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What I know:

It isn't about our stuff.
It's about our connections.

Bigger. Better. More.
Rarely is.

Our best lives create space
in our homes and hearts
for the people and activities
that make us genuinely happy.

You must be present to win.

That was then. This is now.

 “That was then. This is now” is one of the things I say to my clients.  
(In my least Bossy voice, of course)

One source of clutter comes from holding on to items connected to a life we no longer live. 
(Or ever did for that matter)
Supplies for a hobby we stopped engaging in years ago. Sports equipment from an activity we abandoned. Clothes from a different body or life style.  Supplies for a Do It Yourself project that will never happen.

We want to believe that our lives, tastes and commitments haven’t changed. 
That we have the same bodies, abilities and interests we had two, five, or ten years ago.
What’s true is that isn’t the case. 
If those hobbies and activities were important to us, we would be making time and room in our current lives to do them.

Take an objective look at what’s living in your closets, 
stacked on your shelves,  
or piled in the garage that no longer has use or meaning in your life.  
Get rid of the unused, excess, nagging, guilt inducing stuff.

If you’re not quite ready to let go of things (or is it what they represent that has the hold on you?); 
set yourself a deadline. 
If you haven’t pulled out the yarn, played tennis, or refinished the chair by X date, 
be willing to admit it and let the items go.

I invite you to take look at what you’ve been holding on to 
that no longer serves the life you want to be living now.
Admit that yes, you’re done with that hobby, activity or project.
It’s okay, really.
Give the supplies, equipment and clothes to people who will use them, right now, 
for the lives they are presently living.

Your letting go will create space in your house and life; physically, mentally and emotionally. 
You’ll have more room for this life, the one you’re engaged in right now.
Make that life a reflection of the people and activities that feed your soul and fill your heart.

More storage?

You didn’t need more storage.
You need less stuff.

(Oh.  And organized clutter, is still clutter…….)

Do you need it?
Use it?
Value it?
Does it help you live the life you say you want?

Be grateful.

Nowhere to go.
No need to sit cross legged for twenty minutes, or make a list of blessings.
Not even anything to say.

Just be with a feeling of gratitude.  
For everything you already have.
The people you love.

Act grateful, right now.
And in the car later.
And when you’re getting ready tomorrow morning.
(And when you’re tempted to complain.)

Consider the good, the true and the beautiful in your life.
Hold that thought.

If you’re not grateful for all that you currently have,
how will adding one more thing make a difference?

It’s okay to ask for help. Really.

Here’s a surprise:  You can’t do it all.
(And even if you could, why would you want to?!?)

Asking for help doesn’t make you helpless or weak or not a tough guy/gal.
Allowing other people to assist and perhaps teach you, can open your life to new ways of doing things.
And create time to focus on the people and activities than give your life meaning.
Accepting help will relieve some of the pressure and stress around making your home and life
look and feel comfortable, and supportive to you.

Whether it is someone else doing the vacuuming, finding a parenting class, 
asking for a referral for a good therapist, 
or requesting your family members to put away their own laundry:
Asking for help gives you more space and time in your own life.

Your universe is available to help and support you.  
Go ahead.  
Ask.

Winter coats

No, I’m not talking about the cute little number with the fur collar and deep pockets hanging in the hall closet.
I’m talking about the items in your refrigerator that have furry little green or white or blue coats on them.
The mystery blobs, the jars you opened months ago, the hard, dried up chunks of cheese, or the four bites of leftover chicken you were going to toss into a salad-two weeks ago.

Clutter doesn’t just happen on chairs or in closets, garages and desk tops.
Anywhere in our homes where we have things we’re not using (or eating), 
things we don’t need, (giant economy on sale size) 
and are keeping out of guilt or obligation (I really should eat those leftovers for lunch) we have clutter;  
including our refrigerators and freezers.

Just as things migrate to the back of our closets, items disappear to the back of the fridge 
and into the freezer.
It’s hard to wear clothes we don’t know we have, and difficult to eat food that we don’t remember we’ve saved, especially if we don’t really even like it. 

If the truth is you never eat leftovers, stop putting them into containers and stacking them in the fridge.
(That realization may lead to you being able to purge your cupboard of excess plastic containers too!)

If certain vegetables always end up as limp slimy messes, buy less.  
The monetary savings of buying in large quantities is only economical if you actually eat the food.

(And don’t ask me to taste that off smelling milk to see if it’s bad……..)

Emptying, sorting and eliminating the clutter from refrigerators and freezers 
will make meal preparation easier, help remind us which foods we really do eat and enjoy, 
and help us better manage our food budget.

(Oh, and you can let go of the winter coats in the closet you’re not wearing too)




Time management. Or is it?

“Do you always feel like you don’t have enough time? Here are some interesting facts about time that once considered could have a deep impact on how you view the 24 hours you get each day.
 
1. Time is the one area where we are all totally equal. Everyone gets the same amount of time every day: 24 hours. Since this is true, the people who seem to have more time than we do must be approaching the use of time differently.
2. You cannot save time. You can save money. You can save physical items. You cannot save time.
It continues going on no matter what you do.
So, why do we engage in behaviors designed to “save” us time?
3. Time cannot be managed. There is no such thing as a time management system.
What we manage is our behavior – not time.
Time simply is.” 
Krysta Gibson

At its heart, decluttering and being more organized are visible proof of how you manage your behaviors.  
Remember what is really important to you,
what activities you value,
and with whom you want to spend your time: 
Then act it ways to make those moments possible.

Purge the file drawer

The new year is the perfect opportunity to sort through your file drawer 
and eliminate the unnecessary papers.
As well as establish a simple easy to use filing system.

Starting at the front of the drawer (or file box) take out each folder 
and sort the papers into piles of:
Keep, Recycle, Shred. 

You may find you have several year’s worth of insurance policies; only keep the most recent.
You may come across warranties and information for things you no longer own.  Recycle them.
(Most owner’s manuals can now be found on line, making keeping your paper copy unnecessary)
You may find financial and personal papers that belong in a safe or safety deposit box.  Move them.
You may have folders of clipped articles you meant to read, 
recipes you intended to try, or
travel ideas or destinations.
That was then.  
This is now.

Once you’ve gone through the entire drawer and you’re ready to put the Keepers back in:
Choose between the option of setting up the files alphabetically or in order of frequency of use. 
Which system makes better sense to you and how your mind works?

Establish files and folders use broad, general categories.
Such as Important Documents, Paid Bills, Insurance, Financial Records, 2020 Taxes.
As with all organizing systems, the simplest solution is the best solution.
The more complicated you make the system the less likely you are to use it.
Better to file quickly and if you ever have to search out a paper spend time then.  
You still should be able to locate the specific paper fairly quickly.

Buy a few box bottom hanging files-they are especially useful for holding odd shaped papers 
or extra thick documents without crowding.

75% of the papers people file never get looked at again.  
Why waste your time filing the unnecessary, 
or waste space keeping papers you will never look at again?

Consider on line bill paying to reduce the amount of paper coming into your home that you 
might feel an obligation to file.  
Remember Google is your friend.  
If you need to find an article or information about a topic 
you can locate it fastest and easier on the internet 
than digging through your file drawer.  

Don’t forget to take the bag of recycle to the bin, and do your shredding.  
(If the shredding pile seems too much for your home machine, 
Staples offers secure shredding for about a dollar a pound.)

Simplify your file drawer,
reduce the amount of papers you are keeping.
Make life easier.

A process, not a destination.

 “Being organized is a process, not a destination.”Jamie Novak

Sorting through your stuff, creating homes for the things you need, use and love 
​doesn’t only happen one time and then you’re through.
Every day there will be items that need your attention.
Your life’s In Box is never empty for long.

Wait, don’t let that idea discourage you.  
Instead consider that every day you get the opportunity to affirm you want a simple clutter free life.   
You make choices that support that effort.

Creating a home for everything and putting things into those places, 
dealing with your mail on a daily basis, 
only purchasing things you need and have space for, 
and using the Two Minute Rule.  
These are choices you make in the process of having an organized home.  
They get easier with practice and sometimes we all slip.  
It’s all part of the adventure.

And really, it isn’t about having a perfectly organized magazine photo shoot ready house-  
It’s about having the time and the space in our lives to do what we love, 
and share time with the people we care about.  
Having a clutter free and organized house just makes that space and time available.

Contentment

Don’t let comparison steal your contentment.

Figure out how much is enough.
How many ________ make you happy.
Which things matter.
At what point does more become just too much?
Too much to maintain, clean, store, keep track of,
make payments on, stumble over?

Someone else will always have more, or bigger or nicer.
And someone else will have less, smaller or a bit shabbier.

Learn to be content with what is comfortable for you.
Relax in knowing that the things you own are just the right ones for you.

Look around the room.
What could you let go right now?
What’s making your life messy or cramped or  
is no longer useful or necessary?

The only comparison should be where you now
to where your heart wants you to be.
What small move can you make in that direction?

Best gift ever.

I think the best gift you can give to someone else (and to yourself)
is the gift of your time and attention.

Choose to spend time with the people who are important to you.
Give someone the gift of your undivided attention.
Create time in your life for quiet contemplation.

Your time is limited: How do you want to spend it?
Who or what has meaning?
What sparks your heart?

You, your friends, and family probably all have more than enough stuff.
In this time of exchanging gifts, give time.
Make memories.

May love and grace touch your heart this Holiday Season.