A little over ten years ago when I was a newly minted stay at home Mom with the worlds hungriest and most determined baby, I read a book that changed my life. It was a life raft for me. It gave me hope and changed my perspective on how I was living my life. Maybe you've heard of it: "Living a Beautiful Life: 500 Ways to Add Elegance, Order, Beauty and Joy to Every Day of Your Life," by the prolific and sophisticated lifestyle author Alexandra Stoddard.
In some ways, it was kind of funny that I loved it so much because on the surface, Ms. Stoddard's advice to buy the finest you can afford and to pay attention to the minute detail of daily life was sort of laughable for me. I was living in a Lilliputian, let's say, "shabby chic" house with the tiniest of budgets. My attention to detail rarely went beyond if I had remembered to brush my teeth that day. It was All Baby, All the Time. I was not in a place to buy 800-thread count sheets or use a fountain pen to write my grocery list. I was in survival mode.
But that book seeped in to my consciousness and helped form the person I am today.
As Ms. Stoddard suggested, I slowly started creating routines and rituals for my daily life. And that gave me the framework to keep growing.
I started paying attention to upgrading my belongings, one by one and I stopped buying cheap things simply because it's thrilling to buy something new. Life starting looking and feeling more beautiful each day.
Admittedly, I have always been a pretty organized person but it wasn't until I had kids that I really had to up my game. And this wasn't some 1950's housewife revival either, rather it was becoming clearer to me that how I lived my daily life had a big impact on how successful and happy I felt my life was in general. And the more I paid attention to the details, the lovelier life became for me.
Fast forward more than a decade (huh? how did THAT happen?) and I live those principles and I teach them to my clients. They can seem superficial, but I assure you, they have the deepest roots. What we pay attention to grows and blossoms.
So the lesson here is this:
Want a beautiful life? Cultivate one.
If you want to have beautiful, decluttered home where you can find your keys 9 times out of 10, put your focus on it. Don't just keep doing what you're doing and expect a different result.Get clear on what is pissing you off the most in your space and work on that. Where is the most friction? Don't just say, "EVERYWHERE!!!" Pick one. Seriously. You just have to decide. It's not like there's a wrong choice.
Decluttering, even 15 minutes a day can make a MASSIVE difference in the energy of the room. Clutter has icky, sticky energy that acts like a magnet for more clutter. And really, all those piles are just deferred decisions, right? Those "I'll do that later" piles. I'll do it later is an invitation for clutter and disorganization. If you can do something 2 minutes or less than DO IT NOW. (Don't mean to shout. It's just muy importante.)
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So begin feeling successful at home by doing these three things:
- Decide what's you want to fix the most and put your focus there. Put blinders on to the rest of the stuff.
- Declutter your space a little or a lot, just start making decisions.
- Use the "Do It Now" principle (that's David Allen's phrase, btw.) Avoid deferred decisions like the plague!!
Now go get 'em Tiger!