Has your life gotten out of kilter in some way? Maybe your job doesn’t excite you anymore or you don’t have a job and want one. Perhaps you want to spend more time with family or friends or doing a hobby you really enjoy. Possibly there is something that you have always wanted to do that you haven’t done yet. June is Rebuild Your Life Month. No, I really don’t make these “holidays” up! Let’s take a look at one crucial piece necessary in the rebuilding process.

How many choices do you make each day? Immediately you may realize that you can’t count all of them because you make choices regarding everything from whether or not to eat breakfast, to what you will wear, to how to drive to work or the store. You may not consider some of these choices because they are so ingrained that you may make them without really thinking.

Is there clutter in your home, office, car, or calendar? What if I said that a great majority of that clutter is due to choices? Before you start protesting, please read a little bit further. I promise that if you implement the ideas in this article that you will reduce the amount of clutter in your life.

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talks about Victor Frankl who was held in a concentration camp during World War II. Frankl found that while the guards could take away food, clothing, health, and adequate shelter, they couldn’t take away his reaction to the circumstances, “[Frankl discovered] a fundamental principle about the nature of man: Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose.” (p. 69-70) Feeling overwhelmed by your workload? You can choose to endure it, you can find a new job, or you can suggest some alternatives to your manager to lessen the load. I’m not suggesting that any of these is easy to do. In fact, any of these three choices lead to many other choices. The point is there is a choice.

Let’s say that you have an abundance of stuff in your home. What is your stimulus to shop? Does a bad day usually lead to “retail therapy”? If so, find an alternative such as taking a walk, reading a book, taking a bubble bath, or participating in a hobby you enjoy. Does flipping through TV channels tend to take you to a shopping channel where you make multiple purchases? Have someone else program your TV so that you can’t receive those channels. (If you do it yourself, you can undo it!) Do you go to a store for one item and walk out with five? Take only enough cash to buy the one item or plan your day so that you just have enough time to buy the one item before you have to be somewhere else. Again, these suggestions aren’t easy, but neither is having lots of clutter.

Covey says “…as human beings, we are responsible for our lives. Our behavior is a function of our decision, not our conditions….Look at the word responsibility—“response-ability”—the ability to choose your response.” (p. 71) If you want to rebuild your life, it is critical to choose what you do and how you do it. Do you come home and immediately place all mail and papers on the nearest flat surface? If so, you are choosing to create clutter. You opted to put it there which means that you could decide to place it elsewhere.

I could continue with other examples; however I think that you understand that clutter and choices are linked. In It’s All Too Much, Peter Walsh states “When you succeed in decluttering it will be because you’ve made good life choices. And when you’re living by those choices, you’ll experience the joy, the lightness, and the freedom that come with natural order.” So I suggest that you come up with an organizing mantra: “I can choose to X and feel overwhelmed by clutter or I can choose Y and decrease my clutter overwhelm”. Will you choose to take this step?

Author's Bio: 

Developer of the Flexible Structure Method™, Janice and her team at Minding Your Matters® has an impressive reputation for helping clients achieve “flow”. “Flow” as Janice calls it, is the blissful state of having an organizational process that supports your life and lifestyle. A Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization, Janice is also a Certified Organizer Coach and the author of “Get Organized This Year!”. Janice’s practical and caring approach to organizing is the basis of her high-content live workshops and webinars. Janice is a Golden Circle Member of National Association of Professional Organizers and Program Mentor Coach for the Institute for Challenging Disorganization. She serves the organizational needs and challenges of both business and residential clients, as well as provides training intensives for fellow organizers nationwide. To enjoy meaningful tips and gain immediate access to all of Janice valuable resources, please visit her website atwww.MindingYourMatters.com. To schedule a consultation or request Janice to speak please call 919-467-7058.