Ready for a Change But Can’t Find the Motivation?

Are you facing a space full of clutter but feel unmotivated to get started on the project?

You are not alone if you feel tempted to put it off, close the door on the space, or shove all the extras into a bag or bin instead of dealing with them!

It happens.  This is real life.   And it can seem hard to find the courage, energy, and time to start a project.   

You might also feel alone in the struggle to keep up & resentful that this is what you have to spend your time on when you have a million other things that you’d like to do.

But the clutter isn’t going to go away on it’s own, so I want to offer a few tips that can decrease the overwhelm & make the decluttering process feel lighter.

Let Go of Comparison

There are lots of opinions & strategies on how to clear clutter & maintain your spaces, along with tons of perfectly manicured images showing the “ideal” home life. And some of this can be inspiring, but often all of that input is paralyzing. You start to compare & judge your strategies. You question yourself & forget to listen to your intuition. 

So when YOU decide it’s time to tackle your project, you have to let go of comparison. Let go of how things work for other people & start tuning into the things that have worked for you in the past, the ideas you have always longed to try, and the tips that really resonate & feel like YOU.

When you let go of comparison & tap into your intuition & desire, then the changes you make & the way you tackle this project will better fit your personality & lifestyle.

Get Curious

Digging into a project takes a commitment of time & energy, so it’s helpful to to understand WHY you want to get started & WHAT will make the process work best for you.

Before you even pick up an item, step back and look at your situation with “fresh eyes.” Try to let go of shame, embarrassment or self-judgment & look at the situation & your things from a place of curiosity. Ask yourself these questions to allow the needed shifts to come to light:

  • What is the feeling that I hope to achieve once this stuff is dealt with?
  • Is this stuff holding me back from something else I want in my life?
  • Do I have a deadline or do I need to make one?
  • Do I work better when I have a partner to help with decisions & keep me going? Who can I ask to support me?
  • Am I the kind of person that likes to work in small chunks or do I want to set aside a large block of time to work?

Add Creativity

You don’t have to consider yourself a creative person to be successful at decluttering, but the process will be more interesting & a lot more fun when you are open to new ideas and ways of thinking about your space. 

Stay open to thinking outside-the-box & your creative mind will bring to light new ways to repurpose some of the items that you’d like to keep but haven’t been using. Maybe your grandmother’s rolling pin will become a work of art when hung on the kitchen wall!

Tap into the spirit of creativity as you experiment with new habits that will create more flow in your life. Experimenting lifts the pressure & lets this become a process with no right answer, just information that will move you ahead.

Go For It!

Getting started can be the hardest part, so lift some of the pressure & weight of the project by letting go of comparison & then adding curiosity and creativity. Let this new way to look at your project shift your energy & spark the motivation that will lead to action!

Contact me today if you are motivated but know you can’t do it alone. Together we can make it happen!

Is Grief Holding Back Your Decluttering?

Are you faced with the challenge of sorting through items left by a loved one’s death?  

This can be one of the hardest things to get the motivation & courage to do.  And you wouldn’t be alone if you packed up the stuff & then let it sit for a few years.  Or maybe you closed the door on a closet or room & find yourself avoiding this space because you are not ready to face what’s inside. 

You might feel some guilt or shame that you haven’t been able to work on this stuff earlier, and maybe you are beating yourself up over how many times you have tried to start the sorting & clearing, but can’t follow-through.  

Whew… Heavy stuff.  

But let’s shift the narrative away from the shoulds & shame.

I want to share compassion, and hopefully some relief, by letting you know it’s okay.  Those strategies, that probably haven’t felt like strategies to you, are exactly what you needed to do in the midst of the the change & grief that this loss created.  

Grief is a powerful, individual journey & no one can offer the roadmap or timeframe that will predict when YOU will be ready to deal with the stuff left behind.  And forcing yourself to “power through” may get the job done, but the process will likely feel harder & more overwhelming than it needs to be.

So if you are grieving and wondering when and how to tackle this project, I want to offer a few thoughts that might create a little light in a space that can feel dark & hard.

First, work to let go of comparison

We each deal with grief & loss in our own way & in our own time, so commit to go at your own pace without judging your action or inaction based on someone else.  There is no need to rush the process or feel guilty if you haven’t been ready. 

Recognize that this physical stuff seems to hold a lot of memories, but the memories are actually inside of you

You get to keep the memories regardless of whether you hold on to the stuff.  The dusty wine bottle from your first anniversary or the shoe box of old baseball cards are reminders of your time together & the person you love, but they don’t tell the story.  The stories are in you. 

Create new avenues that will cultivate your favorite memories

As you come across pieces that spark positive stories & happy memories, you can take a picture to create a visual reminder of that event. Or use a journal or voice dictation on your phone to collect the feelings, thoughts & images that come to mind.  Keeping the physical item will become less important once you have created alternate ways to trigger the memories of those good times with your loved one.

Allow the letting go to happen in stages

There will be some things that are easy to sort & clear and those are the first areas to tackle when you start the process.  This easier stuff will offer you practice & build your confidence.  And remind you that letting go creates a feeling of relief & lightness

As you dig into the stuff that feels harder & you are faced with a tough decision, you can offer yourself permission to put this in a “maybe” pile or keep it “for now.” It’s ok to go slow & keep more during your first sort. You can come back after you have taken a break. Once a little time goes by & you get more practice letting go, then those hard decisions might not feel so heavy.

Honor the items you keep

If it feels right, place the items that you keep in areas where you can enjoy them. Allow those good memories to resurface every time to notice the item. And if you aren’t ready or it doesn’t feel right to wear, display, or use the items, then dedicate a tote or bin that will keep them safe from deterioration.

Feel proud of each step you take on this journey

It may feel like slow work and you might get frustrated that you aren’t able to move through things faster & make decisions quickly. But, there has been alot of emotion wrapped up in this stuff. Remind yourself that each decision moves you one step further. You are moving ahead & you can be proud of the courage & strength it took to start this work.

Sending you love & encouragement.

If you’d like to share something that you have found helpful or would like to tell me more about your situation, I’d love to hear from you. Share it below.

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!