I had a clutter clearing coaching session with a military spouse and she and I discussed the steps it takes to clear clutter before PCSing. We talked about the power of purging, paying attention to where life is overstuffed versus where it is sparse, creating systems that serve our highest self, finding simple and portable storage solutions (ex. labeling our cords) and we had a lot of fun imagining how freeing it might be to finally chuck those unlabeled cords once and for all. We both laughed at our funny habit of sitting in a room that we have just cleaned and taking it all in. I even remember when my kids were younger and I would clean their playroom and then say, “Can you not play right now, I just cleaned it all up!” As silly as it was, it felt like I needed to take in the energy boost before things went back to chaos. Think about how much energy you have after you declutter a room!
The idea of “clearing the deck” is similar to the first step in the book, the life changing magic of tidying up, a book that I have blogged about in the past. I especially love her advice on doing one round of purging before you even start to organize what is left. I used to be go buy bins, versus actually get rid of things and her approach is much better for military spouses on the go. We don’t need to pay extra fees on our next military move for things that don’t bring joy, right?
Spring Clean Your Life has always been one of my most popular free webinar topics, and this year I am offering it again in June so that we can really get organized as the kids come home from school for the summer. Military spouses say that as summer starts, schedules get busy, so to clear out the school papers and organize our home based businesses in the end of June is perfect so that we can use July and August as productively as possible, so be looking for my decluttering webinar in June where we talk about getting rid of clutter and as you dive into July and Aug.
You might want to get started now with the purging, and then join the class in June to organize. This way you aren’t doing everything at once and you can show up on the call feeling as if you are already “in action”. I love to listen to podcasts that I enjoy while I clean. I know its not great to multitask but when I clean my kids rooms while listening to aslobcomesclean.com podcast by Dana White I feel like I am not alone, check her out.
Or, download the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Maire Kondo app and follow along. I haven’t tried that yet, but do what motivates you. Maybe invite a friend over and chat while you agree to do each others kids closets. I do this with my friend Kalea, and her reward for entertaining me is some hand me downs for her slightly younger son; make it fun!
As you clean the decks, pay attention to where your life is overstuffed and where it is sparse. Pay attention to the kinds of things you are throwing out so you can stop buying “as seen on tv” items that end up donated or find that you only wear denim and black so the next fancy yellow shirt you can not bother buying.
Military spouses have to be especially mindful shoppers because who wants to move all of these joyless items and I find that the more clutter my clients are willing to get rid of, the bigger goals they are ready to tackle so I buy into the “magic” that Maire Kondo proposes. Walk around your home right now and look around at any surface clutter that you can tackle instantly and ask yourself, does this item spark joy or can I put it in the goodwill box. I did this for just 8 minutes a night for a week and filled up two boxes that I dropped off at Goodwill.
Another thing I have mentioned before in my blog is what I call the “Dave Ramsey method.” I call it that because he has listeners pay off small debt first to build momentum and I do this with clearing the decks. Starting with your ½ bath purging is going to be easier than tackling a big garage, so just set the timer and have fun. The more you can make decluttering a daily habit the less stressful your next military move will be. I constantly ask myself, “what project would you put your heart and soul into if clutter wasn’t an issue?” and this helps me realize that clutter is just a block, and one that we can tackle one day at a time in search of our authentic selves. So before you even start purging think about your “why” and how it will personally serve you to get started.
Leave a comment below about what you are tackling or even send me before and after photos of your newly cleared decks and share with me what you are ready for now that its clear. Help inspire other military spouses that are reading my blog! I look forward to sharing some of your stories on my June decluttering webinar.