I often get asked about staying motivated on your organising journey. It feels overwhelming, and like every task is thankless – after all, shouldn’t your home feel better now you’ve got rid of six bags of clutter? Well, yes, but you might not have identified where you’re actually heading to – what does ‘better’ actually look like?
Something I think is really useful is having a ‘Vision.’ This is an image of how you would like your life to look. I think it works particularly well for homes – thinking about how you want your home to make you feel. But you can create a vision for whichever aspect of your life you are working on.
Here’s how to create a vision for your organised life
Let’s start off with coming home – from work, from the school run, it doesn’t matter. Think about how you want your home to feel. Be as specific as you can: is it tidy? Peaceful? Calm? Think about the things you are carrying with you: what do you need to do with them?
What do you need to do? Do you need to sort out the children? Start cooking dinner? Focus on your next task, and imagine how it would feel. Perhaps you have all the ingredients you need in the house and a meal plan written up on the wall. Or maybe, your children know exactly where their toys are, and they can play with them in a good space, without getting in your way. Maybe you know that homework has to be tackled straight away – do you have a space and the supplies for that?
Look around each room in your home. How do they look? Don’t focus on the decor but on the surfaces, the space itself. Try to think about how you want each room in your home to feel. Imagine inside the cupboards – are they well organised? Open the drawers, the fridge, the toy cupboard. Look at your wardrobe and your bathroom. How do you feel about them in this well-organised life?
Next, think about your evening. What would your ‘ideal’ evening look like? What would they look like over the course of a week or a month? Would it involve exercise, or a long bath and a good book? Would you be able to serve your community in some way?
Try to imagine going to bed at the end of a day when you’ve felt in control and well-organised. Think about how you would feel facing the following day. Are you ready and prepared? Perhaps you plan your clothes for the following day and check your diary.
Try to envisage your day and your home in as much detail as possible. What does each room look like and – more importantly – how does each room make you feel? Try to think about your time – what do you spend your time doing and how does it make you feel?
Find the word your vision creates
You may find there is one word that keeps coming up. Or perhaps it’s a series of words. Note these down somewhere important.
For me, it was ‘Peaceful.’ I wanted my home to be peaceful, in the way it looked, in the way it was run, and more importantly, how I felt when I was there. I would still say that I feel a sense of peace when I get rid of something that I don’t love, or deal with something that needed to be better organised.
Try to identify your words. Try to keep hold of that vision, and how you felt in those times.
If you want to, then imagine a well-organised morning. Do you like to spend a long time waking up? Or are you a family that gets up and goes straight away? Are your children independent enough to get dressed and breakfasted by themselves? Or do you want to be ready before they get up? Do you want to have a quiet, prayerful time in the mornings?
Take this vision right through your day, until you get to the idea of walking through your door at the end of the day.
Identify what you want… then identify the problems
In doing this, you’ve probably identified exactly how you want your home to feel. You may well have identified the biggest hinderances to achieving this vision. Identify them, and then look for the solution. 9 times out of 10, it will be that you have too much ‘stuff’ that you don’t love. That doesn’t fit in with your vision. That’s why we start The Organised Life Project with Decluttering.
Sometimes it will be that you don’t have routines and systems. That’s the second step, after decluttering – and you can find more in the Routines section.
You will also notice the absence of things in your vision – for example, did you check your phone in your imaginary afternoon? Did you worry about your weight or your appearance? Identify these things, as they are taking away your peacefulness.
Write down your vision. Keep hold of it as you work through the project, organising every aspect of your life. It will help to keep you motivated. Whenever you need a boost of motivation, return to that vision. Refine it and remind yourself of it. And good luck!