The goal when organizing any space in your home is to create a space that works for you, not against you. But in order for any organizing to truly have this effect, you need to differentiate between the different versions of you. Yes, there is more than one of you!
There is the “in-the-moment” you. This part of you exists in your primitive brain.
And then, there is the “future” you, which exists in your prefrontal cortex.
In-the-moment you wants three things: to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and do the easiest thing possible. This isn’t the most helpful recipe when it comes to organizing a space that works for you. In fact, it often results in haphazard efforts, like moving clutter from one room to another or simply throwing everything in a closet and calling it good.
Future you, however, has your values and goals in mind, and will make decisions that are in your best interest. Oftentimes, these decisions are in direct opposition to the decisions in-the-moment you would make and are quite a bit quieter. The primitive brain is loud. It’s main purpose is to keep you alive, so it has its reasons. The future you of your prefrontal cortex has bigger ambitions than just staying alive. Future you wants to live fully and purposefully.
When it comes to organizing your home, you want to organize from the mindset of future you. When expecting parents learn they are having a child, they begin to prepare the space, even though the child does not yet exist in the world. While the nursery is often prepared weeks ahead of the baby’s arrival, it serves a purpose in the meantime. Every time the expecting parents see the room, they are reminded of what is to come. The room influences their behavior and encourages them to engage in other actions in preparation for the baby. Their environment prepares them for the future and sets them up for success.
You can prepare spaces in your home for anything you want in your life that does not yet exist. What are your goals? What do you want to invite into your life? How can you prepare your home or a room in your home to remind you of this goal, to encourage behaviors consistent with the goal, and usher the new idea into reality? Just as parents are creating a room in which their future child will grow, you can create a space in which any dream you have can grow.
Here are some ideas:
- If you’re single, but want to have a partner and/or family, how would your home look differently once you have a partner and/or family? How would your habits be different if you lived with someone? If you wouldn’t throw your dirty laundry on the floor with a partner, stop doing that with yourself, now. Is your closet stuffed so full of clothes right now that there literally is no space for a partner? Edit your clothes and make space for that relationship.
- Is it your dream to work from home? If so, fast-forward to the version of you that works from home. How do you use the space? How is it set up? Do that, now.
- If you want to lose 30 pounds, imagine you are you, 30 pounds lighter. What does the kitchen of that version of you look like? What kind of food is in the cabinets? Make yours look like that right now.
- Maybe you want to save money. Think about the version of you with thousands of dollars in savings. What does her home look like? Does it have as much stuff in it or did she give up impulse buying and therefore, clutter? What items does she no longer invite into the home? Start being her, now.
I promise you: Current you is always going to want to watch Netflix and eat M&Ms and scroll Facebook. But one thing I know for sure: future you has bigger plans. Make room for them. Create spaces that allow you to practice who you are becoming rather than stay stuck repeating who you have always been. Let your home support you.
Wanting to deep dive into this work and enjoy a simple, organized home that inspires you to live your life to its fullest? Sign up for a free mini-session with me to learn my step-by-step process.