Organize calendar

I'm sure you've given getting organized your best effort. Maybe you've even cracked open Marie Kondo's book or watched her show on Netflix.

You've gone through your closet, organized your kid's toys and made a vow to keep it all neat — but somehow it ends up messy again.

It can be frustrating and discouraging. I've been there before. It's exhausting picking up after everyone else all the time and feeling like there is never enough time to get it all done.

However, when I took a step back to look at why I was feeling so overwhelmed and disorganized, it came down to three main reasons. Here is what I found.

You have too much stuff.

It can be deceiving, especially with the popularity of larger homes and storage solutions.

However, it doesn't matter how organized junk is. At the end of the day, it's still junk if you don’t need or use it.

Ultimately, it leads to clutter and a never-ending cycle of trying to get organized. Putting an end to this cycle starts with making a conscious decision on what is allowed in your home. Whether that means stopping it from entering your home in the first place, or de-cluttering what you already own.

You aren't saying no.

We learned it's polite to say yes when being offered something from a young age. However, if that something doesn't bring joy or serve a purpose, then it's okay to say no.

This same principle applies to feeling like your schedule is hectic due to over-committing. Sometimes it's necessary to say no to things and commitments that don't support your priorities and goals. Setting firm boundaries for yourself and others will allow you to protect your time and energy.

You are hanging on to guilt.

When it comes to simplifying, guilt can often get in the way. You might not want to let go of a dress because the tag is still on it and it was expensive. Or maybe that something was a gift and you'd feel bad about letting it go.

This is an opportunity for a mindset shift that can alleviate guilt. For example, letting go of clothes that were expensive doesn’t cost you anything. The money was already spent at the store. Instead, try thinking of it this way: Letting go of something — whether gifted or bought — will allow someone else to find joy in it instead of having it sit in your closet unused. 

When I finally identified these three reasons in my own life was when I was able to finally take big steps towards simplifying my home and life. Doing so has led me to feeling less overwhelmed and gave me back precious time to spend on what matters most. Family.

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Haley Rogers is a professional organizer and women’s life coach. She uses her personal experiences of decluttering along with her Type A and structured personality to help others simplify their homes and lives. She often taps into her professional experience of advising and project management to keep her clients motivated and on track. Find more about Haley here.

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