Know where you’re going before you set off.
Often, when you ask people what they’re aiming for when they’re clearing clutter, they’ll say ‘I want it to look tidier/better in here…’ That seems like a good enough response, but in reality, it lacks something important. Saying you want a space to look ‘tidier’ is much like setting out for a stroll, with no real idea of where you will end up, other than back where you started, eventually…
When you say you want a space to look ‘tidier’, what you actually mean is ‘tidier than it looks now…’. There is actually a picture in that sentence as far as your subconscious mind is concerned and that is, the way the space looks now i.e. the way it looks in chaos. With that picture as the only reference point, is it any wonder that it ends up that way again?
It sounds like semantics, but the way you ‘frame’ an organising session does affect your eventual success or failure. Your subconscious mind is much more likely to aid you in getting to your end goal of a well organised space, if it is given an ‘address’ or ‘destination’ and the more specific you can make that ‘destination’, the better. If you take the time to imagine the way you’d like the space you’re clearing to work for you, and the way you want it to look and feel, in a very detailed and vivid way, your subconscious mind knows exactly what you’re aiming at, and will aid you. Having such a picture in mind, especially if you can be enthusiastic about it, will also ‘pull’ you back to the clearing (when you can’t do it all at once) so that you can complete it, and make it look the way that you see it in your mind’s eye.
If you don’t have a picture in mind, then your subconscious mind probably feels as you yourself might if you were driven away in a car, without being told where you were going. Not happy! And in a case like that, it will often resist, and make the whole process seem too laborious or difficult. It has no incentive to succeed, because you haven’t set one up.
So the next time you tackle a cluttered space, before you start, take a moment or two to remind yourself how you’d like it to look and work, and how much better it will feel when it’s done. Keep reminding yourself of that picture as you clear, and you’ll find it far easier to finish what you start….