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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.

Aspirational clutter

The books you think you should read.
The food you think you should cook.
The clothes that fit a fashion trend, but not your body.
The abandoned DIY house project.
The exercise equipment buried under plies of random stuff.

Take a look around.
Be honest.
Are you going to read, cook, wear, finish, or ever use those things?
If so, organize them.
If not, be generous.
Let them go to someone who needs or wants them, right now.

There’s nothing wrong with aspirations;
just make sure that what you are hoping to do
is a reflection of who you are, and the life you really want.

The point

The point isn’t just to make your life easier.
It’s to make it more meaningful.

Although it is true that a less cluttered and more organized life is easier to navigate.
Not having to deal with piles, or stacks, or a general air of chaos
makes the mechanics of daily life less time consuming.

But the real aim of living a life with less ‘stuff’ is it to give your life more meaning.
Not spending your time shopping, or comparing,
or feeling anxious about how what you have measurers up:
It allows you to focus on who and what really matter to you.
You have more time and energy to spend doing what you love,
and being with the people who matter most to you.

How you spend your money and your time are a direct reflection of 
what and who have meaning in your life.

Invest your money and your time connecting your values to your actions.
You only have so much time and so much money:
How do you want to spend it?

Simple math

One in.
One out.

In order to maintain your organized spaces you need to balance 
what comes in with what goes out.
Adding more things without letting go of what you already have
leads to clutter.

Being aware of the math helps you pause before you decide to buy a new ___________.
Why am I considering this purchase?
What will it replace?
Do I have room for this?
Will I maintain this?
Always consider quality over quantity.

Being mindful of what we bring into our homes and lives 
keeps our focus on who and what we value.

If you’re feeling particularly brave, 
you can practice 
One in. Two out!

Done

Done is better than perfect.

Finishing a task beats waiting until everything is perfect to begin.

Getting stuck in analysis paralysis, or thinking you have to be 100% ready
or sure of something before you move forward
prevents you from making progress,
seeing change, or letting things go.

Do what you can, where you are, with what you know right now.
Make adjustments later if they are necessary.
Do it now and move on.

I don’t have enough

Every time you buy something you are saying
“I don’t have enough____________.”

If you’re  nearly out of milk, or fresh vegetables,
or gasoline, the statement makes sense.
Other stuff?
Maybe not so much.

Getting to the place in life when you recognize
how much is enough 
is where things shift.
Acknowledge how much you already have,
limit the space you are willing to devote to 
keeping certain items, understand that:
More isn’t better, it’s just more.

Every choice makes a difference

Take a moment today to acknowledge the changes you’ve created in your life
around decluttering and being more organized.
Is your house perfect?  Please!!!!  (As if.)

If there is one less pile than there used to be,
or you’re managing to put your keys in the same spot most of the time,
or you’re remembering the Two Minute Rule:  You are making a difference in your life. 

For the times you’ve asked yourself how many is enough?
Or you’ve hung up your coat instead of just dropping it on the chair,
or you’ve returned the scissors to the drawer where they live,
or you’ve paid the bill before the due date;
all these small actions move your life in the direction of simplicity and less chaos.

Paying attention is where change begins.  
Every time you choose to act in ways that decrease your clutter,
you feel a bit more in control, and change happens.

Every small action has power.
Every day is a chance to make new choices.
Every choice makes a difference.

Small  changes + new habits = Less clutter.

Start again

You did great at keep things uncluttered, for a while.
But now you see the counter is getting messy,
the dirty dishes are in the sink, (not in the dishwasher),
there’s a pile of mail threatening to slide off the table.

Don’t be afraid to begin the process of decluttering again.
You won’t be starting from scratch-
you’ll be starting from experience.

Remember why you did all the work in the beginning.
Remind yourself that being more organized does make your life easier.
Think about the tips and tricks you know to be effective:
Don’t put it down, put it away.
Justin Case doesn’t deserve storage space in your house.
Close the circle.
The Two Minute Rule.

Alas, getting organized never ends.
But, establishing habits and routines can make the ongoing process
easier and give you the results you say you want.

Let your experience of what works (and what doesn’t) guide your efforts.

Five minutes a day

If you spend five minutes a day looking for your misplaced keys, 
or shuffling back and forth through your closet looking for something to wear, 
or digging around on your desk to find an important, 
but misplaced paper; by the end of the week being disorganized has cost you at least a half an hour.

By month’s end the cost is over two hours.
By the end of a year, an entire day.
In seven years, at least a week of your life…….
(You can see where this is heading…….)

Have a place for everything, and put everything back in its place.
Keep only things that fit, flatter and you feel good wearing in your closet.
Create and use a simple, easy to follow system for dealing with your mail
and paperwork on a regular basis.  

Spend those five minutes a day, 
thirty minutes a week, 
two hours a month  
doing what you enjoy, with the people you love.

You can’t make time.
​You can only manage the time you have.

Stuck?

Five things you can do in five minutes or less to help change your attitude and energy.

1.  Go outside.
    Even if it’s raining or cold.  (Especially if it’s raining or cold)
2.  Brush your teeth. 
    It’s remarkable how two minutes on personal care can help you feel better.
3.  Text someone a Thank You.
    Acknowledging people we are grateful for is a great reminder of all that is good in our lives.
4.  Turn up the music.
    Sing along; out loud.  Dance.  (No one is watching)
5.  Grab a favorite book.  
    Open to a random page.
    Just reading one page can be enough to remind you why the story still captures you.

Some days the rut feels pretty narrow and deep.
It doesn’t take an aha moment or big activity to help change your perspective.
Often a small change will have just the momentum we need.

Waste

Waste happens at the time of purchase.
Not when you let something go.
Holding on to things you aren’t using isn’t thrifty.
It’s hoarding.

Yes, you spent ‘good’ money on something.
(Is there bad money?  Money isn’t moral, it’s a tool.)
Holding on to an unused item doesn’t get that money back.
If you haven’t used, eaten, worn, read, tried the item by now; you probably won’t.
Admit it and move on.

Spend wisely.
Shop with purpose.
A sale price isn’t always a bargain, and cheap usually is.