Sign Up!

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.

Be Kind

Cut yourself some slack.

LIfe is challenging and hard, and sometimes we just need to 
ease up on ourselves.

Lower the expectation of all we should be doing
and just focus on what we can do, today.

Try talking to yourself in the same compassionate way
you’d talk to a friend who was dealing with a challenge.

Our default is usually judgement and criticism;
both of ourselves and others.
Make kindness your first option-
for yourself
and for those around you.

Things will change.
They always and inevitably do.
By offering kindness we will make the transition between now and then
less of a struggle.

Use the good stuff

Use the gift soap.
Burn the nice candle.
Spray on the cologne.
Wear the new sweater.
Eat the expensive chocolate.
Upgrade to the room with a view.

It’s okay for you to have and use nice things.
Stop saving the good stuff to use someday.
(or to give to someone else)

Treat yourself. 
It’s okay.
Really.

Focus on what you want

 “Turn your focus from something don’t want to something you do want.
This allows you to shift your energy from complaining to taking action.”  Tiny 
Buddha 

This suggestion can apply in many areas of our lives, 
 especially when it comes to dealing with clutter.
By not getting caught in the endless and berating stories of 
“My house is such a disaster.
 I’m so disorganized.
The kid’s room is a mess.”, 
and instead focus on:
“I find my keys when I need them. 
We sit at the table and have dinner as a family.
The the kid’s room is reasonably tidy.”
we begin to articulate what it is we do want.

Stop using your thoughts and energy to complain, 
and start taking action. 

Bemoaning your lack of organization isn’t helpful to you or the situation.  
Designating a specific place for your keys to live and putting them there every time you come home, 
is a positive action, and good use of your energy.
Setting up a place to deal with the mail, instead of piling it on the table,
is a specific action that will leave the table clear for family dining.
Spending ten minutes before bed helping your kid put away their toys is an action 
that will lead to their rooms being reasonably tidy.

Choose one spot in our house that you feel is cluttered.  
Think of three things you could do, actions you could take that could clear the space. 
Small, easy actions: Toss a paper into recycle.
Take something to the other room where it has a home.
Throw something away.
​ 
.Stop just thinking.  
Start doing.

One small thing

If the project or task seems overwhelming:  Focus on what you CAN do.

Is the whole closet too daunting?
  Just sort one shelf.
The kitchen counter piled high?
  Just fill and run the dishwasher.
A mountain of unopened mail?
  Just toss the junk mail.
A pile of dirty clothes on the chair?
  Just run one load.

Try for small wins.
One step in the direction you want to go.
A single action is movement.  
Movement creates momentum.

Change happens one decision, one action at a time.
You don’t have to do it all today.
You just need to start.

Find one thing you can do.
Do that one thing.

Good enough

“Good enough is not the opposite of perfect.”  Brianna Wiest

Choosing to let something be good enough frees you to move on.
Letting something be good enough is a way to give yourself some grace.

Allow good enough to move you out of procrastination and onto 
crossing something off the list.

Recognize what you do is good.
And that it is enough.

Experiment

Instead of thinking, “From now on I’ll ______________.”
Get up ten minutes earlier.  
Load the dishwasher every night.
Pay all my bills on Monday.  
Go to the gym three times a week.
Connect with friends.

Try framing a small change as an experiment with a time limit.
Commit to doing something for a month.
It is far less daunting to consider doing something for 30 days,
than for the rest of your life.

At the end of the month, check in with yourself.
Did the change produce results you appreciated?
Was it easier than you anticipated?
What consistently got in the way of your commitment?

Based on your results,
maybe extend the experiment for another month.
Or modify the experiment to better match the reality of your life.

Be curious, not judgmental, about the results of your ‘experiment’.
Use what you learned to help you move forward.
Small changes impact the mechanics of daily living,
and help you live an easier life.

Trading

Step away from the cash register.
Put down the Two for One bargain.
Don’t hit the Buy it Now button.
Walk away from hobby supply.
Ignore the bright shiny object.
How many __________ are enough?

Before you bring one more thing into your house:
Do you need it?
Where will it live?
Does it replace or improve something I you currently own?
Do you have the time or energy to maintain, use, or play with it?

What are you willing to let go of to make space for this in your home and life?
If this one comes in, what one are you letting go?

Life involves trading.  
You only have so much money, 
a limited amount of time,
and a finite space.

Make sure you aren’t trading your money, 
your time, or your space
​ for clutter.

Ten at the end.

By choosing to spend ten minutes at the end of your day doing a mini decluttering you can start the next morning in  a calm organized space.

A quick putting away of items that have been left out, 
or set down and forgotten, 
dishes that didn’t make it to the dishwasher or 
toys that were abandoned, 
keeps small messes from becoming big clutter.

On a daily basis putting things in their homes,
tossing things in the trash, 
recycling and letting go of items you don’t need, use or love 
reinforces the habits and systems of a simple, less cluttered life. 


A ten minute evening ritual, involving everyone in the family 
(its their stuff too) gets everyone in the habit of remembering to 
‘Don’t just put it down, put it away’.

By learning and practicing the Two Minute Rule: If you can do something in two minutes or less, do it now; decluttering may not even take ten minutes each evening!

For those of you who work at a desk, it’s a great idea to plan in a five minute desk decluttering at the end of your day also.
Organize the papers, files, notes and projects. Put away the supplies and clear space so that you can start the next day with a clear head in a fresh space.

Spend a few minutes every day and you’ll keep the items of daily living 
​from turning into the nightmare of clutter.


Shoulding on yourself

should be more organized.
should have a cleaner house.
should exercise.
should volunteer more.
should spend more time with family.
Should. Should. Should.
Ick.
How much stress and anxiety are all these shoulds creating in your life?

The next time an ‘I should’ thought goes through you head,
check out whose voice is really speaking.
Chances are it isn’t your own voice at all.
(It takes practice really listening to be able to hear what your own authentic voice is saying)

A large piece of living the life you truly want is
recognizing who and what is really important to you.
Then making choices and decisions about your actions
that reflect and support what you truly value.

Trade the shoulds for “I want to, I choose to, it’s important to me that I…….”

If being more organized means you spend less time on the mechanics of daily life
and more time doing something you love:
Then make the effort to declutter and organize.

Exercise because you like the way it makes you feel inside your own body,
not because someone else thinks you should.

Spend more time with family and friends because you want to feel connected,
not because you feel pressure or obligation.

Over the next week notice when you start shoulding, 
and see if the action demanded
resonates with what’s really important to your head and heart.

(Oh, and be careful you don’t should on anyone else) 

Chores or routines

Have chores you hate to do?
Bill paying.
Laundry.
Filling and emptying the dishwasher.

Switch them from chores to routines.
By creating daily (or weekly) routines for certain activities
they will get done on a regular basis.
You will waste less time trying to figure out when you’re going to do what.
You will be less likely to avoid or procrastinate because you’ve established a day or time 
​to take care of the task. 

If you make it your routine to Pay Bills every Monday; for the rest of the week you can forget about what’s due, what you’ve paid, or what you might have missed. 
You’ve taken care of it on Monday. 
If more bills come in during the week, you’ll take care of them next Monday.

If you make it your routine to run a load of laundry every day. 
There won’t be a mountain of dirty clothes threatening to suck up your entire weekend.

Run the dishwasher every night.
Empty it every morning.
(Or assign someone else in your home the task)
Make it a routine.

Establishing some simple routines (or call them habits if you prefer)
around tedious tasks frees up physical and mental energy. 

Simple, easy to remember routines make the best use of your time, 
and make the mechanics of daily living easier.
And isn’t an easier life what you want to create?