Freedom From Clutter

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Why you have too much stuff and what to do about it

Hello and welcome back!

Do you have too much stuff?

First, let me tell you why you hold onto your stuff even when you don’t use it, it is broken, or you don’t like it very much. It is because you have created a story, an imagine, or a mental picture and attached emotions to the item(s) you are unwilling to part with.

What to do about it

Create a memory album or scrapbook of the items you do not use, are broken or you don’t really, really, really love.Take a picture of the item and attach the story about it in this album and toss or donate the actual item. You have created a personal keepsake and freed up a bunch of space!

Why do you continue to buy more stuff when you have no more room?

When you shop whether at an actual store, online or at 2am from an infomercial you (or the person selling the item) have painted an imaginary picture and attached emotions to it.  For example, you enter a store to buy a wedding card when you see a shirt you think is adorable. A picture of you wearing it comes to mind, everyone is complimenting you on how great you look, suddenly you are the life of the party. You buy the thing and once home you realize you have nothing to wear it with. So now the shirt you had to have has become a burden and no longer fits into your mental picture. Welcome to reality. However, you will hold onto that story for dear life and usually refuse to return the item. You think the item is your story, but in reality you made it up the shirt was just your excuse for how you really want to feel or be. In reality the story is greater than the shirt and is a valuable lesson. Back to the purchase- now it either goes to the back of an already overstuffed closet or you need to make another trip to the store. Let’s say you choose to go to the store for something to go with the shirt when you notice a pretty hat on a mannequin. You ask yourself, “hat’s are back in style right?” You then picture yourself surrounded by relatives at your cousins wedding wanting to know where you bought such a pretty hat. Once home you realize it looks horrible with the dress you were planning on wearing and it flattens your hair in an unattractive way. Okay, okay I’m sure you get the picture. But that’s what happens when we make emotional purchases. We believe the thing we buy is going to bring us happiness, luck, approval, adoration or love. No material item has the power to transform you. Let’ s say you honestly believed you would use it, read it, give it as a gift, unfortunately, these made up pictures and stories have nothing to do with reality. So once the purchase is made and we snap back to reality we find  our space is taken over with even more stuff.

What to do about it

Get real and remain honest. Stay out of the fantasy world when you open your wallet. Never, ever go shopping anywhere without a list of actual needs and stick to that list. I tell my clients before you go shopping de-clutter first then shop. This way you know exactly what you need. Impulse or fantasy buying has gotten you in this predicament. But let’s say you haven’t had an opportunity to make a list or de-clutter and you find yourself in a store. As you pick up each items picture where you will keep it, store it or what you will wear with it or when you will actually eat, read or use it.  If it is clothes get in the habit of trying it on at the store. If you don’t have time put it back and wait for another time when you can. Look in the mirror from as many angles as you can and ask yourself do I really, really, really love it? If you do not get an immediate and enthusiastic ‘YES’ leave it at the store it isn’t worth the  space it will take up. If you do get a ‘Yes’ ask yourself what you’ll wear it with or exactly when you will wear it. Just leave the fantasy out of the purchase. This is the only way to be practical and wise about future purchases and hopefully get a handle on your precious space.

Best wishes always!

Sandy- Professional organizer

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The Truth About Clutter & Disorganization

Hello and welcome back!

What holds you back from getting a handle on your stuff?

You may think you can ignore your clutter and mess, you may justify the stuff by stating you just don’t have time, or excuse it with a joke or use blame to account for it. Maybe you believe de-cluttering, cleaning up, or keeping on top of the disarray will take too long. Perhaps you believe it is boring, hard or a bigger ordeal than you are willing to take on. Maybe you believe you don’t have enough time, smarts, ability to get and stay organized. Nonsense!

Here’s the truth

Each task listed below can take as little as 5, 7, 10, or 15 minutes to complete

Make your bed, empty the trash, fill or empty the dishwasher, wash the dishes, water the plants, de-clutter one drawer or cabinet, clear off a chair, recycle a pile of newspapers or magazines, hang up or fold a pile of clothes, wash out the microwave, sweep a room, throw away inedible items in the fridge, make a grocery list, tidy a room, pick up toys, de-clutter a pile of DVD’s, take everything off one surface clean it and put the items back, pay bills, balance the checkbook, wash the outside of appliances, wipe down the bathroom vanity, mirror and toilet, vacuum just the middle of any room, fold laundry, put away a pile of laundry, dust a room with a feather duster, de-clutter one pile of books, clothes, mail or paper, gather items that need to be returned outside the home.

Try it

Set your timer and complete one task. You will witness the truth for yourself that it was all a lie on how long, difficult or boring something will take or be to have a space you love. Switch your outdated thinking into progress mode and get to it. Make it fun and it will get done. Why not play beat the timer and see for yourself how quickly you can do this. You deserve a joyous place to call home!

Best wishes for an organized home!

Sandy

Owner of Freedom for Clutter


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How do you want your space to feel?

Hello and welcome back!

How do you feel in your space today, right now, in this minute?

Check in with your body. Does being in this space create a feeling of peace or chaos? Does it ignite creativity or does it give you a stomach ache? Do you feel clear and inspired or uncertain and unfocused? Unsettled? Overwhelmed? Dissatisfied? Distressed? Uncomfortable? Disgust? Okay, you get the idea. If your space has the ability to create these hectic emotions it is no wonder many disconnect from the disorganization. Many would rather ignore the disarray, justify the mess or deny the clutter is a problem than deal with it. But what if your space could create positive emotions? Would you then do something about your space?

Simply, decide how you want to feel in your space

Create a mental picture of you in a space that is comfortable and offers peace and relaxation. Or picture a fun and creative space that offers passion and inspiration to spring forth. How about a space that feels settled and satisfying with all your items organized in places that are convenient.  How about a space where happiness is a priority and all the things that make you smile surrounds you? Maybe you see yourself in a room with very few items and that provokes the feeling you desire. Perhaps your ideal is to have family treasures gathered to create the emotions you find most appealing. This is your space you get to decide. Have you uncovered the image and the emotions that suit you best?

Now go create it

Constantly refer to the mental image in your mind while you get busy creating a space that will empower you and bring you joy! Keeping the vision will guide you and help you make decisions easier on what stays and what goes.

Best wishes always!

Sandy

Owner of 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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Stepping stones to your desires

Hello & welcome back!

Here is a step-by-step approach to have what you desire. It may be a tad different from the law of attraction, I don’t know. What I do know is I found what works for me time & time again & I am sharing it with you. Each step is crucial to your success. Enjoy & may all your desires come true!

Step 1: Name what you desire. Ask yourself if you believe it is possible, & be honest. You must believe to receive. If at first you don’t believe it, it doesn’t mean you’ll never get there, just keep naming it in a way until you find the one you do believe is possible. For example; if your desire is a million bucks & you don’t believe it (for now) keep going down to the amount you believe is possible for you. The final, & perhaps the most crucial part to step 1, is to TRUST it will show up, & that you will be shown the way, while you release the outcome & the timetable. It may show up differently than you imagined, but if you hold tightly to HOW you want it to show up or when you could be missing some vital components. I often say, “whatever happens happens.” When you state your desire, & you trust whatever happens will be for your highest good you allow whatever needs to come through to come through. It may be the need for another lesson, but if you hold onto the belief that you will figure it out, & continue trusting (as long as you know it is possible) it will come. Acceptance & trust are the keys to allowing life to flow freely. Even when there doesn’t seem like much hope, accept that there is a lesson to learn & trust you ‘ll learn it, just keep trusting. 

*Suggestions- 1. To build confidence within yourself it may be best to start out with a small desire, although, as long as you believe it is possible you can go big as well. 2. There is no need to discuss this with anyone, so don’t bother.

Step 2: What are you willing to do to help this desire come to fruition? This doesn’t have to be a plan in strategy or goal form, but it could if that works for you, I do not. I do, however, keep a journal, a record of all the desires I have & how they come about. Action steps can be as simple as ‘I’ll figure it out as I go”, to “as motivation or inspiration comes through I am willing to act on it.” The important message I am relaying here is, whatever you agree to do, do it continuously & consistently. Even if the action you agreed to was “I’ll figure it out as I go” continually trust you’ll figure it out & when you get a knowing of what action to take, take it every time. By trusting an answer or inspiration will come lets your instincts lead you. This isn’t about getting into a dialogue with your thoughts. You ask a question & whatever immediately or eventually pops into your knowing that is your true self leading you, pay attention & heed what it tells you. The difference between ego & your true self is vital to grasp. Instincts come as a knowing opposed to actual words, but because you understand through words you will transcribe the knowing into a word or two. Be clear it is definitely not a dialogue in your head. Your intuition is also neutral, if you follow it great if not it trusts you’ll eventually get it. The ego, on the other hand, is emotional, “If you do this you could die!” & dramatic, because it is in survival mode all the time. Get to know the difference if you want your desire to enter your experience. 

A side note – I have often had a desire & have had to wait for inspiration, motivation or an answer, but I trusted it would come in the time that was best for me, I do not give up, & eventually it arrives. Be aware the ego may use frustration or desperation, at this point, to tempt you with self-doubt, or prove the opposite of what you desire, but if you just keep trusting knowing an answer or motivation will show up, it will. 

Step 3: Trust it will be brought to you in a way that is best for you, accept how it shows up. Release & let go of a specific outcome. 

A simple example: A family member requested a specific gift for the holiday. My desire was to get it for her. I checked the Sunday flyers & saw it on sale, for the exact amount I had in the budget, but due to my schedule I could only go on the last day of the sale. I knew it was possible to purchase one so I looked at the picture in the flyer daily & mentally said, “I want you.” I trusted, if it was meant to be it would be, if they were sold out I trusted I would figure out what to do about it. When you accept anything in your life answers automatically come. I instantly knew, for example, I could get a rain check & a gift card for the amount. It is when you get caught up in the drama the ego likes to suck you into, you stay stuck in “why me?” or “poor me” , the victim mentality which offers no answers. When I got to the store on Saturday night there was one left! Oh boy, did I celebrate!  

A more extreme example: We had rented out an unused bedroom to someone we didn’t know. The extra money was our desire not the character of the person who would live in our home. He ended up being an adult bully. So, now my desire was to get him out, I knew it was possible, & I knew my instincts would lead me to the action I would need to take. A flash came into view of installing a camera in the common area of our home, we followed my instincts & this proved to mellow the renter out a bit. Both our instincts told us to keep our distance & not give into any of his demands. We adhered to that. My fiancee envisioned going to seek counsel at the courthouse, we followed his instincts, & a court hearing was scheduled. As we drove to the court house a few days later I let go of the outcome & mentally said, “Whatever happens happens. If there are more lessons to learn then so be it I trust we can handle it.” This brought a sense of peace during a time where I could have been very stressed. The mediator assigned to our case was astonished that the judge ordered him out that day! He stated, “You got off lucky. I’ve never seen a case where the landlord got rid of a tenant so quickly & easily, it usually takes months.” We celebrated!

Another example: Both my fiancee & I are finishing up writing books while holding outside jobs. My guy has a week long holiday break at his work & his desire is to complete his book during this time. My desire is also to devote more time to finishing my book so I can get it published by the first of the year. I decided assigning a more demanding writing schedule at this time may not be the answer, but I trusted & accepted an answer would come. I ended up having a knowing it would work itself out & went on with my day. The day after our discussion about the books I went to work & found out the owner has decided to shut the store I manage down for almost two weeks!  And if that wasn’t a big enough desire (quickly) fulfilled I received a bonus, he is giving me full pay! Now it is up to me to show up & do the work I agreed to in step 2. If you get out of the way, trust & allow the Universe to do its magic you too can have your desires, big & small, come to fruition! 

Step 4: Thank the Universe by being of value to another & celebrate all your desires through laughter & enjoyment. Giving back to life or the Universe is just as important as being grateful for all you have, because giving back to people will help humanity as a whole. Nothing will please the Universe more than having us all cooperate with on another! Be the change you want to see in the world & watch your world change! And if you can do it all while laughing & enjoying yourself you have the formula for a beautiful life! 

I have 3 stories, events that happened to me, that when I revisit in my mind elicit hardy laughter, I mean pee your pants laughter! Do you have any of those? These are funnies I refer to often, especially when my mind is idle, when I am doing a mindless task, to avoid unnecessary ego chatter. I also created a collage of people smiling, I’m talking big huge smiles & people you can tell are laughing, that is situated by the desk. Just like yawning when you see someone yawn, seeing others smile makes me smile & when I am smiling I am feeling good. It invites positive thoughts too.

Being of value to another may be holding a door, picking up a pair of socks, baking a sweet treat for someone, sending a card, giving a massage or hug, or sending a nice donation to a charity. Whatever you deem as helping or being of value to another. I ask daily, “show me how I can be of value today.” This is far from people pleasing, because when you are purposely doing it to help another, you expect nothing in return, not even a “thank-you” for holding the door. This also isn’t about what people can do for you, but what you can  do to make another’s life a tad easier today & feeling good that you were able to help.

I wish all your desires become fulfilled!

~Sandy

Copyright 2013 by Sandy Lucas