Today’s blog post is a guest post by my friend Kathi Lipp. For many of us, the start of the new year has us thinking about improving our lives in some way. If decluttering or organizing is an improvement you’re longing for, this post is for you!
When I talk to women about what they want to improve in their lives, so many say something along these lines: “I want to focus on my husband this year. And I want to finally get organized. And lose weight!”
OK – so I may not be able to help you with the weight thing. But what if told you that you could improve both your marriage and your home at the same time?
It turns out that the state of our clutter and the state of our marriage could be more closely tied than we ever imagined.
In my book Clutter Free: Quick and Easy Steps to Simplifying Your Space I cite a study from researchers at UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF) that looked at the relationship between thirty-two California families and the thousands of objects in their homes.
To the surprise of no woman reading this, clutter has a profound effect on our mood and self-esteem. CELF’s scientists found a link between high cortisol (stress hormone,) levels in female home owners and a high density of household objects. In other words: The more stuff, the more stress.
And we all know, if I’m not happy, that is going to have a profound effect on my marriage- and my husband.
There are some areas of your marriage where it takes two to pull off a big relationship boost – but when it comes to clutter, one person can make a huge difference. I can make choices to declutter, just 15 minutes a day, in places that make the most impact on my mental well-being.
For the areas that I need more support and cooperation, I’ve come to understand that my husband Roger and I have different ideas of what “Clutter Free” look like. Instead of asking Roger to meet my standards, I talk about the benefits of how I feel when my space has less clutter. “I feel less anxious when there is less clutter around. Could you deal with the project at the end of the kitchen table, and I’ll work on putting away everything from after dinner tonight, just for 15 minutes? I would really appreciate it.” (I’ve discovered that giving both of us a 15 minute cap is a huge way to keep our activity contained, manageable and focused.)
If you are just starting this decluttering journey, let me tell you the two areas to concentrate on right now:
- The space that greets you when you come home.
My hope for every couple is that your home is a haven for your marriage. I want you and your man to walk into your house after a long day fighting the battles of the world, and land in a soft place – your home.
But that only works if you don’t have chaos and distraction greeting you as you hit the door.
Wherever your first glimpse of home is at the end of the day, make sure that it rises up to greet you.
- Your bedroom.
If your home is your haven, I want your bedroom to be your nest. That place that blocks out everything from the world and is all about you and your man. That’s hard to do when you have to unbury your bed every time you want to cuddle up.
To get started, every other day spend 15 minutes (either alone, or with your partner) to get those two areas decluttered. It will go a long way in just a week’s worth of time. Then keep it uncluttered in regular 15 minute spurts!
Just a little bit of concentrated time will create a home that is a haven for you, and your marriage!
I’m naturally an “outie” which means I tend to pile rather than file. (Here’s another post I wrote called “Organizing Tips for Those Who Tend to Pile.”)
Over the years I’ve learned how to better organize and keep clutter under control. Kathi’s wisdom has helped me with that!
That’s why I’m excited about Kathi’s brand new online course and community that will help you like she helped me! Kathi’s Clutter Free for Life plan gives you a workable system to create clutter free space in each of your rooms—and keep it that way.
As members of Clutter Free for Life, you not only get weekly plans and coaching but also an amazing community who will cheer you on along the way! And if that weren’t incentive enough, Kathi is also offering a discount for those who subscribe before January 6! If you’re ready for a change, you can find out more here!
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