Get Ready to Enter & Exit with More Ease

The entrance to your house is a hardworking space! It has to be ready to accommodate the comings & goings of all of the members of the family plus the stuff they are taking in & out.

So it makes sense to spend a little time at the change of each season to evaluate what needs to stay & what needs to go. And then to make the necessary tweaks or changes that will allow you to enter & exit with more ease.

Here are some solutions that could get your entry, mudroom, or the transition space in the garage ready for all that life throws at it!

Add boundaries for the items that need to live in this space. Here the mail & the shoes are contained with a tray, baskets, and the rug.

Send the junk mail & extra papers to recycling & then use a tray, a small basket, or a clipboard to collect the mail & papers that need extra attention.

A bowl or hook can create a designated spot for keys- no more hunting!!!

The items that are used daily can be collected with a basket or a space on a shelf.

Hooks on the wall or in the transition space in the garage will keep things from piling up on the floor.

Boot trays & rugs are a great reminder of where footwear should live & help to keep any dirt or mess confined to one space.

These are just some of the ways that creating an entry space with intention can make daily life feel easier.

I’d love to hear the ideas that are working for YOU!

Be in touch if your entry is causing headaches and you aren’t sure out how to make it better.

End-of-the-Year School Papers & Artwork Got You Overwhelmed?

Lots of school “stuff” collects & comes in at the end of the school year. Programs from concerts & events, end-of-year assessments, art, the list goes on…

Here’s a tip to try – Pare down the duplicates, scratch papers, & practice pages as soon as you can & then collect the rest in one place. In late August, as you are preparing to start off the next year, take a minute to remember & wrap up the last one.

You can ask your child to find their “best work” & the items that they want to keep because they hold good memories. Then find a way to store these favorites – it may be a in file box with a folder for each year, in a binder, or in an art portfolio.

Offering a little time & space between when the work was created & the decisions, can make the letting go easier.

If you want a more info. on this process, you can check out AUGUST IS A GREAT TIME TO DEAL WITH KID ART, HERE’S WHY!

And I’d love to hear if this tip offers a little relief or if you have a system that works well for you!

What if you chose NOT TO do a few things?

“Sometimes what you don’t do is just as important as what you do.”

– Buffett & Clark as quoted in Essentialism

When I read this statement, I thought of all of the choices that come our way each day.  I thought of the ads & other junk mail that fill our mailboxes & then create our paper piles on the table.  I thought of the daily barrage of emails that ask for attention as our inbox count continues to rise. And I thought about the amount of time that we are able to allot to ALL of the tasks that we have hopes of doing each day.

Often, the time needed for the amount of tasks & activities on your list is just not there. And when you realize that is THE TRUTH, then it’s time to make a change.

This is when recognizing the power of choice in your life really becomes a game changer. When you truly embrace that YOU get to decide what to spend time on & what you can let go of, then big shifts can happen.

Here are some tips on how to begin choosing what is important & necessary vs. the things that you can decide not to do?

Start by practicing this skill in an area that feels safe (fairly risk-free) or in an area of your life that has been nagging at you to make a change. Often your gut knows what is important & what really feels like a waste of time to you.

First take a step back. Pull back from the immediacy of things & take a look at the overall picture. Make a short list of the things that are non-negotiable (you need or want to do these things). When it comes to mail, the short list might include bills, personal letters, & medical benefits papers (this list is different for everyone). Those are the things you will make sure you do.

Now look at your usual patterns with curiosity. Ask yourself if you are doing things out of habit or because you have always done it that way & haven’t considered another option. When it come to mail, you could ask yourself if you need to keep the subscription to the magazine that never gets read? Or think about how much energy you might save if you immediately recycle the ads & junk mail.

Then create a statement that becomes your “new normal.”  These are the words you can tell yourself every time you are tempted to do more than is necessary or essential. Use this statement or create one that feels true for you:

“I am choosing to spend time on things that are urgent & align with my values.”

Deciding NOT TO open all the extra ad emails, the coupon flier, and the junk mail is a choice that can open time & alleviate stress.  When you choose NOT TO spend time on these things, you can hit delete, recycle or shred without the guilt.  You have made a decision not to allow your time to be taken up in this way.  

And remember that you can choose not to do something for a temporary amount of time.  If Paper or emails are overwhelming you RIGHT NOW then your choice to limit yourself in this area could be what you need for now.  Once you feel like your inbox is more manageable or your piles have decreased, then you might CHOOSE TO spend 5 mins looking at ads on a Sunday night.

As Greg McKeown says in Essentialism, “our options may be things, but a choice – a choice is an action.  It is not just something we have, but something we do.” So grant yourself the freedom to NOT Do a few more things & instead spend that time on the stuff that really matters to you.

Let’s Connect!

Fill out the form below & tell me about the things that you DON’T DO that have changed how your day flows. Or be in touch if you are ready for a partner that can help you declutter the things that are holding you back from what you truly want to DO!

How little projects can add up to BIG relief!

Last month, I found myself tackling lots of little clutter clearing projects.  And I have to say it felt good to complete lots of little projects that didn’t take a lot of time & energy but together added up to relief.  

First I cleared out the file box that lives under our main floor desk.  Out went the old school papers from last year, the summer community ed. brochure & other summer activity papers.  

The next week, I sorted & cleared the lightbulb collection that had been hidden in a cabinet & was the source of grumbling for years!  (Check out my instagram to hear about that project.)

These lightbulbs had been driving me crazy for years!

Then I cleaned & cleared out the washtub & extra laundry supplies that were waiting to be recycled.  And after that it was on to the mini fridge in the garage.

These projects were not that important or urgent.  They had been hanging around waiting for attention for quite a while.  But September offered the energy of fresh starts/restarts and I took advantage of it.

I might actually have been “procrasticlearing,”  This is a term that Gretchen Rubin describes on the Happier Podcast #175 (you can read or listen here).  It happens when you use clutter clearing as a way to postpone work.  And lots of people do it! 

If you ever find yourself rearranging your desk or testing pens instead of working, then you may be procrasticlearing.  The key is to recognize if you are using this project to avoid doing the actual work that needs attention or if this is something that you have been meaning to do for a while & will lead to better work & more efficiency? 

Gretchen says to ask yourself if this is  “useful preparation or unhelpful procrastination?”  

Looking back, I think I was doing a combination of both.  At times I avoided or delayed work when I dug into the project & other times, it felt purposeful & led to a clear head & greater focus when I moved on to the next thing.  Either way, those little projects created relief in areas of the house that normally were passed by.  And it felt good to prep spaces before the big shift to indoor living.

YOUR TURN…

I’d love to know if you ever find yourself “procrasticlearing” or if this concept seems totally foreign to you.  Comment below & it will go right into my inbox.

NEXT STEPS…

If you have longed to clear clutter & feel this relief but don’t know how to start then here’s one idea:

  1. Grab a piece of paper
  2. Enter one space in your room
  3. List all of the things that have been bugging you
  4. Pick one project on the list & break it down into some bite-sized chunks.
  5. Set a timer and work at that small chunk for 30 mins.
  6. The next time you feel the urge to clear, check your list & chip away at another small chunk.

Give it a try.  If you get the urge, go with it!  You might be surprised how much you can get done in a short time & how good you feel after.

What does INTENTION have to do with it?

When I first started this business, I used the word INTENTION a lot!

It was the  first question that I asked a client to consider – “What is your intention for this space?”

This was the guidepost to start our process.

And I believed in the value of this question, but somewhere along the way I started to shift my question.  Consciously or unconsciously I moved to a word that might be easier to grasp – goal.

We hear about goals all the time.  Goal weight.  Marketing goal.  Lifelong goal.  We can be a very goal-oriented society.

And don’t get me wrong, I know that goals are great- the best goals are measurable, action-oriented, achievable, manageable- all good things.  Goals offer us a way to note progress and keep us moving ahead, but I know that in this work we have to think about more than checking things off, finishing a project, or taking a great “after” picture.

I also understand that we can’t set achievable goals until we get in touch with the reasons behind them.  And that is why we need intention.  Because when I ask that question- what is your intention?  I really mean how do you want the space to feel?  And more importantly how do YOU want to feel in the space?

Intention brings the deep desires we hold for our lives.  It might not seem quantifiable or identifiable to people from the outside, but it is important.

It is the reason to begin.  It is the feeling you are hoping to achieve by doing the work.  It is the motivator and the driver when it feels hard to make tough choices or shift old patterns.

This summer our family has been spending hours on the backyard deck that we finished last fall.

When we started the project we spent time thinking about how we wanted to feel in the space.  We imagined the peace and rejuvenation that comes from sitting by a campfire or on a deck overlooking a lake.  We wanted a space that could allow time to slow down.

We took that desire into the design &  creation phase & now that intention is realized when we step out of our back door.  The space asks us to de-stress, connect, linger, and enjoy the outdoors.  And I’m so grateful we took the time to get clear on our intention.

So, be prepared to hear this question, “what is your intention for the space?”  It might feel foreign to you.  It might even take a little time for you to answer, but I know that when we get in touch with the desires underneath the surface, then we are ready for powerful changes that last. 

And that is what I am all about!

Let’s create changes that bring light and ease & free you up to spend energy and time on the things that matter most to you!

Ready to set your intention and get your project moving ahead?  Contact me today.