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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.

When you’re 80. (or 40 for that matter)

When you’re 80 and you look back, will you say:
“I wish I would have watched more tv.” 
Or
“I so enjoyed the time I spent on adventures and in Mother Nature.”
“Darn, if only I’d spent more time shopping.”
Or
“I’m lucky to have spent so much time with the people I love.”
Or
“All my stuff was what gave my life meaning.”
Or
“Family, friends, moments of joy, moments of grace, 
and pausing to be grateful, made my imperfect life perfect.”

Containing

It may seem a clever solution to purchase attractive storage containers to hold your clutter.
However, if all they do is create a new place to stuff your stuff, even if it is an attractive place,
you still have clutter.  
It’s merely in a new location!

A necessary part of the organizing process is to sort through your stuff,
deciding what you really use and love and value.
Once those decisions have been made, then you can measure (literally) what you want to contain as well as measuring the space where you want to store it.

Before you scurry out to buy containers, look around your home.  
Are there baskets, boxes, totes or containers you already own that you can repurpose and use?
Do you have things that would not only hold things but spark pleasant memories
or associations when you looked at or used them? 
Do you associate certain activities with specific containers?  
Could that assist you in remembering what lives where?

It’s okay to want matching containers.
A uniform look and feel to storage solutions does eliminate visual clutter
and can add a sense of simplicity and calmness to a space.
You get to choose.
You are creating spaces that you enjoy and that support the life and activities that are important to you.

Be realistic.

This week’s idea:  Be Realistic

Set aside perfection.
Abandon your inner Marie Kondo.

Aim for small improvements, little changes.

Don’t worry about eating off the floor.  Start with being able to see the floor!

Sometimes people wait to declutter and organize until they have a whole day to work on the project, or until they have the perfect storage containers, or they purchase another bookcase.

Realistically, spending thirty minutes or an hour at a time will be the most productive.
Realistically, matching baskets look nice but won’t solve the problem.
Realistically, you’ll be more organized if you sort the books you already own.

It’s okay to lower your expectations from perfect to good.
(and much more likely that you’ll arrive at that place.)

Accept that you only have a limited amount of time, energy and interest. 
Remember who and what is most important in your life.

Having a color coded, neatly lined up sock drawer would be perfect.
But unnecessary.
Having a drawer where socks live, that is easy to access.
That’s good!

Be realistic.
Good really is good enough.

Gratitude is a verb.

You have an amazing and full life.
(Over full in some areas probably……)
Hot and cold running water.
A place to live.
People you adore, and who adore you.
Talents, skills, abilities.

Acknowledge all you have right now, today.

If you aren’t grateful for what you have now;
buying another pair of shoes,
a bigger house, a $50 raise, or having more stuff
isn’t going to make you happier in the ways that really matter.


“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”  Epictetus

Act as if

“If you want to be an artist, start acting like one.
It is easy, make stuff, show it to people, then make more stuff.
Make art every day. It’s a tonic, it’s a cure.” Deanne Fitzpatrick

Clutter gets in the way of people having the life they truly want.
Today act as if you have that life.
If you want to  spend more time with family and friends:  
Call someone and set up a time to be together.
If you want to get out of debt:  
Send a creditor money.  Even if it’s only $10, do it.
If you want your home to be a warm inviting place:
Invite someone over. 
Clear off the couch so there’ll be a place to sit.
If you want to change how you feel about your body:
Go for a walk.  
Ten minutes in one direction out your front door.

Stop waiting until you have more time, 
or more money 
or the body you had ten years ago.
Don’t let your clutter be an excuse to keep you from
doing the things you love or

Abundance or excess?

Abundance is different than excess.

Sharing in warm loving relationships is abundance.

Having subscriptions to five magazines you never read is excess.

Choosing to spend time on activities that feed your head and heart is abundance.

Holding on to equipment and supplies for hobbies that no longer interest  or delight you is excess.

Owning few things of higher quality is abundance.

Purchasing duplicates of items you already own but can’t find is excess.

Abundance lives in your heart.

Excess  dominates your surroundings.

By letting go of the excess you  choose abundance.

Change is challenging

It’s easier to change our behavior if we have a good sense of what motivates us.

Accountability might work for some people, rewards might work for others,
expectations might be enough for someone else, and personal benefit might just be the
spark for others.
Knowing yourself can increase your chances of success.

Developed by Gretchen Rubin, this quick and easy quiz can assist you in that process.
By helping you identify if you tend to be an Upholder, Obligator, Questioner or Rebel,
her information can help you use that knowledge to make change easier and
increase the chances of you being successful.

(No surprise, I’m an Upholder)

Spending

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”  Annie Dillard

Shopping? Fretting? Sucked into Facebook?
Or:
With people we love?
In nature?
Pausing in gratitude?
Laughing out loud?

It’s your life, and your choices.
Choose with a wise heart.

New homes for $10

A key element of being organized is having homes for your things.
Giving items a specific location makes finding and returning them easy.
One of my favorite and most versatile organizing products is a clear, over the door shoe organizer.

Because it hangs on the back of a door it takes advantage of unused vertical space.
Being clear means you can easily see what’s in each pocket.
They are easy to install.

And the possible locations and uses are endless.  Or pretty close.
For example: On the pantry door to hold snacks at kid level, packet and envelopes that often get lost on shelves, small cans or jars, plastic cutlery, bags of chocolate chips, cupcake liners, you get the idea.

The coat closet door to hold mittens and gloves, hats and scarves, sunglasses and sunscreen, the dog leash, and dog toys. 

The office door to hold extra pens and pencils,toner cartridges for the printer, boxes of staples, paste and glue, gift wrapping supplies (cut out the bottom out of one section and slide wrapping paper rolls through it),and other assorted items from the desk drawers.

The bathroom door with the option of assigning each person their own row, or for general back up storage of soaps, toothpaste, cosmetics. All those items that get lost in the vanity drawers or under the sink.

On the kid’s room door to hold action figures, dolls, cars, packets of game cards,art supplies, maybe even socks or shoes.

The door leading in from the garage to hold frequently used small tools, the tape measure, and cleaning supplies.

So many doors, so many possibilities.

Take advantage of unused vertical space.
Store things where you use and need them.
Keep things visible when possible so that everyone can see where things belong. 
Make it easy to get things out, and easy to put them away!

Be Kind

Is it more important to you to be right
or to be kind?

Winning the argument, having the last word, or
proving your point.
What exactly have you won, ended or proven?

Much mental clutter is rehashing arguments,
replaying victims scenarios, and
practicing ‘shoulda saids’.

Try letting it go.
Try stepping back, biting your tongue,
and surrendering your need to win.

Decide when and where it really is important to
make your opinion known, share a relevant fact,
or end a discussion.

But really, most of the time
being kind is the best kind of winning.
Accept agreeing to disagree and let your 
relationship be more important than your opinion.

Walk away and let your kind actions be what people remember.