This week on social media, I shared an awesome tip that I’ve been using to reframe my approach to clutter: when you’re decluttering, always start with the most visible clutter.
It’s not rocket science, but how great is this suggestion? If guests enter your house through the front door, that means EVERYONE will get that view, even if they’re just popping their head in to pick up a package or drop off a meal.
So when you’re ready to declutter, always start with the most visible clutter: you know, the stuff you can see when you open the front door to come inside.
You know the brilliant thing about this tip though? It applies to both decluttering and to our daily lives in general.
In the physical realm, if we start with what’s most visible, we’ll see progress immediately, and even if we get distracted from our task, if someone shows up at the house, they’ll immediately get a cleaner view than they would have otherwise.
In the same way, if we’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the tasks on our to-do list, one helpful method is to start with what’s most visible. If there’s an item that’s been on our list, haunting us, for two months, knocking that thing off the list a) means we won’t be wasting any more brain space or time worrying about getting it done and b) means we can knock it off the list. Chances are that it was taking up more than its fair share of space, and having that done will be super helpful.
Likewise, if I’ve got a million things to do, but I keep putting off making a priority list, that’s the most visible thing that will be a huge help. If I do that first, I’ll be able to see the items that are essential and urgent and prioritize them accordingly. If the most visible thing is that I haven’t updated the family calendar or made the doctor’s appointment that’s required of me, maybe it’s that. But the same idea holds. Consider what’s most visible, or most present, and start there.
Lately I’ve been battling some anxious demons. I think COVID is starting to get to me in a more significant way – I know you can probably relate! The extra anxiety means that clutter that normally wouldn’t bother me can feel overwhelming right now. But the flip side of it is that when I make some time to declutter, I feel palpable relief, basically immediately, and my anxiety gives me a break for a while.
While the visible clutter isn’t always actually the most important thing on our list, it can give us the mental capacity to tackle other things on our list.
If your email inbox is freaking you out a little bit on the daily, it’s time to set a timer and do a bit of decluttering there.
If those dishes are taunting you while you’re trying to work on your side hustle, it may be more effective to do those first, or at least delegate and pass it on to another family member.
Don’t underestimate the power of tackling that visible clutter. And the reverse can be true as well. If you start with the invisible clutter (you know, the stuff in your cabinets), you won’t get the visible satisfaction of seeing and showing off your progress after a decluttering session.
Likewise, the invisible brain clutter may include tasks that, while nice to tackle, are ignoring the elephant in the room, or your brain, metaphorically speaking.
So, I challenge you – tackle some clutter this week. Physical or otherwise.
If you’d like to work on decluttering with me, I’m offering a free tracker and weekly tips to assist you in my free group, Crafting Your Life Adventure. Join me there for support on decluttering and whatever projects or goals you’re working on this year.
Thanks for reading, and have a great week!
P.S. Grab a copy of my Four Steps To Your Dream Life Blueprint while you’re at it. Giving yourself the gift of organizing and transforming your future is one more way to declutter and grow!
Supporting Our Blog
We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:
- Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
- Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
- Become a patron of our work!
- Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
- Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
- Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
- Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.