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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.

Bites, snacks and meals

Organizing Bites:

Quick, one step actions such as hanging up your jacket.

Putting your dirty dish in the dishwasher.

Throwing out the dried up pen.

Organizing Snacks:

Actions that take a bit longer and may involve

a few steps, such as sorting the day’s mail.

Putting away the folded laundry.

Sorting a shelf in the pantry.

Organizing Meals:

Just as a meal may involve prep, multiple courses,

and having the right ingredients at hand;

an Organizing Meal is a larger, multi step project.

Sorting and organizing an entire closet.

Creating a home office space.

Purging your file drawer.

Whether you have time for just a bite,

or you want the satisfaction of a whole meal:

By matching time, interest and energy to your Organizing tasks

it will be easier to be successful at making the changing you are hoping to accomplish.

Dig in!

Wonder

Gretchen Rubin’s blog today was an interview with Jeffrey Davis, who writes about Wonder.

You may or may not want to read the post, but two passages resonated with me:

 “Wonder, more so than joy, gives rise to generosity, compassion, social attunement, and a sense of time abundance. Wonder often arises in conversation or collaboration, for instance.

 Wonder is not kid’s stuff. Wonder is radical grown-up stuff. The likes of ecologists, cultural anthropologists, and biologists alike have recognized that we need to foster more wonder in order for our species to thrive, if not for our planet to survive.”


You may wonder (bad pun) what Wonder has to do with decluttering and organization.
I believe the reason to declutter and be more organized is to create the time and energy in our lives
to be our authentic selves.
To have the space and attention to spend doing what we love, and being with the people we love.
To experience joy, generosity, compassion and abundance.
To have room for Wonder………

Choose the generous option

Smile.
Wait patiently.
Bite your tongue.
Leave a bigger tip.
Be a thoughtful listener.
Let someone else go first.
Thank someone for their time.
Give a little more than expected.

Most acts of generosity have little to do with money,
and much to do with recognizing and paying attention
to the people and world around you.
Generosity is an outward expression of gratitude.

Choose the generous option.

Done.

Done is better than perfect.

As cliched as Just Do It has become,
​the sentiment is true.

Stop waiting until you can do something perfectly.
Or you have the perfect system in place,
or the perfect container.
Make a choice and move on.

Honestly, most of our actions don’t really have long term consequences.
Chances are, we will get to (or have to) make many of the same decisions again in the future.
Make a choice and move on.

Stop allowing the idea of a perfect solution 
to keep you from getting on with your life.

No one is perfect.
No one makes the best decision every time.
Stop letting the idea of perfection keep you
from taking care of situations in your life.

Trust yourself that the decisions you make
will be the right ones, for now.
(and really, now is all there is)
 

Like with like

One of the basic guidelines of being organized is to keep like with like.

Not only does it minimize the time you spend hunting for things,
it is also a visual reminder of how many of a type of thing you have.

The idea works in the pantry:  Stack all the soups together, all the packages of pasta,
baking ingredients, bottles of sauces, and cans of beans.
It works in your closet: Hang all the pants together, all the long sleeve shirts side by side,
skirts or suits, and dresses and sweaters.

Keep those like things near where they get used.
It seems obvious, but as our lives and interests change,
we don’t always rearrange things to reflect how we now spend our time and energy.

Is there one shelf, one drawer, one closet, or one bin that you could better utilize
and could become a more appropriate home for some like items?

Would that storage adjustment make your life easier?
Make more sense?
Move you toward your goal of a less cluttered, and more organized life?

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…