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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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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Reward comes when you release the struggle

Hello & welcome back!

It is my pleasure to help guide those who have not been taught how to find their own specific organized & efficient lifestyle. 

Let’s recap last weeks homework assignment: Repeat an affirmation or mantra- “I make the choice to influence & create my ideal environment.” And define your ideal environment.

The only reason you don’t have an organized life that is pleasing to you along with well- established routines is because no one taught you. Everything else is excuses & excuses keep you stuck, frustrated, & overwhelmed. Unfortunately, most look to periodicals to follow or guides like Martha Stewart to imitate & when it doesn’t turn out good enough or something you can keep up with you continue to feel overwhelmed & frustrated. Usually falling back into the old ways & habits that didn’t work in the first place. Please stop the madness! I am here to help you give up the struggle.  

I find it amazing, myself included, that we think when something doesn’t work it is our fault. Whenever you feel other than good it just means you haven’t found your sweet spot or as some prefer your balance. You’re struggling against something that obviously doesn’t benefit you.  That is what I am after for you, to find your sweet spot, what works for you. I am not here to give you another system to follow. I would only be setting you up for failure & I believe you’ve had enough. Not that Martha or any other systems were created to bully or punish you, they found what works for them & hoped it would work for others. For a large majority Martha Stewart became the teacher they didn’t have growing up, however her system is not for everyone nor is she the answer.

The answer is within you & I will help guide you to explore & discover what works for YOU & you alone. The reason I choose the affirmation about choice is to empower you & stop looking outward for the answer, you are responsible for your life. No more beating yourself up instead, with some gentle guidance, you can lovingly find your way. You have choices you just haven’t been taught how to access those choices. I encourage people to seek support from outsiders & knowledge you couldn’t possibly know, but ultimately what you do with your life is completely up to you.  Please include me as part of that support team.

This weeks homework ~

  Continue to say your affirmation- “I make choices that influence & create my ideal environment.” Take you power back & believe you will tackle this issue & you will! 

With the definition of what an ideal environment means to you I want two things from you.

1. Did any limiting beliefs come up? If so, examine them, prove them wrong. For example if after describing your ideal environment your thought was, “Yea right I’d have to live in a mansion to have that.”  Wrong. Or, “I’d have to hire help.” “Shoot if you can afford it, why not! Or, “I’d have to give away all my things & I don’t want to.” You only have to do what works for you. This is the point where you start something you probably never did, be firm & loving with yourself. Your happiness is not in your clutter or things, your answer isn’t in an outside source, nor is it beneficial to continue doing what doesn’t work. Also, note any “yea but’s…” or “what if…” & recognize them as your excuses. Let’s just focus on what we DO want.

2. I want you to get specific with what you want due to your definition. For example, “I want well-established routines so I no longer run late.” Or, “I want to create habits that support my needs”. And be specific on what those needs are. If you feel you don’t have the answers either pretend you do know (Ask-“What if I did know?”), or figure out the opposite. For instance; you feel frustrated daily because you lose your keys, so you would like to have  something in place that works for you to find your keys easily.  

See you next week!