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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.

Clutter or a mess?

There is a difference between clutter and a mess.
Clutter are things you don’t use, need or value.
A mess is made up of things you’ve chosen to have in your life,
that never got put alway.

Clutter happens when you over buy,
or haven’t decided how many is enough,
or you’ve kept something our of guilt or obligation,
or you allow Justin Case to store things at your house.

Messes happen when you fail to put things in their homes when you finish using them.
If it is important enough to keep, you should know where it lives.
If it’s not that important-it’s clutter.

Look around.
Is it clutter or a mess?
Take the appropriate action to clear the space.

Someone needs it today.

We want our less cluttered lives to reflect  who we are and what we truly value.

One way to connect the decluttering process to those values is 
by giving those items we no longer need, use or love 
to organizations  doing work  supporting causes that resonate with our heads and hearts.

It is easier for us to let go of things when we know the items will be used by people who sincerely need them.  Our  excess stuff can help transform lives.

Sometimes letting go of things can be a challenge.  “What if someday I need it?”  
Take a moment to consider that today might hold that need for someone else.  
Give it away and give someone else what they need to live the life they truly value.

Less Stuff.  More Possibilities.

Your invisible roommate.

Okay, it’s challenging enough some days to live with people you can actually see.
Their stuff takes up room in our closets and on our pantries and in the garage.

How many of us are living with an invisible roommate, Justin Case?
What is in your closet ‘just in case I lose ten pounds’?
Or in the pantry ‘just in case I need four five year old cake mixes’?
Or in the garage ‘just in case I decide after six years to play tennis again, 
or repair the broken chair,
or suddenly decide to hike the Pacific Crest trail and 
need four sleeping bags, three tents 
and two camping stoves’?
(Not to mention, the guy doesn’t help out, at all, ever.
He just stores his stuff all over your house!)

The next time you catch yourself using ‘just in case‘ as a reason or justification
for holding on to something; 
pause,
Remind yourself:  That was then.  This is now.
If you stopping storing things for Justin, you’ll have more space in your life for your life.

Trust that if the time comes and you do lose the ten pounds,
or you need a cake mix or you go for a hike, 
you have the ability and the means to get what you need 
to make those things happen.

Make space in your life now
by reclaiming the spaces you’ve given to Justin Case.

Be imperfect

“Give up on yourself.
Begin taking action now, while being neurotic or imperfect, 
or a procrastinator, or unhealthy, or lazy, 
or any other label by which you inaccurately describe yourself. 

Go ahead and be the best imperfect person you can be and 
​get started on those things you want to accomplish before you die.
” 
Shoma Morita

Stop trying to fix yourself and start living instead.

Be realistic

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 to an hour sorting 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.

Accept that you only have a limited amount of time, energy and interest. 

How and where do you want to spend it?

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 one drawer, with a reasonable selection of pairs of socks,

that’s good enough.

Choose less to have more…

Limit yourself

You can’t Have it All.
(Where would you put it?!?)

By setting limits on how much time you’re willing to spend, 
how much space you are willing to devote,
how much mental energy you expend, and
how much money you need;
life becomes more manageable.

Limits keep us from the never ending cycle of more, more, more.

It may be as simple as only one shelf for your coffee cups.
Limiting your time on social media,
Saying no to overtime because you’d rather spend that time with family or friends.

Say no.
Learn how much is enough.
Choose less to have more.

More storage? Or not.

Chances are, you don’t need more storage-
you need less stuff.

Don’t spend time and energy organizing and storing things
you don’t need, use value or love.

Just because  things are neatly organized, doesn’t mean it isn’t clutter or excess.

How many is enough?
What activities are important to you?
How do you want to spend the limited amount of time you have every day?

Don’t organize what you don’t need.

Guilt and obligation

The candle scent is over powering.
You don’t wear sports team sweatshirts.
You don’t find time to read the books you’ve chosen.
You already have ten pairs of themed socks you seldom wear.

A gift isn’t a gift when it becomes a burden to the recipient.
Keeping things out of guilt or obligation negates the intention of the giver.
(And clutters your house and life)

Yes, it was thoughtful of the person to give you a gift.
You expressed your gratitude.
That is all you owe the giver.
Really.

If your relationship is so tenuous that not keeping, wearing or displaying the gift
will cause problems; perhaps you should rethink the connection.

Would you want a gift you gave to become a burden in someone else’s life?
Don’t let gifts from others become burdens in yours.

(This would be where I suggest giving experiences instead of things)

Standards and expectations

Raise your standards.
Lower your expectations.

Your standards reflect what you value, who and what you see as important in your life,
what behaviors you are willing to accept, and how you hold yourself accountable.

Expectations are the gateway to disappointment and resentment.

Standards are a way to know yourself, and to be aware of how you want to be spending your time,
energy and money.

Expectations often set us up for disappointment in ourselves and others.
Causing us to be unrealistic about our own behaviors and judgmental towards 
the people in our homes and lives.

High standards keep you moving toward the life you say you want.
Lower expectations can make the journey less stressful.

All the clutter…

All that clutter used to be money.

Five dollars here.
Ten dollars there.
The good deal that turned out not to be.
The item that didn’t work out, but you never took the time to return.

Food you won’t eat.
Gifts you never gave.
Clothes you don’t wear.
Books you’ve never read.

You aren’t wasting money now,
when you are deciding to let the things go;
you wasted the money when you spent it buying the unnecessary.

Be a smarter shopper.
Only buy things you need, will use, love and value.

Spend less.
Have more room for life.