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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Do you have mental clutter?

Hello and welcome back!

Is there such a thing as mental clutter?

Yes. Clutter, in any form, can be a burden to the life you are creating today. Whether it is many ideas that clutter your mind or negative thoughts, if it does not benefit, serve or nurture you it is clutter.

What to do with negative thoughts

There is no donation center I know of that will take this kind of clutter. But you can still apply a process for de-cluttering. When you sort through your material clutter you usually have a story that goes along with the  items. You may know when you bought an item, how much it cost or who and when someone gave it to you. Images and memories  about the item may provoke certain feelings and the reason it can be challenging to release it.  Mental clutter is the same.  Negative thoughts get justified why they are taking up space in your mind and will even demand you need them. You may even state, “Well, how will I know when something is good or bad if I de-clutter these thoughts?” You will know by how you feel not by what you judge. Sometimes you aren’t even aware the thought is there, it becomes background noise, yet will still provoke feelings usually negative ones. Ask yourself this one question throughout your day whenever you catch yourself in thought, “Would I choose this thought I am thinking right now and give it to my dearest friend or would I be willing to say it out loud?” If the answer comes back, “No” then it is clutter. Now because no donation center will take these thoughts you will have a different strategy to put in place. Challenge the thoughts that you catch, and become familiar with what you think. After you catch a thought the phrase to use is, “so what” to whatever you think, this brings the emotions the thoughts provoked down a notch. “So what” allows you to think of what you can do about it. It takes you out of victimhood. Here’s an example; “I just bought another item when my place is already overcrowded.” “So what. What if I call Freedom from Clutter for help?” Or “I just ate a muffin and I’m on a diet.” “So what. What if I start again at the next meal?” Our thoughts can make an event or situation  scary, tragic, or a disaster when in reality it is not. You are still here, breathing and making choices, are you not? Then nothing is a catastrophe, nothing. After so many “So what” you’ll become calm enough to know what your next move will be. When you become aware and accept what does not serve or nurture you, you will do something about it. I promise. Becoming aware of your thoughts is enough to de-clutter the ones that do not serve you. So when your mind starts acting up tonight when you want to sleep say, “So what” to whatever comes your way. Sweet dreams!

What to do with all those ideas

An immediate image or story comes to mind with each idea that comes through.  Usually followed by your thoughts. My suggestion is to write the ideas down. Keep a pad and pen with you at all times. Daily or weekly look at these ideas you have recorded and recognize if any of them are opportunities to take advantage of. If so, take action. Writing things down will help clear your mind. Another trick is to give your complete attention and focus to one task at a time.  This is very freeing to a person with an overactive mind. For example, when you get in the shower feel the entire process. If you notice your mind wandering just bring it back into focus. Notice how the water feels on your body, how the soap smells, what the floor feels like under your feet, what do you hear, and notice your breathing.

Wishes of freedom from clutter to you all!

~Sandy


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The Joy of Choosing Freedom!

Hello and welcome back!

What does your possessions, your time, or your attention bring to your life?  Joy? Suffering? Peace? Drama? Happiness? Stress?

If joy or peace is you priority clutter will withhold it from your experience. I will first distinguish what clutter is. Clutter is anything that does not serve, benefit, or nurture your life today. It is anything that creates negative feelings. Clutter comes in many forms, it could be material items, activities, a schedule, stories, thoughts, beliefs, and people or relationships. Anything you experience that does not create positive feelings is clutter.

What are your choices?

If you choose to keep the clutter in your life, you continue to clutch to what does not benefit you. You know it is clutter, because it does not create enjoyment or peace. Life offers us a playground, we choose how to experience  it.  On this playground there will be chores and mandatory tasks. When you clutter your mind with stories about how a task is dreadful that will be your experience. However by releasing clutter, in this case the story, a switch occurs. Perhaps you accept a chore as something you do to keep your intention of a tidy home in tact. Now you find satisfaction in, or at least become  neutral about, the chore. Once you experience the freedom that releasing clutter brings, the momentum will take hold.  You may have chosen to ignore, deny, or push the clutter aside for another day. With that choice understand you will continue to experience the negativity  until you make a different decision.

What matters

The clue to the clutter in your life is how you feel. If you feel positive, happy and content mostly, the chance of clutter may be nonexistent. If you feel negatively, your inner guide is alerting you to what does not benefit you. Pay attention.

You can choose, at any time, to live with freedom, in joy and in peace by becoming aware of how you feel. Make feeling positive more important than your clutter. In reality whether you have clutter in your life or not is not really what matters. What matters is if you get lost in the story about the clutter by letting it entice or seduce you to keep it or get more, if you ignore your negative feelings, or you become dependent on your clutter as though it represents who you are. Any of those are harmful and do not nurture your life today. Let go and feel the joy, even if that means finding a new playground!

Much love and peace to you all!

~Sandy