Worth repeating: Decluttering is like exercising

9 January 2020

Decluttering is like exercising

I first published this post in 2014. Back then I belonged to a gym. Nowadays, most of my exercise (aside from walking my dog and working with my clients) involves doing at-home yoga. And the similarities still resonate with me!

I’ve had my struggles with getting myself to exercise over the years and I’ve detailed some of them on this blog. The bottom line for me is that I’m pretty fit and pretty slender without going to the gym, so getting myself to go has been challenging, since I don’t enjoy it that much.

But now that I’m past 50, it feels like more of an imperative. I know that regular exercise will help me age more gracefully and healthily. I know that it will help stave off osteoporosis, which runs in my family. I know that it might help with the fact that my stomach is no longer perfectly flat. (Certainly, not exercising isn’t going to help with that!)

So I’m trying to make exercise a priority. But it’s not easy because I’m very busy with work. And did I mention I don’t enjoy it that much?
Back in October 2013 I joined a gym, the tiny exercise studio called Take Action just a couple of blocks from my home. The membership and some personal training sessions with Take Action owner Jeanna Jackson were a (requested) 50th birthday gift from my husband. At that time, I discovered the similarities between personal trainers and professional organizers.

So the other day, as I was going through my exercise routine—created for me by Jeanna—I got to thinking once again about how exercising for people like me is like decluttering for folks struggling with clutter. I’ve already mused here about the how both decluttering and exercising get easier with practice. But more recently, I’ve been thinking about these similarities:

  • You might not feel like doing it, but afterward you’re glad you did
  • It can be hard to find the time
  • Both decluttering and exercising can be easier to do when you have company (and/or guidance)
  • You may not see instant results, but little by little you see progress
  • Any effort at all is worthwhile
  • You’re frequently struck by inspiration while exercising and while decluttering/organizing
  • Both can become habits

When I look around my house and see the progress I’ve made over the years in keeping order despite being a naturally messy person, I know I can make progress in with exercise. I’m working on focusing on the benefits and making it a priority. I hope one day soon to make exercising a natural part of my day just as certain habits for keeping order (like clearing off my desk every day) have become habits.

Photo by Hotel de la Paix Geneve via Flickr.

Tagged with: , , , ,


Love that comparison Janine! And I’m so happy to hear you are taking care of your earth suit! :) Success on both simply comes down to discipline doesn’t it? You have to choose every single time between what you want now and what you want most. Happy New Year Janine! Cheers to organized spaces and healthy bodies!!!

Karen Liggett 01/15/2020 09:47 AM

Thanks, Karen!

Janine Adams 01/20/2020 11:16 AM

Add your comment


Your email address will not be displayed or distributed.

You may use Textile formatting including:

  • _italics_ = italics
  • *bold* = bold
  • "text":url = text

About Janine

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

read more »

Recommended *

  • Getting to Good Enough podcast

  • NAPO Golden Circle