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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.

Small change

Change happens with small steps and big priorities. Jay Shetty

Identify a priority and then decide on one small step to move you in that direction.

Get up five minutes earlier.
Put you dirty dish into the dishwasher.
Set up auto pay for reoccurring bills.
Hang up your jacket instead of tossing it on the chair.
Turn off the alerts on your phone.
Call someone you love.

You get to choose what’s important to you.
You decide how and where you spend your time and your money.

If nothing changes, nothing changes…..

Things change

When things change inside of us, things around us change.

Making the decision to buy fewer things,
to deal with our paperwork on a regular basis, or
to put things away instead of just down;
changes the way our homes look, feel and function.

Those physical changes are the direct result of us making
conscious decisions about what’s important to us.
Choosing to act in small and different ways to create positive results.

If we know the only constant is change,
then allowing ourselves to guide those changes
can move our lives to the place where who we truly are inside
is made known to the world through our actions.

Winter Coats

No, I’m not talking about the cute little number with the fur collar and deep pockets hanging in the hall closet.

I’m talking about the items in your refrigerator that have furry little green or white or blue coats on them.
The mystery blobs, the jars you opened months ago, the hard, dried up chunks of cheese, or the four bites of leftover chicken you were going to toss into a salad-two weeks ago.

Clutter doesn’t just happen on chairs or in closets, garages and desk tops.
Anywhere in our homes where we have things we’re not using (or eating), 
that we don’t need, (giant economy on sale size) and 
are keeping out of guilt or obligation (I really should eat those leftovers for lunch) 
we have clutter.  
Including our refrigerators and freezers.

Just like things migrate to the back of our closets, items disappear to the back of the fridge and into the freezer.
It’s hard to wear clothes we don’t know we have, 
and difficult to eat food that we don’t remember we’ve saved;
especially if we don’t really even like it. 

If the truth is you never eat leftovers, stop putting them into containers and stacking them in the fridge.
(That realization may lead to you being able to purge your cupboard of excess plastic containers too!)

If certain vegetables always end up as limp slimy messes, buy less.  
The monetary savings of buying in large quantities is only economical if you actually eat the food.

(And don’t ask me to taste that off smelling milk to see if it’s bad……..)

Emptying, sorting and eliminating the clutter from refrigerators and freezers 
can make meal preparation easier, 
help remind us which foods we really do eat and enjoy, 
and help us better manage our food budget.

Store your winter coat in the closet.
Not on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.

Mine. Mine. Mine.

“Mine. Mine. Mine.”  The seagulls in Finding Nemo


Don’t let your possessions own you

How much time, energy and money do we spend getting more stuff in our lives?
What stuff are we keeping that not longer has meaning, use or value to us?

If you hold on to possessions because you feel it would be wasteful to get rid of them: 
They are controlling you. 

The waste occurred if you purchased things you didn’t really need.
Or already owned by couldn’t find.
Or by not knowing how many is enough.

You’re not saving money by holding on to stuff that you’re not using.
That money is gone.
You got your money’s worth;
either through use, 
or through the learned lesson of buying but not using it.

Be honest with yourself.
That was then, this is now.
Make mindful choices about where, when and how you spend your money.

Time

Time cannot be managed. 
There is no such thing as a time management system. 
What we manage is our behavior – not time. 
Time simply is.”
Krysta Gibson

Decluttering and being more organized are visible proof of how you manage your behaviors.

Make your actions a reflection of what you value.
Behave in ways that allow you to do what you think is important,
and spend time with the people you love.

Letting go

Decluttering is the process of letting go.

Physically letting go of stuff you no longer need, use, love or value.
Mentally letting go of ideas, shoulds and scarcity thinking.
And emotionally letting go of expectations and judgements
that keep you stuck in old patterns, choices and beliefs.

Focus on the things you’re choosing to have in your life and home.
Prioritize time spent doing what you love, and being with people who lift you up.
Believe in your ability to create a life that expresses your best, most kind, and loving self.

Open up to the possibilities.

If it is important

If it is important to you,
you will find a way.
If not, you will find an excuse.

Decluttering.
Regular exercise.
Food habits.
A challenging relationship.
Hobbies.
_____________.
(you fill in your own blanks)

Excuses waste time you could be spending 
doing things you enjoy, and are meaningful to you,
​or being with people who lift you up.

If you haven’t made the time, 
stuck with your commitment,
supported your effort with loving kindness;
perhaps it isn’t so important to you after all.
Permission granted to let it go.
Move on.

Change it up

Habits can be useful.
Having routines frees us from having to rethink and plan many of our tasks of daily living.
Habits also create ruts and paths in our brain that may not longer serve us,
or reflect how we want to spend our time and energy.

This week, forgo a  habit for a new option.
Drive a different route to the store.
Call instead of sending text.
Try a new recipe.
Shop at an unfamiliar grocery store.
Choose a book in a genre you don’t usually read.
Hand write a note instead of sending an email.
Listen to classical music for 30 minutes, or jazz or blues or zydeco;
  not your usual play list.
Unplug from your devices for an hour in the evening.
Sit outside with your eyes closed for ten minutes and 
  be present with the sounds and smells.
See if you can catch yourself in the brief moment before the habit kicks in,
​and make a different choice.

Jumping out of the ruts in our brains,
finding a different path and outcome,
and seeing other possibilities opens us up to other ways of being in the world.

Despite our best intentions, we rarely make huge changes in our lives.
Many of our decisions and actions are habitual and ingrained.
By taking a few minutes to make a different choice,
see another option,
consider what truly has meaning to us:
We can create the life that reflects our desires, values and best selves.

Pause

Take a breath.

By pausing we get the chance to choose between a reaction and a response.

A pause allows us a moment to give someone the benefit of the doubt.
Lets us act from intention.
Makes a tiny bit of room to make a more appropriate choice.

Pauses are where we begin to change our habits.

The pause is where our choices manifest.
Hang it up instead of dropping it it.
Put it away instead of setting it down.
Not hitting the Buy it Now button.
Letting go of a judgement or a should.
Treating ourselves with kindness.

Taking just a second to wait, remember why you wanted to make a change,
​step back, consider another point of view,
and then respond in a way that feels most appropriate.

Pausing takes practice.
It requires paying attention.
Slowly down, just for a second.

Pause, and give yourself the opportunity to have your intention
shape your response.

Don’t organize

Don’t organize what you don’t need.

Don’t waste time, space, or energy 
creating homes for things you never use,
don’t value and don’t support the life you want to live.

Consider:
How many is enough?
That was then.  This is now.
More isn’t better.

Your house should be a home.
Not a storage space.
Live with less to have room for more…..