What is the one phrase I continue to tell clients?

I want to repeat the phrase that I continue to say over & over! 

Decluttering is a journey!

I continue to share this message because there are going to be times of frustration, times when you can’t see an end in sight, & times when it feels like you are slipping back into your old ways. 

But when you remember it is a journey, you will be more likely to stay on the path & keep pushing ahead.  Letting the journey unfold as slow or as fast as it needs to.

I was reminded of this as I returned to help a client declutter the same porch that we decluttered last spring.  It happens.  It’s common.  It’s life. 

Here is the space when we finished up- isn’t it dreamy & ready for spring! 

I pass this along to remind you that your spaces are waiting for their time & attention. They are patiently willing to serve you in the function that you need. 

If this porch needed to be a catch-all for the winter while other house projects were happening, then it did it’s job & now it is ready to shine for the spring & summer- happy to be a part of the journey.

Your Turn..

Have you created a catch-all space that can support you on the decluttering journey?  A catch-all space eases the urgency of needing to know where things should be housed before the spaces are ready.  It also offers a place to let things be in progress or a place to store your “find a new home” items until you are able to give them attention.

Next Steps…

Give yourself permission to make a space in your home that will be a little messy or cluttered as you go on this decluttering journey.  Know that this is temporary & eventually this space will be able to serve it’s higher function.

And if you are wondering what a “find a new home” box is, then shoot me an email.  Having this box makes the process more efficient & light.

Let’s aim for better

 

A month ago I listened to Fay Wolf, fellow organizer & the author of “New Order: A Decluttering Handbook for Creative Folks (and Everyone Else)”, speak on the power of imperfection in organizing.

She is a recovering perfectionist (I could relate) and the mantra that she shares with clients is “a little better is a little better.”

I like that.  I actually wish I had come up with that catchy little saying because I believe it’s true & I think more people need to hear that phrase.

When we declutter & organize, we are not striving for perfection.  If we were, we might never be satisfied.   The discontent surrounding the work would create a whole landslide of behaviors that land you right back to where you started.  That’s not what we want.  Let’s break that cycle.

When you reframe the goal & shoot for “better,” a weight lifts.  The outcome feels easier to get to & a whole lot easier to maintain.

There are so many places where we can search for amazing ideas on how to transform your space – magazines, design books, Pinterest, Houzz, and Instagram are just a few of the many places you can find images that seem like perfection.  And these resources can offer some great inspiration.  But that is all that they need to be used for – inspiration to move to you to ACTION.

Inspiration to light a spark in you to create something that works better, something that makes your life run a little smoother, something that keeps you from working so hard to manage & maintain all of your “stuff.”

With this work, let’s shoot for “better” and see how much more we can accomplish.

Your Turn…

Does the idea of perfection keep you from starting a project that you have been wanting to tackle.  Are you worried you might not do it “right?”

Next step…

Each step in the process of clearing & organizing can move you forward if you let go of creating the perfect space & focus on a space that functions better for you & your lifestyle.

How would it feel to shift your thoughts around that system, space, or project that has been keeping you stuck & tell yourself you are striving to make it better?  Not perfect…  BETTER.

TiP for Your TUESDAY!

You can take a break-it will be ok

It is so easy to get caught up in our to-do list – powering through to make sure everything gets done, everyone has what they need, & all of the expectations that you set are being met – AND this can be exhausting if you don’t offer yourself a little break once in a while.  Take a little break & know that whatever you needed to do will wait for you.  (Or maybe it won’t & you will find it wasn’t as important as you had thought.)

TiP for Your TUESDAY!

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Offer Yourself a Little LOVE

So often we spend time ensuring our loved ones know how much they are loved.  If you have a young family you dole out little acts of love as you help pack lunches, read one more book at bedtime, fill out field trip forms, & run kids to their activities.  Or maybe you are caring for an aging parent & are making extra meals to pack away in freezers, attending care conferences, and shuttling to dr. appointments.

Whatever your situation, make some time today to offer yourself a little love.  Do something little (or big) that warms your own heart.  Buy yourself a coffee, take yourself for a walk, listen to your favorite song, or close your eyes in the sun for a few minutes.  We all need to offer ourselves more love & today is a perfect day to start!

When is it time to call in the goats?

IMG_8188This month, on one of my daily adventures to walk the dog,  I noticed something pretty cool.  A local park has hired goats to do some of their work!  It sounds kind of funny- goats as the laborers, but it seems to be a great strategy!  

The areas that the goats are “working” in have been overwhelmed by weeds & invasive plants.  They are fairly large spaces that would take lots of manpower, time, & possibly equipment to tame, so the goats are a great solution.  With a little chewing & chomping, they can easily get into areas that would otherwise be hard to access.  They fertilize the soil as they work.  And they are pretty quiet, compared to bringing in machinery!  

I’m amazed by this solution and have continued to think about those goats; stopping by to check on their progress these past weeks.  Being inspired.

Those goats & weeds have reminded me of how hard it can feel when you are stuck in overwhelm & then the relief that comes when you find a solution that makes life run a whole lot easier.

The weeds, overgrown bushes, & brambles are just like our overwhelm.  Our thoughts feel out-of-control & wild- making it hard to keep perspective and make it easy to fall into one of these counterproductive patterns:

  • Procrastinate & let the weeds of fear grow wild
  • Chip away at it from all different directions- starting, stopping, & starting again  but never making headway or getting to the root
  • Power through like a bulldozer, fueled with frustration & resentment that sends the exhaust of gloom over everything else nearby

I’ve been known to fall into any one of these patterns without even realizing what I am doing because it’s hard to think outside-the-box when my mind is overloaded.  It can be hard to step back when it feels like you are “in it.”

We automatically start doing things the way we have always done them, working with a mindset about how it should go or how things might be expected to happen.  BUT, if we can pause at the start of overwhelm & notice we are on the verge, there might be just a few moments to make a shift.

We can gather a little courage & open ourselves to that little whisper that just might have an original idea about how to make a detour around those counterproductive habits & tackle this problem.IMG_8189

The goats represent outside-the-box thinking.  A solution that lifts hardship & heaviness.  Asking for what you need & being ok with trying something new.  And giving over to an idea that can open time & space for the things you’d rather turn your attention to.  

Sometimes that means you have to let go of the idea that you need to do it alone or that you are the only one that can solve the problem.  It might be time to outsource (bring in the goats!)-ask a friend, your partner, your child, or hiring someone to take on one of those overwhelming projects or jobs that drag you down.

It will take experimentation & practice, but the reward of trying something that brings light & ease into your life will motivate you to keep looking for other creative solutions to problems that seem overwhelming!

Your Turn…

Look for inspiration.   Ask for what you need.  Think outside-the-box.  Modify, shift & change when it doesn’t fit so that you can move forward.  And begin to believe that making time to look for creative solutions will make life more enjoyable.

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Next Steps…

The next time you feel the weeds of overwhelm starting to take over your life, pause & take a step back to look at the problem from a new angle.

Try getting your overwhelm off your chest and out in the open.  Journal about the problem, talk to a friend, send me an email.  Often when you give voice to your fear and overwhelm, then a new light begins to shine & it doesn’t feel so heavy or hard.  And I wouldn’t be surprised if a creative solution appears.  It so often does when we are open & willing to try a new way!