What Do Valentine’s Day & Clutter Have in Common?

I’m glad you asked! While the first conjures up images of hearts and flowers, the latter invokes, well, a mess. According to Psychology Today, there are seven types of love. For the purposes of this blog, however, we are focusing on “agape.” Agape is said to encompass the modern concept of altruism, defined as unselfish concern for the welfare of others. Recent studies link altruism with a number of benefits. It leaves us with a euphoric feeling—the so-called ‘helper’s high’ which leads to better mental and physical health, as well as longevity.

So here we are, in the week dedicated to expressing love for those around us. What better opportunity do we have to offer (or receive) a helping—or perhaps, a slightly forced hand–to those who need a little decluttering assistance?

Let’s say you have a couple of kids with messy rooms. While handmade cards are lovely, maybe you could use this occasion to suggest a “fun decluttering time” together? Here’s how it works:

  • Set a timer for 30 minutes (increase or decrease the time depending on age of child and your own sanity.) See how much decluttering or how many trash bags you can haul out of their room in set amount of time.

Option #2

  • Tell the kids there’s no better way to express their love for you than for them to clean up their rooms. Hand them a few large trash bags, take away their phones and declare a fair exchange of filled trash or donation bags for return of phones.

What if the clutter culprit is your spouse? The technique may need a little tweaking but the principle remains the same.

  • Announce to your significant other the only thing you want this year for Valentine’s Day is time. After enjoying the relieved look on their face, proceed to explain that you would like 2-4 hours devoted to tackling the area of your choice; garage, basement, closet. You pick!

Finally, what if the messiest member of your household is yourself? You see the areas in need of organization but you keep procrastinating. Maybe you would benefit from some company? I recommend asking for the following:

  • A set amount of time from a family member to actively help you declutter or simply to act as a body double (a person whose presence helps you focus on the intended task)
  • A non-judgemental helping hand (no guilt-provoking remarks such as “why on earth are the keeping those?”)

Wishing you all much love in all its types this Valentine’s Day,

The Organizing Professionals®