There are many areas in our homes that become cluttered and disorganized. This week we will begin with something small and manageable, the “catch all junk drawer.” Most of us have more than one of them, so you can apply this process on all of the drawers you have. Begin with one at a time. You can move through these steps in a couple different ways depending on what you are looking to accomplish. If you are just looking to get the drawer organized, you can do the step-by-step for sorting, disposing and placing. If you are looking for more than just a how-to guide, I have provided some additional exercises along the way. These more in-depth action steps are there to help you begin to notice what is happening internally when you see the clutter that has been created, organize it and create space. By becoming aware of how the process of de-cluttering makes you feel inside and the thought patterns it brings up, you can use that awareness to create lasting changes physically, emotionally, and mentally.
So let's begin. Set aside an hour or two that you can be uninterrupted and work on that junk drawer. Turn off your cell phone. Make a commitment to be with yourself for these next couple hours. You will need a little space to work in with the items from the drawer like a counter or a small area on the floor, some paper and a pen. It is a good idea to also have a trash bag close by for the items you no longer need, or that don’t work.
Now, when you're all set and ready to begin, stop where you are. You can sit if that is more comfortable. Close your eyes and take a few moments to be with yourself as you are in this moment. Allow whatever thoughts and feelings are there to just be. You are just noticing all that is arising in your experience. See the thoughts and feelings as clouds that are passing in the sky. No need to catch a ride on one. Just let them pass freely through your experience. Try not to judge anything that is coming up for you. Just notice what is arising as you move towards creating space in your life. After a few moments begin to consciously deepen your breathing. Deepen your breathing by breathing in for 4-5 seconds and out for 4-5 seconds. Do this exercise for about 10 breath cycles. You can continue longer if that feels good to, or less if you need to. Deepening your breathing is going to activate your body’s natural relaxation response so that you are in a calmer, more grounded space as you begin to organize.
Once you have taken a few moments to come into your body by breathing, use the pen and paper to write down the things that were coming up for you. This is an opportunity to clear any “mental junk” that came to the surface. There may also be nothing to write which is fine. Don't get caught up in needing to write anything. After you've written anything that came up, you are ready to open the drawer and have a look inside. It is a good idea to take another couple deep breaths as you begin and as well as throughout the entire organizing process. This is a great way to stay present with the process and continue to clear the mental junk that keeps rising to the surface.
Now you can begin organizing. I like to use the process of sorting items into piles. The mind is already good at categorizing so by sorting it takes the big task and breaks it down into smaller more manageable pieces. Begin sorting the items in the drawer based on what you have stored in there. For example your drawer might have office supplies, light bulbs, tools, etc. Once you have sorted everything, it is time to put it away. If the items you have sorted already have places in your home, go ahead and put them away. Things that are broken, missing parts or are no longer needed, can be thrown away. The rest of the items will go back in the drawer. When putting stuff away somewhere, you want to make what you use the most easily accessible so place the items in the drawer accordingly. Things used the least, put on the bottom or in back and the most important items place on top or in front. If you are finding that you need compartments or containers to help keep things separated in the drawer, Target, Home Goods or the Container Store are a good place to start. If you are on a tight budget, you can also keep packaging that manufacturers use to box your food or other items in and re-purpose them.
Congratulations! You have just finished organizing your first drawer and cleared some clutter! Take a moment to breath into the physical & mental space you created for yourself. Notice what you are feeling. Do you feel sense of accomplishment? Do you feel lighter? Do you feel a little more space to breathe? Wonderful! Breathe in and enjoy the newly created space. Acknowledge the work you did. Take a moment to thank yourself for taking the time to begin organizing your life. Write down anything that you feel compelled to write about your journey so far. Over the next few days and weeks, notice how making space in one drawer has begun to make space in other areas of your life. Enjoy the space that you have created.
If the task of organizing is too overwhelming and you would like help in the process, don't hesitate to contact me. I offer unconditional, loving and nonjudgmental organizing and personal assisting services based on your individual needs.