As a Professional Organizer, I’m called upon to tour and evaluate your cluttered spaces. I’m in your closets and I’m in your intimate drawers. I can see the physical overwhelm and implement manageable solutions. But what I cannot see, is what’s inside your head. Your closets may be bulging but perhaps your brain is about to explode as well.
Thoughts and things go hand in hand, therefore the challenges and strategies of organizing them are very much the same too. Here’s another way to assess them.
Consider your brain the “closet” that stores your thoughts. Take a look and ask yourself;
What’s abundantly clear, is overabundance. Whether it is physical clutter or mental clutter, too much is still too much. Both can be paralyzing if you don’t routinely clear out these spaces. The accumulation of outdated possessions is as much a burden as a brain full of to do’s or negative thoughts. When your life-balance is threatened, it’s the opportune time to consider purging.
Although the purging process of thoughts and things may look a little different, they both still need to be organized and managed.
Thoughts. Write them down randomly as they emerge. Out of the head and onto a piece of paper is a quality brain dump. Think of it as a mind/body cleanse, like any healthy nutritional cleanse. Clean house and create space in the brain.
Sort and categorize your thoughts. Some thoughts might require an immediate call to action, others might be just an idea that needs to marinate, or perhaps it’s those nagging emotional road blocks that you’ve been avoiding. Beware that when left unattended, these thoughts tend to get lumped altogether in one big pot, just like a messy junk drawer. This causes the overwhelm to mount and that’s when the pounding headache emerges. Recognize that all thoughts cannot be of equal importance. Everything can’t matter in the same way. Break them down and prioritize them.
Take a pause and look them over at another time. When you step away and revisit thoughts, your perspective may change. Give your brain a chance to process all that is on your mind. This will help segregate the minutia from the significant.
“Seeing” your thoughts on paper is a great way to really “look” at your brain, and even more-so, a very effective method to organize it. A brain needs to be organized too.
Things. Assessing the relevance of your things in your life today is the best measure to discern their value, and is an integral part of the letting go process. Faulty thinking can often interfere with this decision-making process so it’s always helpful to recruit an objective voice to talk it out. This process is much more complex but inherently is guided by parameters of finite space. When your systems break down (or you don’t have any), it may be that “too much” is why you are losing control of your things. The less is more and use it or lose it principle will provide you with a life with less to manage.
As you see, thoughts and things are linked so closely and they typically slip and slide together. Chances are that if your closets are overflowing and overabundant with clutter, your brain is experiencing similar chaos. And vise versa, if your thoughts are jumbled, there’s a good chance that your spaces will reflect some evidence of disorganization.
So are your closets bursting at the seams? Does your head sometimes feel likes its going to explode? If you are overloaded with thoughts and things, try exercising that letting go muscle. More room to breathe, more life to live.
It may not be realistic to do a closet cleanse daily, but I would recommend a brain dump nightly at bedtime. I promise you a more restful night’s sleep. It really works. Would love to hear your thoughts about things. What’s on your mind?