the strength to wash my makeup off. (Denial, even if it's just of messiness, takes energy, ya'll).
"Make a list, do a little bit each day, and stay calm."
Gretchen came up with her own tidying advice that I just love, and I had to share a little with you! I'm not going to get into everything; you'll have to read her book and/or check out her fantastic blog.
I'd like to share with you how she breaks down clutter into manageable categories, all of which have pretty clear and simple solutions.
She came up with 8 great types of clutter that people are likely to fall prey to:
Gretchen's book is eminently quotable and full of great advice (and not just about tidying!), and I'd highly recommend it.
I love that at the end of the day she came to the conclusion that additional storage solutions were not necessary to free her from clutter. All she needed were two trash bags - one for throwaways and one for giveaways.
I also loved her epiphany that by decreasing the amount of clothing in her closet, she actually felt like she had much more to wear! I feel exactly the same way! We all want to feel we have exactly the best stuff for us to wear in our closets, and decluttering actually gives you that. It may seem counter intuitive, but it really does work!
Could you use this categorical awareness of clutter to conquer your closet? A cabinet? Or a drawer?
Try it out! Hone in on one category and see if that inspires you to free yourself from things in your home that don't bring you joy! A little bit of decluttering goes a long way toward improving your energy, boosting your mood due to feeling productive, and improving your relationship to material things!