Freedom From Clutter

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Get Organized

Hello and welcome back!

There are two kinds of clutter: one that binds us to the past through emotional attachments and one that prevents our future.

Clutter are objects that have no beneficial place in our life, rooms, or home. And when these items have no place to call home our space becomes disorganized and we feel overwhelmed.

Since we have become  a supersized society it is no wonder we have become overrun with too much stuff, and gained an “If one is good than two must be better” mentality. Our constant acquiring with infrequent purging takes its toll on our living and working spaces.

One of the quickest ways I found to get a desk, closet, or room under control is to set an intention.

Enter the space, object, or room and decide what to use it for. For example, do you want a desk to only hold items that you use daily or regularly? Or maybe you want an end table to only hold objects that inspire you. Or you want a room to be energetic and uplifting. Once you choose your intention clean the space. Next put the items you chose in the room or space while always keeping your intention in mind.

With the leftover items decide if you’ll donate, purge or place in another area.

If you discover objects that need your attention make a plan, commitment, or give a date when you will. There is a difference between “I should take care of this,” and “I’ll will take care of this by 5p.m. today.” Items become clutter due to delayed decisions and putting it off to some day. “Some day” isn’t a commitment it is a tactic to hold what would benefit or serve your life hostage. If you persist on holding onto what isn’t helpful or useful you will continue on being overwhelmed and disorganized.

When you remove or release the clutter you invite positive and immediate change into your life. And that is exactly what I want for you!

I wish you a very Happy and Peaceful Thanksgiving!

~Sandy

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Distractions are clutter too

Hello and welcome back!

Distractions are clutter too.

We all have busy lives or we’re so bored we fill up on nonessential activities. Either way it is  clutter. We distract ourselves because we are fearful something awful will happen if we don’t fill the void with doing or busy-ness. This has cost all of us the most important value-connection with ourselves and with others.

So, how do you decide what activities clutter your life?

Mine were watching TV and eating when I was not hungry. I did these two activities either when I did not want to do or say something challenging, or scary, or when I would be faced with something that would not let me know the certain or specific results I would get. These, however, are all imagined scenarios I created due to an old belief of, it is better to be safe than sorry, cluttering my mind. It was easier to make a bowl of popcorn and lay on the couch watching nonsense TV shows on any given night than connecting with people or doing something I would actually enjoy. I felt TV and food did not judge me or hurt me. Giving into this behavior however my intuition kept nagging at me, that what I was doing was not in my best interest. This nagging went on until I decided to pay attention.

What I knew, but didn’t apply to my own life.

I knew clearing the clutter from your life, the things that do not serve your life in a positive and nurturing way, opens you up for what does. At first, well, okay for years, I didn’t recognize these two distractions as clutter, but realized anything that does not serve, nurture or benefit me, is clutter.

How I started.

As I contemplated the importance of clearing this clutter I began to receive random articles, blogs, and videos on distractions and how detrimental they are to our wellbeing. Do you find this uncanny too, once you become aware of something, accept something needs to change, or action needs to happen, the synchronicity that shows up is remarkable? Love that, anyway… Some articles talked about slowing down to get more into the present moment to enjoy each act alone without multi tasking, some videos said, get comfortable with the uncomfortable feelings that come up when you no longer distract yourself, and another blogger professed by doing less you gain more. All this information intrigued me.

So began my experiment.

All the articles and books I read and videos I watched on distractions I found to be  all true! But, I won’t sugar coat it, when I chose to do differently my mind baulked, tried to entice me and lure me back to the same old distractions. I held strong and committed to de-cluttering. During the experiment I realized I had acted entitled, “I deserve down time”, I would tell myself along with all the excuses I relied on. And I found a little rebellion in me. Structure, I thought, sucked the life out of me, watching TV had no structure. I had to admit TV and eating when I wasn’t hungry also didn’t hold anything positive or beneficial for me either.  Distractions, I recognized, are what sucked the life out of me and kept me from really living. Eliminating distractions freed up space to find things that would benefit me and I would enjoy doing, activities that would serve and nurture me. I no longer wanted to nurture behavior or activities that do not inspire peace and happiness.

How about you?

What do you do during a typical day that distracts you? Today just notice what and when you use or rely on distractions. Tomorrow don’t allow yourself to use these distractions and see what happens.  Please leave a comment and let me know.

Take the leap your courage will see you through.

All my best to you!

~Sandy


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What’s the big deal about clutter?

Hello and welcome back!

So you have clutter, what’s the big deal?

Clutter is anything that no longer serves or benefits your life. If you continue to allow clutter to linger you build a wall to what is waiting to enter your life. You are not permitting anything new in. Clutter is insidious. Insidious, defined in Webster dictionary means, more dangerous than seems evident.

Clutter has its own language

It is exactly like white noise. Have you ever noticed an overhead light buzzing or a whirl of a fan? When turned off you have immediate relief, well, that is exactly what happens when you release clutter. You gain immediate relief and that is what I want for you. Peace.

You may not be able to control most of your life, but you can control your environment.

My life was chaotic growing up, but I realized I had control in one area. I had a talent for order at an early age, thankful for my own room, I was able to feel safe in a peaceful place. Later on many situations occurred that my ability to live in clutter-free, organized and peaceful surrounding became my saving grace.

I am not a minimalist, I have beautiful things that I would buy again today, my home is a peaceful haven and efficiently run. I was born with this ability and don’t expect anyone else to be like me, but with my help I hope I can help impact yours just a little.

Please take a moment -or 15- this weekend and clear out a space and allow yourself to feel the peace.

Much love to you!

~Sandy

will.


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3 Reasons You Hold Onto Clutter

Hello and welcome back!

You have all heard that open areas and spaces allow us to slow down and enjoy the calm and peace. Then why is there still too much stuff?

Reason #1

What to do with all this stuff? You may feel this task will take forever so you keep putting it off. What if I told you by releasing this clutter you will open your life for all the things waiting to come in?

Here’s what to do: Take action. Pick a specific amount of time, let’s say, 15 minutes. Pull out a  draw, desk top, closet, or a collection of whatever you have more than 10 of. Ask, “Do I use you? Do I really, really, really love you? Would I buy you today?” The important part of this exercise is to answer quickly, otherwise you start to get into your head where stories, justifications and ‘yea-but’ live. Repeat this exercise until you have released all your clutter.

Reason #2

You have the I-may-need-it-one-day syndrome.

Even if a product did not work out to your satisfaction you find it difficult to donate or give it away. You want your money’s worth, even if it is taking up space for things that would serve you today. Or you believe you or someone will need ‘it’ one day, this also takes up space that could be better used for what truly benefits your life today. Plus this keeps a belief of lack in place. You don’t trust that you will be provided for in the future.

Here’s what to do: Box the items you don’t use and label the box with the contents. Give the box a date, let’s say one year. After the year is up donate the box knowing you or another needed none of it. If you did take an item or two out, at least you know what was actually needed and what is not.

Reason #3

Fear. You may fear if you discard something you will forget the memories. Or you suffer guilt because someone gave you an item and you fear hurt feelings if you give it away. If an item represents your status, you have your identity tied into an object you fear you are not enough as is. Fear is robbing you of the freedom you will experience once you release the clutter.

Here’s what to do: There are a number of creative things to do with sentimental items (way too many to list). The most important is to honor what you respect. I often go into clients homes who can’t release items that are in storage units, the back of closets or in a heap in the corner. What you honor you display with love. When you have so much it all just becomes junk. Honor what YOU love and release the rest knowing someone else will be blessed with your abundance. Accept your memories are as close as your imagination. By fearing others wrath because you released an item that was given to you, tell them you just didn’t have the room, but they can visit it at Goodwill. <Joking, kinda>.

Much peace to you all!

Your de-cluttering guru ~Sandy

P.S. If you click on the icon <top left> on your email it will open it so you can comment or reply. Thanks!


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The Holidays are coming, Part 2

Hello and welcome back!

Just a reminder….

The last post I asked for a deadline and we are half way there. Have you thought about the holidays and what your needs will be? If not, take 15 minutes now and do it.

Finding what works for you

Perhaps you love lists or you may loath them, whichever is you preference, the mere fact you are preparing for the inevitable upcoming celebrations is a major plus. Maybe your normal style is to procrastinate until the last minute. Or do you work well under pressure with looming deadlines? Do you dread what you assume will be drudgery and end up doing nothing? No matter how you get stuff done you’ll love the assignment I gave you… which is coming to an end on Sunday. Go on. Get going.

Drop the perfectionism

Perfectionism is a killer. Whether you stress to get the right gifts, have the best decorations, or bake the most delicious cookies having a perfectionist attitude kills your spirit. Many are looking for approval or validation, or know they won’t get it anyway so what’s the use in even trying? By planning and preparing now helps remove perfectionism because we are handling the facts only not emotions or stories. This alone will allow the stress to subside, I promise. If traditions are important talk to those who participate and find out what others really feel about them, you may be surprised how many you’ll be able to let go of.

Go ahead and do the assignment

Even just thinking about what YOU want to do with the upcoming celebrations will put you in control. Most importantly create an intention of how you want to feel. For example, My intention is to be calm and enjoy all the festivities over the next couple of months with plenty of great connections and laughter. If you start to feel anxious remember your intention and find ways to bring yourself back to your intention. Keep your intention in mind constantly, what you focus on you bring upon!

Cheers to you all!

~Sandy


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The Holidays are Coming!

Hello and Welcome Back!

The holidays are coming!

You may be thinking, but it’s only October, not even Halloween yet! Hear me out…

If you take the following week to plan for the upcoming holidays you will alleviate the stress you normally feel during this time of year greatly. Let’s make a deadline to have this plan completed by Sunday the 26th.

Get a pad and pen and begin.

Start with Halloween. Will you need costumes, candy, or decorations? Record what you will need along with the dates or deadlines you will have these purchased or done by. Next make a separate list of everything you want to purchase and keep this with you. You now have an action plan and all you have to do is follow it.

Next will be Thanksgiving

Are you hosting or are you traveling? What, if anything, will you need for this holiday? When will you do the things you need to do? If you are hosting create your menu and all the details that go along with the celebration. Make a list of what will need to be purchased, who you’ll ask for help, and what needs taken care of, and carry it with you.

Next will be Christmas or what you celebrate.

Over the next week, as you are planning for the holidays you celebrate, throw away the perfectionism and focus on progress. Just because you are planning several weeks in advance doesn’t mean you have the time to remodel. Remember people are coming to celebrate not inspect. If you do have a guest or two who appear judgmental remember what others think about you is none of your business, you’ll be happier knowing that!

How I handle Christmas

I hosted Christmas for many years. I pretended I would be on vacation the second and third week of December. This allowed me to relax and enjoy the magic of Christmas prior to the most hectic week of all. Plus I was able to enjoy a cookie swap (if there were none in the freezer to take I would decline) and holiday parties along with evening drives to pick out the best decorated homes and playing games with my children. That meant by the first week of December I had to have all my decorations up, the cards mailed, anything I could make ahead in the freezer and all the gifts bought and wrapped. The only thing I had to do the week of our holiday feast was shop for the food, cook, bake and set the table. When anything is done with a plan, doing a little at a time, while throwing out the need for perfection, it can all come together effortlessly and enjoyably.

Gift tips

Clutter free gifts are the best. After a child is in their teens I give money in clever and creative ways. Sometimes I’ll conduct a scavenger hunt, children really enjoy this. A tip I gave in the blog post about calendars, I said take notes throughout the year of others likes, this makes gift giving a breeze.  Even grab bags with gift certificates that are universal, movie tickets in a big can of popcorn or coffee gift certificates placed in a mug for example, will be appreciated. The one gift I love to give and have become known for is personalized calendars with pictures of my family along with photos of beautiful scenery and flowers I have taken. Photography is a hobby I enjoy and get to share with my family while giving a useful gift. Throughout the year I take pictures of celebrations and special events and then put them in calendar form at my local box store. It is like a scrap book they enjoy of the previous year. Each family member looks forward to this gift. We enjoy spending time passing them around and reminiscing.

I wish you all a peaceful holiday season!

~Sandy


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Closet Clean Out Time!

Hello and welcome back!

Yes folks it is that time of year to change our wardrobes to the winter clothes.

But before you do….

Gather receptacles, this could be garbage bags, laundry baskets, boxes, whatever you have on hand. Label, or at least know, which container will hold what. For example, donate, repair/dry clean, and throw away. The items you will keep won’t need a container just a holding spot as these will go back in your closet.

Next… Take action

Take everything out of your closet, yes, everything. As you remove each item, ask, “Do I love it? Do I wear it? Would I buy it today?” Then place it in the designated area or receptacle. Look over each item, if stained, stretched out or torn throw it away. Make quick decisions, the more you linger the more stories about an item will come to mind, and the harder it will be to make a  judgment. Keeping  items you don’t wear  limits the possibility for new things to come into your life. Trust me, you will be provided for once you eliminate what stands between you and new. Make sure each item fits the body you have today. If you have pregnancy clothes and you aren’t pregnant, but may be plan to be again you can box these to free up valuable space. If you have old high school clothes and you haven’t been in the halls for over ten years it is time for an update. If you have clothes that are too small it is time to release them. When or if you get back to that size you will want a current and stylish wardrobe. Plus you will create guilt or worse beat yourself up for not being that size. And if you have larger size clothes donate them so you aren’t tempted to gain weight. The importance is to embrace and dress the size you are right now. If you aren’t happy where you are than do something about it, but keeping clothes that do not fit is not the answer.  Also make sure the clothes suit your lifestyle today. Most importantly while handling this task keep in mind you are looking for progress not perfection. Another good tip for future purchases is if you bring something new in something old must go.

What to do with the maybe or I’m not really sure clothes?

Every time I switch my wardrobe I place all the hangers facing the ‘right’ way. As I wear an item I place it backwards on the rod. I wear only the clothes that face the ‘right’ way, until I have worn them all. If I notice I’m going to the hangers facing the opposite way, and still have a few items facing the ‘right’ way I know I will not wear those items and  donate them.

What about drawers and shelves?

Rotate.  After wearing an item or laundering, as  you put clothing away, put them on the bottom of the pile. What is in your drawers or on a shelf gets moved to the top. If you keep reaching for items at the bottom of the pile you can donate the ones on the top knowing you aren’t wearing those.

What about occasional items?

It depends on how occasional it is. I have a raincoat I wear probably twenty times a year. It is very thin and takes up little room, I not only love it, but I would buy it again, so it stays.  The other rule I adhere to is if I did not wear it for two seasons I give it  away.  Freeing your space allows for the new to enter. Learn to bless others with your abundance.

The final step…  

Clean up immediately. Once everything is back in your closet and drawers it is time to bring the containers to their designated locations, trash, dry cleaner or tailor, and donation center. Job complete! You are organized! Hooray time to celebrate!   

Much peace and freedom to you!   

~Sandy