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10 Ways Your Clutter is Costing You

10 Ways Your Clutter is Costing You

Piece by piece, bit by bit, clutter can creep into our homes. It does not often happen all at once, but is predominantly a trickle of items not put away, or taken out of the house. Then one day, you find yourself with a closet you can’t close, and items falling on your head when you open the closet door. You decide to solve the problem by getting a storage unit. This is step one of your clutter starting to cost you. A good rule of thumb is buying only what you need, and getting rid of the things you no longer need. Take time daily, weekly, and a deeper clean seasonally to clear out clutter. Or, just don’t let it accumulate in the first place. Focus on what you use, and let go of the “desire to acquire” by being satisfied with what you have, and when you upgrade, toss out the old to make room for the new. Clutter can be more than the topic for another episode of the TV show, “Hoarders”, it can have true financial and emotional costs. Is your clutter really worth the cost? 10 Ways that clutter can cost you:

  1. Money: Renting a monthly storage unit — especially one you may never even go into — is a way to store your clutter that can cost thousands of dollars a year. If you don’t have room for it, don’t pay to store it. Also, if you have so much clutter that you can’t find things, you end up buying something new when you can’t find the item you had already bought. Find and use what you have by having less items, and keeping what you do have organized.
  2. Time: When the house is a mess, a common problem is lost items, such as keys, shoes, etc … Streamline your life and your time by having less. Get out the door quicker by putting things in the same place consistently. NAPO (The National Association for Professional Organizers) says that on average, people spend 1 year out of their life looking for lost items.
  3. Relationships: A common cause of fighting amongst couples is one person having more clutter than another. If you are dating, there literally is no room for someone to move in unless you keep your space clutter-free. Having clutter can also cause embarrassment and a lack of interest to let people into your home to entertain.
  4. Space: People start buying bigger and bigger houses in order to store all their stuff that they accumulate along the way. To make more space in your house, you may not need a room addition, or a second story, you may just simply need to let go of some stuff to make the space you already have seem bigger.
  5. Well-being: Clutter is a breeding ground for dust and bugs. If you can’t see the floor, you can’t clean it properly. If you want to avoid spiders, bedbugs, and your sanity, keep items off the floor. Dusty clutter also leads to allergies, headaches, and stress.
  6. Energy: On a deeper level, clutter can make you feel fatigued. In ancient Feng Shui principles, there needs to be a flow through a house, and clutter is perceived as stuck energy, limiting the healthy flow of energy in your home.
  7. Productivity: Without clutter in your way, you can spend less time looking for things, organizing things, and more time moving forward with your life and your goals. Clutter holds you back by nagging at you to face it, rather than having a clean slate to go forth and create anew.
  8. Vitality: On an energetic level, clutter can be a visual to-do list, perpetually staring you in the face about what you “should do”, or make you feel guilty for acquiring more than you need.
  9. Focus: Clutter is not only visually distracting, but when you see piles of papers, clothes, or boxes in your space, it can keep you from focusing on your family, your work, or your priorities.
  10. Freedom: The more stuff you have, the more difficult it is to move easily, to travel, or to make changes in your life. Your stuff can literally keep you stuck where you are, by being overwhelmed at the sheer magnitude of items that stand between you and living the life of your dreams.

Time to let go of the clutter and avoid the hidden costs. Keep it light. Keep it simple. Save money, time, energy, and relationships, by having less and knowing what you do have in the first place.

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Featured photo credit: Alex via flickr.com

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Bridget Baker

Web Presence Sherpa

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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