Keep your daily to-do list SMALL

If our to-do list gets too long, it is easy to overwhelmed.  We find ourselves spending too much time deciding what to do first, spinning in circles racing to get to it all, or ending the day disappointed that we didn’t accomplish as much as we has hoped.  That’s not fun (or productive)!  The tip today is to keep your list short.

It is great to keep a running list of your future to-dos somewhere (written in a journal, using an app like Evernote, on the side of the fridge, etc…), but then make a daily list.  Focus on 3 items that you could accomplish and feel good about for the day!    

Decluttering Seasons

If there is one good thing about owning a dog with tons of energy, it is the fact that he needs exercise.  This translates into a daily walk with yours truly.  And I can’t complain.  This routine ensures that I get time to engage with nature, which is something that I love!  And even though our pace is fast – he likes to move! – these walks slow down my internal speed and allow my creativity to percolate.

This week, as I passed the shoots of bright green reaching out of the brown earth, I was struck once again by how easy it is to connect what is happening in nature with the process of decluttering.  I started to ponder the seasons and how each season offers a visual reminder of the journey of letting go of our stuff and our worn-out habits.  

I’ll start with spring since it is happening in real time right outside our open windows!   Yes, it really is warm enough here in Minnesota to let the breeze in!  Heavenly!    

Spring time with all of it’s mud and mess, growth and life, reminds me of how often we have to make a mess before things get better.  If you walked into the middle of a pantry reorganization session, you might wonder how we will ever make sense of all of the stuff that has been pulled out.  Cans, boxes, bags of noodles, rice, spices.  A mess of stuff getting looked over, categorized, cleared out, and eventually offered the spaces that feel right and allow for ease.  Order & boundaries get implemented and the mess turns into relief.

Spring also reminds me of how often we find ourselves in a state of complete overwhelm before we find a way to breakthrough.  We have been waiting and hoping for another way, sort of stuck in the same cycle, UNTIL, something happens and we see a bud of hope.  Something shifts and we are ready for growth.  Ready for new systems and routines to take hold & flourish.   

Next comes summer and it reminds me of the joy that can be felt after the work.  Everything is blooming and producing & it feels like it’s time to play!  In decluttering, when systems are offered time to take shape & grow, then we enjoy the benefits- a feeling of lightness, ease, efficiency, productivity.  We don’t have to work so hard to maintain our spaces because we have prepped and planned to create solutions and routines that really fit our daily life and our desires.   

But summer also reminds me of the need to tend and weed.  We must continue to be mindful about what is coming in and watching for spaces where things are starting to congest.  We have to continue to weed and clear to stay on top of the growth that can so easily creep into our lives.

Of course the season of fall would remind me of the letting go that happens as we clear out.  We take a cue from the trees and shed all that needs to go in order to grow.  We are letting go of the stuff that keeps getting in our way, the stuff that continues to be moved from one surface to another, never finding a resting place.  We are clearing out the piles.  Cutting back on what is unnecessary or has served it’s purpose in our life.  We are making decisions to keep the things that we use, need, and want & then offering them dedicated spaces.

Winter reminds me that decluttering requires reflection.  It involves checking in & recognizing what is important and why.  This winter, I watched the trees handle the heavy snow, and thought of all of the times when we can feel the weight of clutter & unfinished projects holding us down.  These burdens nag at the energy we need for daily inspiration and creativity. 

Just as our winter season can provide space for introspection, decluttering creates opportunities to check in and offer ourselves compassion for where we have been and where we want to go on this journey.  We have a chance to listen to the longings that might have been buried deep.  And just like those days when we see the bright sun shine on a cold day,  winter reminds me of hope.  And hope is exactly what you need on a decluttering journey. 

I love living in a climate where I get to see all of the seasons play themselves out.  The mess, the beauty, the growth, and the shedding all playing their role and offering a million reminders of the decluttering journey that is worth taking.

Your Turn…

What season of decluttering are you in right now?   Tell me about it!

 

In the News!

Last month I was asked to offer some decluttering advice for an article being written for the Post Bulletin’s Haven Magazine.  At first my heart was racing!  What would I say?  What would be asked?  Would I have the answers?

I was in that excited, yet fearful state – probably how you feel when you decide you are ready to reach out and ask for my support – but I was curious enough to push ahead ahead & take the opportunity.   I took some deep breaths &  worked to silence those doubt-filled voices as the interview started.

I relaxed as I remembered the hours spent decluttering my own stuff, as well as, all of the books, classes, and advice that I have taken in these past 4 years.  And I listened to the phrase that I have continued to share with you all about there being “no right way,” because I know that the desire to do it “right” can keep us small and stuck.

It was a great conversation and when it was all said and done I came away feeling anxious to see how this article might find it’s way out in the world.  I know there are lots of articles offering advice, tips, and short-cuts, and you may have already read something similar to this piece- that is just great!  But I also know that the decluttering journey is unique for each of us, so even if you have heard something similar before, you might not have been ready to take it in.

My hope is that wherever you are on your decluttering journey that you take it one step at a time, finding the “right” tips at the just the right time, pushing past those moments of fear to take your next step in the process.

Here’s the article!  Happy reading!

How to declutter and keep it that way

 

Clear out the Clutter Events

Spring is here and many communities are making it easier for us to let go of the unwanted, unneeded, unused items that have been taking up space.  You will find events that make it easier to get stuff out of your garage or basement, events that circulate our stuff and raise money for great causes, events that allow us to repair and reuse, and events that ensure our things are being passed on consciously.

Take advantage of the energy of spring clearing by checking into the things going on in your neighborhood that will make the process of letting go easier!  Check your local newspaper, or make a call to city hall, the library, or your local recycling center to find out what is scheduled in your area.

Here are some of the great events around the Northfield/Rice County area.

City Clean-Up Days

Maintenance Facility 1710 Riverview Drive Northfield, MN

Saturday, May 5 and Saturday, May 12, 2018  7 a.m. – 11 a.m.

https://www.ci.northfield.mn.us/318/Solid-Waste

Northfield Hospital Auxiliary Book Fair

Donations accepted at the Northfield Ice Arena

Donation dates:
• April 9-20: weekdays 9 am – 5 pm
• April 14: Saturday 10 am – 2 pm
• April 21: Saturday 9 am – 12 noon

https://www.facebook.com/Auxiliarybookfair/

America’s ToothFairy Smile Drive

Held in both Northfield and Faribault from March 12–30

Community members are invited to drop their donations of children’s toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and mouth rinse at several locations in the county. In Faribault, locations are at KDHL Radio and the Community Center. In Northfield, locations are KYMN Radio and the Youth Wing of the NCRC.

http://www.southernminn.com/northfield_news/community/article_b0133f44-4119-526a-80db-1405e30d5516.html

Repair Fair

Carleton College, Sat. March 31st

Community members, students, and staff can attend and receive assistance in fixing and mending household items and also learn more about low-impact, low-waste options.

https://apps.carleton.edu/sustainability/events/?event_id=1689908&date=2018-03-31

Craftastic Art Supply Swap & Sale!

Northfield Arts Guild, March 31st.  $20 to vend your overstock supplies.

Craftastic Art Supply Swap & Sale!

Your Turn…

If you know of other great events, send me a message and I will add them to my list or pass on the info. to clients & through my social network!  Together we can make the decluttering process feel as light & easy as possible!

To learn more about the events that I am putting on this spring, click HERE!

 

 

 

 

Tip for your TUESDAY!

Often Self-love is the answer

Having trouble getting started on a project?  Instead of beating yourself up about it, offer yourself a little more compassion.  Maybe there is some grief hiding in your resistance or maybe you have been pushing yourself too hard in too many areas.  Give yourself some self-love & often the thing you have been struggling with will start to feel lighter and easier.