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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Do you want to feel freedom in your space? Here’s how…

Hello and welcome back!

Here are key questions to ask if your living or working situation feels chaotic.

Are your spaces or areas cluttered or undefined? Do you have areas that frustrate you? Do you constantly scramble to find things? Have your habits derailed your de-cluttering efforts?  Is it difficult to figure out how to change it to fit your specific needs? The key to feeling freedom where you live and work is to create intentions for areas, objects and spaces. If you want your areas to feel spacious, no matter where you live, peaceful, no matter what is happening in the outside world, convenient, and benefit, serve and nurture your life today then create intentional spaces.

Here is a simple and quick project you could do in as little as 15 minutes, to find freedom, convenience and relief in your spaces.

1. Take an object, space or area, clean and clear it out or off

For example: A night stand, shelf, counter, container, drawer, desk top, box, table, cabinet, or closet.

2. Create an intention for the space, area or object

For example: My intention for this area, spot, or corner is to only keep the things I use regularly. Or, my intention for this space, room or section is to keep only what motivates and inspires me. Or, my intention for this object, box, or container is to hold the things I use, but only need periodically.

3. Now, create your intention. Place only the items that match your intention in or on the space, object or area.

If an item is placed in or on a space you created and does not align with your intention your body will alert you. For instance, let’s say on your desk top you made an intention to only place items you use regularly and an item landed there that does not match your intention, it will create an uncomfortable feeling within your body until you remove it. Creating intentional spaces will allow you get and stay organized! The best part is when you feel in charge of your spaces you gain confidence in other areas of your life too! Yahoo for you!

Best wishes for FREEDOM in all areas of your life!

~Sandy Professional organizer and owner of Freedom for Clutter


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Welcome 2015!

Hello and welcome back!

Thankful!

We have  welcomed in a new year and said good-bye to the last. Hopefully you feel a bit more relaxed  knowing there is a reprieve from presents to buy, relatives to see or special places to be. The winter is upon us, and for some of us that means enduring frigid temperatures and being stuck indoors or it could mean enjoying what the outdoors has to offer this time of year. I find it to be a great time for reflection. The perfect time to be thankful for what you do have. To reflect on what is positive and going right in your life, instead of hammering away at what you want to change. What if this is the best time of year, New Years Day, to seek a fresh start by building upon the foundation of what is already good.

Turn it around!

Frustration about not being organized, frazzled at having mismanaged time, and unhappy with how unfocused you feel can be a thing of the past. Shifting your focus is the best way for it to happen. Just reading these words has the ability to empower you and impact you in a positive way! So, hurray for having the courage to recognize what is working and figuring out what you want, and ultimately will, do differently. Frustration can turn to freedom. Frazzled can turn to refocus and redirection toward your priorities. And unhappiness can turn to either happiness or calmness no matter your situation. How you decide to deal with your situation will make all the difference. Placing your focus only on what you do not like will only continue the negative feelings you may have experienced in the past when reflecting on the prior year. The method I suggest could be your turning point!

Take action!

Taking action always comes first and then everything else will follow. Some popular self-help gurus refer to changing your belief or thinking first, or figuring out why you behave as you do. I disagree wholeheartedly. To create motivation, and a confident you, you must first decide what is going well and positively for you right now. What are the areas that you have full control over? Of course it is always you, not others or circumstances. If you are not used to this way of thinking it can feel awkward at first, but be honest with what is going well for you, what you like, and perhaps what would be beneficial to let go of. Now that you know what is working for you, decide what you would like to expand on, perhaps shift and what would you like to learn. In order to get the best bang from your upcoming research and future decisions stay focused during this process. It is wise to take small steps when learning a new way, shifting unhealthy behavior and expanding what is already good in order to savor and enjoy the entire thing. Remember you do not eat an entire sandwich in one gulp you, hopefully, take bites. Decide what one action step you could take today, this minute or hour, toward what you desire or what you would like to learn, transform, or expand on.

Keep it going until…

To claim your desires every day ask yourself, “What can I do today to bring me closer to what I desire?” And then do whatever you decide on no matter what else shows up.  Every time  you veer of course, and you will, as soon as you recognize the slip simply redirect yourself back to what you chose as a priority. When you focus on what you want one day at a time, one action step at a time, the rest, your beliefs, your thinking and attitude will follow.

Happy New Year! May you have all the peace and happiness you desire in 2015!

~Sandy

Professional organizer


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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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How to Find and Keep Love

Hello and welcome back!

I’m shaking things up a bit. I’m continuing on with my mini series about finding love. You can apply the strategy’s to anything in your life not just love. I’m giving you a small peak at the book. This is the second part- dating. Yikes! Enjoy! And to those who want to read about organization and efficient habits… stay tuned!    

Step 2: How to pick ‘em

So you have a date, now what? Your goal is to continue demonstrating the person you described in your list and to find out if your date is compatible, although you’ll want to communicate in conversational tone versus an interrogation or interview. You’ll have to decide what questions will coincide with what is on your list. And you may just decide to ask their thoughts or beliefs on a particular subject that is important to you to get a feel for what their views are.

Be curious and listen without judging. It is tempting to hear only what you want to hear, or your itching to offer your opinion, but, for now, just listen and remain open and honest about their truth, give your brain a break. When they ask for your opinion you can freely give it and hopefully they’re listening and trusting your truth. Neither of you are right or wrong everyone’s experience is different therefore everyone’s belief, opinion, and perspective, is different. No matter how much evidence or feedback you have to prove your belief, view or opinion is the correct one don’t. By forcing, demanding or feeling anger toward another means you are in resistance to who they are and to what they are offering. As much as you don’t want someone pushing their beliefs on you don’t do it to others. It is better to accept their differences, and use the information you receive about them to decide if their views, attitude, and preferences are either something you can learn from, live with, or if they are so far out of alignment with you that your lives won’t mesh well. Choose to believe their truth whether you agree, understand or like it. It takes effort because it could stir up some fear or uncomfortable feelings within you. We all have a tendency to want the other to be the one because if they’re not, there could be an underlying limiting belief, there is something wrong with you. Plus if you accept them fully you may fear that you are wrong, instead of it just being a matter of differences with your interests, views, or preferences. The truth is your old limiting beliefs are running amok, understand the person may just not fit. Take for instance a pair of pants that are too big or too small either way they are too uncomfortable to wear, it is simply the wrong size pants for you. The bottom line is when someone doesn’t hold the same values as you it means you have just unearthed something you didn’t know about yourself prior to meeting this person. Don’t take it personally, instead look at it as trial and error you’re one step closer to knowing what and who does work for you. Be thankful you were able to recognize when it doesn’t work so you’re able to move along quickly to what does.

If you find yourself reasoning, justifying, excusing or explaining their answers or them, it means you are trying to make them fit somehow, someway into your belief system and ultimately your life. Remember, allowing someone who you can’t accept fully will only delay the right one from coming and will ultimately create struggle, stress and misery. The sooner you learn this the smoother your life will go. Although there are lessons to learn and people do bring them to light, especially an intimate partner, but if you followed step one in the book you are allowing those lessons to surface and hopefully you are successfully dealing with them. 

When anything in life is right for you there is a natural flow, you feel good, confident and at ease, you feel happy. When you feel anything other than those traits your true self is telling you, you are in resistance to what is. It is your navigational system within letting you know you are not accepting, instead you want something or someone to be different than what is. You can only pick and choose what you prefer when you are in control of it. If you don’t like driving down a bumpy road find a new route instead of spending your energy cursing the road. If there is no other route than all you can do is accept it and get on with living despite the bumpy road.

Peace ~Sandy

Copyright 2013 by Sandy Lucas