When we think of affluence, we usually think of money, but research shows solid proof that being time affluent, having the ability to use our time to do what we want, when we want to, makes us happier in the long term. Money is of course absolutely crucial for everyone, but having time to pursue pleasurable, fun or meaningful activities also weighs heavily in the balance of our wellbeing.
In my experience as a professional organiser, I have seen time and time again the impact a decluttered home and life can have on our use of time and our perception of time affluence. And it’s not just my experience. According to a study by IKEA, we spend an average of 5,000 hours simply looking for things around the home. Furthermore, getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40% of the housework in the average home (National Soap & Detergent Association, USA). And who wouldn’t like less housework?
“People who are short on time (or who feel like they are short on time) are more likely to be depressed, anxious, and less happy than people who feel like they have lots of free time.” – Source
Living a decluttered, organised life has many benefits and positively impacts our wellbeing, but the weightiest benefit by far in my view is more time affluence. Time to spend on valuable, meaningful activities of your choice will have an impact on your overall wellbeing and in today’s time-poor rhythm of life, truly is a luxury. Offering my clients the gift of more time is one of the things I am most proud of when helping them declutter their homes.
Having fewer things and keeping them in an organised way will save you heaps of time. You will most likely spend:
– Less time researching and sourcing stuff
– Less time buying or trying new things
– Less time repairing and maintaining belongings
– Less time looking for things you have misplaced
– Less time spent cleaning
– Less time spent organising and tidying, moving things from one space to another
For a home that is uncluttered, calm and pleasant, and to make the most of storage space, a little and often approach to decluttering is key. The balance of belongings in your home is as much about what goes out as what comes in, so regular little purges of spaces can be a major factor in keeping the volume of stuff manageable. A great way to feeling more time affluent is filling your days with activities that you truly enjoy and – as much as possible – delegate or remove those that you feel are draining you.
Do you find joy in the daily routine of cleaning, cooking or gardening, tidying or organising? These things should be in your life. Feel daunted by any of these repetitive tasks and can’t find a way to make them more pleasant for yourself? See if and how you can delegate – even small changes help. Occupying our time with activities we loathe can have massive impact on our wellbeing and mental health. So why not rally the help of people who are passionate about the activities you avoid?
Sometimes we get trapped into spending time on tasks that are unimportant and un-urgent which let us feel distracted and busy but unfulfilled. Our phones or emails are one of these distractions – we start being motivated by notifications, distracted by spam or other stuff that screams for our attention. Mindfulness can help but also setting a daily intention. I have written more about removing insignificant tasks that fill our time in this blog post: Are you fulfilled or just busy? You can also check this article about where you should keep your phone if you want to be happier – hint – away from your bedside table at night.
By planning white space in your calendar, you will offer yourself the gift of disconnecting from a digital, always-on life and use that time in a way that is meaningful and nurturing to you. Wake up 30 minutes early or plan a quiet one hour before bed, become mindful and purposeful about those time-draining, unimportant activities that fill our lives. A fantastic tool in deciding how to spend your time is the Eisenhower Matrix which will help you categorise tasks based on their importance and urgency. Start a routine of planning your days in advance with the most urgent and important as priority and set gentle reminders to stop, breathe and take stock of how your day is going throughout.
A professional declutterer and organiser like myself can work with you to streamline your calendar and home in a way that will put you back in control of your time. Simply book a quick confidential chat so we can explore how I can offer you the gift of time.
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