Wish Your Family was as Excited to Declutter as YOU?

The month of February offers lots of reminders to let your loved ones know how special they are to you.  But, you might not be feeling so grateful and loving if those loved ones aren’t supporting your goal of paring down and creating space. 

If you are motivated and excited to start decluttering, but your family or friends aren’t on the same page, then the job of letting go might feel even harder, like you have another weight tying you to your stuff.

So what can you do? 

How can you get everyone on board and ready to start letting go of the extras? 

The hard truth is that you can’t make anyone feel the same way that you do about decluttering.  The decisions that surround letting go are personal and we have to honor that fact.  If you force or rush someone into letting go, chances are you will get even more push back.  

The good news is that no matter how your partner, child, parent, or friend feels about it, you can still make progress.

Here are a some ways that you can keep the peace & still move forward on your goal to declutter & create space.

Start with your own stuff.
It might feel easier to dig into your partner or child’s stuff (I’m sure you know exactly where you’d like to start – all that hobby stuff that they haven’t used in years or that clothes collecting dust in the back of the closet), but the best way to create change that allows everyone to get on board, is to start with YOUR stuff.  When you work on categories that are specific to you, then you are able to make decisions faster (you won’t have to ask for input) & you are modeling how to manage & care for your stuff. 

Let your loved one know why this is important to you
Often when we share the reason behind the work (you want to create space to work on your hobby without taking over the dining room table or you want to stop managing so much stuff & instead have more energy for date night), then we get buy in.  Let people know what you are working on & why!  It really does make a difference and they might even offer to help.

Allow the decluttering to become contagious
As you begin to feel the energy around your stuff start to lighten up, your mood will also start to lift!  Your loved ones will begin to notice that energy shift and want to be a part of it.  Let it become contagious!  It might take time & they might not go about it in the way that you do, but remember that any positive movement creates space for a sense of light & ease to enter.  

If your loved ones aren’t ready to declutter but you know that you will get more done when you have a partner by your side, then find a friend or hire a professional organizer and get the support you need to move ahead. Make this process work for YOU.

Feel Guilty Letting Go of Cards?

Do you struggle to let go of cards that were sent to you?

I often keep holiday cards displayed until February when I get antsy to clear the visual clutter & let them go. But for years, it was hard for me to do that. I felt guilty or thought I needed to keep them as reminders of how much our family & friends were growing & changing. I now realize I don’t need to be the keeper of these things.

If you struggle with letting go of holiday, or any cards, that you receive then try these ideas on –

💌Remind yourself that these cards were sent with love & never meant to be a burden on your space or your energy. When they start to pile up or you are frustrated by the weight of the collection, then tune in & honor your longing to let them go. Send a loving wish (thought) to that person & then put them in the recycling or trash.

🗃Offer the cards that you really do want to revisit (because they hold a special message or feel precious) a box or a file. Go through them a few times a year to read & curate what you have kept. It’s ok to keep items that are special to you, but those things are easier to manage when you give them a home & then stay aware of why you are collecting them.

Is this something you struggle with? What makes it easier for you to let go of cards?

When a Little Investment Creates Happiness & Ease!

a modest splurge in a pen = a little happiness

Years ago, I read Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project and I will never forget the chapter on buying some happiness.  It was a revelation to hear her offer permission to indulge in modest splurges to create more happiness.

I typically subscribe to a “less is more” philosophy, so I paid extra attention reading this chapter. I wanted to see what indulging like this meant.

Since Gretchen is a writer, one of her examples was to buy a good pen.  Instead of using just any old pen, spend a little money and purchase one that makes the work of writing more pleasurable.  This was something I could relate to.  I journal daily and at that time I had been using pens that I had collected over the years from businesses or events. If I was really in need, I would buy a bag of cheap pens even though I knew I wouldn’t like how they felt when I used them.

But Gretchen’s simple examples of how small investments in things that bring happiness stuck with me and I began to recognize the areas and times when I was frustrated and “making due” rather than intentionally purchasing something that would solve the problem and bring more happiness without breaking the bank.

I decided to follow her example and stop taking free pens (whenever possible) and invest $3.50 in a pen that could be refilled and not just thrown away when the ink ran out. I made a trip to Sketchy Artist, a local shop, tried out the pens (an essential step!), found one that felt right, and since then every time I use the pen it reminds me of how I am taking care of myself.

If pens aren’t your thing and you couldn’t care less about how they feel or work, then maybe this example is more relatable to you.

This past spring I committed to writing more creatively each week, but soon realized that if I was going to make that goal into a reality then I was going to have to set myself up for success.  I would need to “indulge in a modest splurge” to set up a writing station with everything needed to set the stage and ensure I could sit down and make writing actually happen. 

my office already set up in the basement

I have two small tables in my house that are my work desks. The one in the basement is where I do my business work and the desk on the main level is for home management -paying bills, updating the calendar, and journaling. My work desk in the basement is already set up for ease. All I need to do is set my laptop down and I am good to go. But the table upstairs has been intentionally sparse since it is located in a corner of our living room.

I knew that I would need to add a few items to the desk to make sure I could sit for extended periods of time without hurting my neck & back as I hunched over, typing on my little laptop keyboard. And I have a few routines that I use as triggers when it is time to work. I turn on instrumental music & light a candle, and then my body and brain recognize that I have shifted gears – it becomes easier to get started.

the upstairs desk after my modest splurges

These simple steps help to create intention around writing time, so I wanted to be sure I could replicate that feeling at the upstairs desk. I indulged in a modest splurge by purchased another keyboard and mouse, bought a new candle, and a metal shelf organizer that could hold my laptop.

“make executing the right things-the essential things-as easy and frictionless as possible.”

Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism

These purchases were a little heftier than a $3 pen but I know they are worth it. They definitely decrease the barriers to sitting down and making creative writing happen and that is a big win in my book!

Your Turn…

Do you need to invest in a modest splurge to increase your happiness or make an area of your life run with more ease?

Give yourself permission to make a small intentional purchase & notice how that your attitude or energy shifts once you start to use or enjoy that item.

Next Steps…

In this season of buy, buy, buy, it is hard not to get caught up in bringing more into our homes just because it is available. When you take time before you shop to get clear on what you need, want, and why, then it is easier to resist the extras.

Just like building a muscle, this takes practice, but you can do it! One decision at a time.

Need support to set up a space for greater function and ease OR are you ready for a Virtual Clarity Session to talk through the decisions that you’d like permission to make? Contact me today!

Do you always seem to buy more than you had planned?

The ads and emails are in full force this time of year!  Trying to entice you with sales and steals that might seem just too good to pass up or convince you that the more you buy, the better.

It can be hard to resist!

I’ve been there.

Scanning the ads for the newest items and trends. Walking the aisles in a daze. Getting distracted by sale signs or beautifully crafted displays. Buying things just so I had something to wrap. Making a purchase to relieve the fear that I would miss out a deal that wouldn’t come around again.

I would end up with more than I had hoped to buy and a sinking feeling that the items I settled on weren’t really what I wanted in the first place. It didn’t feel good.

So if you can relate but are longing for a different way or you are hoping get to through the month without that sinking feeling that you bought WAY more than you had planned, then here is one word to insert before you head out shopping.


Adding just a little more intention to your shopping experience can put you in the driver seat of the experience. Intention allows you to feel and be more proactive and less reactive to the marketing and pressure of the season.

You might say, that sounds good… intention is a nice word, but what does that look like in real life? 

It looks like –

  • deciding on a budget or the amount you want to spend before you head out to the store
  • shopping with a list
  • avoiding the dollar section unless you are looking for something specific
  • shopping when you have energy & noticing when you start mindlessly wandering aisles (that’s the cue to wrap it up & come back later)
  • creating a list of ideas first & then hunting for those items in the ads vs. letting the ads dictate what you buy
  • knowing WHY you are making a purchase
  • putting an item in your online shopping cart, but pausing or walking away for a little bit to check in with yourself – ask if the purchase is needed/wanted OR are you motivated by the fear of missing out on the deal?

It can be hard to resist the frenzy of buying at this time of year, so it’s understandable if you often come away with more than you had planned, but each baby step you take toward shopping with more intention can provide the shield you need to keep your cart from piling up with extra stuff.

Intention creates a little boundary of protection against the pressure of more, more, more.

Are there certain stores or ads that always suck you in & increase the chance of buying more than you had planned?

If you are hoping to simplify this year or get to the end of the holiday season feeling better about the amount you purchased, try taking one small intentional step the next time you shop.

Next Steps…

Feeling overwhelmed? Already have too much stuff in your spaces & dread the thought of bringing in more with the holidays? Tell me about it in the form below.

Let’s set up an appointment, develop a customized plan and create a space you feel proud to come home to!

Do You Need a Permission Slip?

The word PERMISSION keeps popping up all around me.  I hear it on podcasts, in conversations with friends, and when working with clients. 

It seems there is a longing for someone outside of ourselves to grant us permission to say, be, or do something that might feel scary or go-against-the-grain.

You may want – 

Permission to let go of the gift a friend gave you ten years ago that has never been used.  

Permission to say no to the request to be on another committee.

Permission to take 15 minutes to read a book or close your eyes during the day. 

Permission to say no to hosting book club or Thanksgiving.

In Braving the Wilderness, Brene´ Brown talks about writing herself permission slips to feel how she wants to feel and be who she wants to be.  She started this practice after feeling nervous and second-guessing herself.  Instead of looking outside of herself for permission, she grabbed a sticky-note and wrote down words that would allow her to enter her day in the way that felt right.

This is something I keep working at.  Tuning in to the times when I am holding myself back because I want someone else to tell me it is okay.  Noticing is the first step.  The next is to let go of that hesitation and offer yourself the permission to do, or be, or say what you want.

Want more ideas on how you can offer yourself permission to let go of something FOR NOW.  Check out this post and see if those two words lift some of the pressure of letting go.

Need Permission to Let Go?

I hope you can offer yourself a permission slip to enjoy everything that you love about this upcoming holiday season.