How many times have you started the project and then said, “I just can’t do it?” I’m here to tell you that you CAN get organized! This season we’re going to take a deep dive into how you can remember and cherish your loved one, and still organize, declutter, and clean out the physical space. It can be done!!
After my husband died, I was exhausted at the thought of having to sort through a home, a farm and another ranch. My brain already struggled with memory issues, I had these two children that needed to be cared for on a regular basis in order to thrive, and an orchard that would die if it wasn’t tended. It consumed me, and organizing on top of that? I wanted to pitch a fit, but it had to be done!!
The secret to successfully organizing your home (and LIFE) is to learn how to create a plan and then execute it. I could preach it from a soapbox all day long! Today I’ll share the overview, and then we’re going to tear it apart! This is it….
- STEP 1: Find your why
- STEP 2: Make a plan
- STEP 3: Edit your space
- STEP 4: Organize what’s left
- STEP 5: Elevate and Integrate
- STEP 6: Learn how to maintain
That’s it! Jumping in and organizing?? That’s a step 4 activity and yet we are taught to make it step one. No wonder we fail. No wonder it’s overwhelming. Think about how you’ve tried to organize in the past so it’s fresh in your mind. Now, read how my steps work, and see if it feels a little different.
Find Your Why
Finding your why means you need to look at the end result you want. Why are you doing this? Why do you want to organize or clean out your spouses possessions? Your why is actually your end goal. It sets your intention for the space and in your mind.
If you struggle to find your why, ask yourself who you want to be and how do you want to feel in your space when this process is over? What is the story you want your possessions to tell? That answer becomes your why.
Make a Plan
Now that you have a sense of how you want to feel and what you want to see in your future space, you can make a plan to get there! The plan allows you to get laser focused on what needs to happen in your project. You get to call the shots, and there is no wrong answer, as long as you are happy with the reasons.
When making a plan, keep asking your future self how you want to feel in this space and who do they want to be moving forward by the end of this project. Let your future self guide you.
Edit Your Space
Have you ever even heard of editing your space? No one does! Editing is the step in which you “clean thing out.” More specifically, it’s the letting go of all of the things that don’t support your vision for your space.
Space editing is the superhero in your corner that will help you get organized!
Remember we talked about envisioning yourself in your future? This is where that intentionality pays off. Allow that vision to guide you as you begin to remove the items that don’t serve that vision.
We will spend an entire blog post on how to do this!
Organize What’s Left
This is where we usually start the failed projects. This is where you will sort items into like piles and then find hires that intuitively make sense for those objects.
Remember, organized clutter is still clutter!
If you have done the previous steps, this one is actually so easy! Remember, do NOT organize before editing! Create and designate homes for your possessions that made the cut. Set things up intuitively in your home. Ask yourself, “where should you live?” Most importantly, once you have organized a space, no matter how small, take a moment to “feel” it. How do you feel when you look at it? Feeling that sense of pride and accomplishment will fortify you to keep moving forward!
Elevate and Integrate
For widowed people, this step is so important. This is the step where you curate your space and honor the life you shared with your loved one, while also moving forward into your future. What is curating? Curating is when you take the very best of a collection and proudly look after it, just like a museum curator would do with a collection of faberge eggs. You cherish them, maintain them, and allow them to bring you joy.
This is a sacred task, deeply personal, and should be viewed as a celebration of the very best of your life both past, present and future.
Learn to Maintain
The last step in organizing is learning how to maintain your space. For you it just means finding the tricks that work for you. There are a ton, and that also is another complete post.
For now, think of it as a daily reset on your life. Once you get everything the way you want it and it makes you feel good, you will want to keep it that way. If you take a few minutes each day to tidy up, it will work! You can set a timer, play a game, or habit stack with something that you already do.
You can do this and I’m here to help!
P.S. As you know, I have developed a six month program where we learn to organize all of the things in your life after loss: physical space, the logistics, and your heart and mind. If you’d like to schedule a time to talk and learn more, I’m here of for you. Just send me a message.