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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.

Focus on what you are keeping.

Letting go can be a challenge;
things, ideas, relationships.

Sometimes we aren’t even aware of how tightly we are holding on,
until we are given a chance to let it go.
Or how attached we’ve become a way of acting or thinking,
with whom and where we spend our time,
until we see there might be other options.

Decluttering ask us to let go of the things, ideas, and relationships 
that we longer find to be of value in our lives.
Things we no longer love or that support the life we really want to be living.

Too often we focus on what we’re letting go of,
and don’t keep our attention on what it is we’ve decided to keep.

The clothes that fit and we look good in.
Our favorite mug for tea.
Supplies for hobbies we take the time to do.
People who lift us up and being with them fills our hearts.

If we can keep our attention on what we have decided is important.
If we remember that abundance isn’t about how many, but about having just the right amount.
That letting go will create the space we are longing for,
and giving away or giving up or just saying enough already,
matters so much more than what we are letting go.

That was then. This is now.

Give yourself permission to give away with an open heart.
Keep your awareness on what you’re consciously choosing to include in your life.
Let go.
Move forward.

Close the circle.

Great beginning,
Good middle.

One of the best ways to keep clutter to a minimum is to close the circle.
Complete the task.
Put things away when you finish.

It may be as simple as putting the dirty dish into the dishwasher, 
not just setting it on the counter.
Don’t just wash and fold the laundry, put in away.
It’s great that you separated out the junk mail,
but put it into the recycle container.

Many of our day to day, habits of daily living involve
getting something, using it, and then putting it back where it lives.
It is when we fail to complete that circle that things start to pile up,
messiness begins, and clutter starts.

By practicing closing the circle we can simplify our lives and our routines.
Putting things away when we finish with them,
means they will be in their homes when we need them again.
Completing tasks now means fewer loose ends later.

Close the circle.

Like with like.

Like with like.

All the pasta in the pantry.

All the camping gear in a clear bin in the garage.

All the gardening tools hung next to each other.

All your long sleeve shirts together in one section of the closet.

All the office supplies on one shelf.

All the bathroom cleaning supplies in a tote under the sink.

All your current bills that need to be paid in one folder.

All your 2021 tax related receipts in one hanging file.

Keep like with like.

Store things where you use them.

Make it easy to find what you need and 

easy to put things away when you’ve finished with them.

By storing like with like you will spend less time hunting

for things you know you have but can’t find.

You will spend less money buying duplicates of things you already own.

You will have a visual of how many is enough.

Make your systems and your solutions to storage challenges

as simple as possible.

Don’t overthink the options.

Keep like with like.

One way to start.

Starting can be a challenge.
Despite knowing we want change,
we can’t seem to take the first step.

My suggestion:  Start small.
Of course you’d like to get your clothing situation pared down and organized.
You’d love it if the family room didn’t feel like chaos.
If some closets didn’t make you nervous opening the door.

Start with one drawer.  One shelf.
Tackle your sock situation.
Sort through one of the toy bins.
Go through the hats, mittens, dog leashes, baseball hats
and nest of scarves on the top shelf of the coat closet.

Toss the unmatched, the too saggy, too tight, the worn,
the unopened gift pairs of socks.
Part with the out grown, broken, age inappropriate toys.
Keep what you honestly wear, use and looks great on you.

Tomorrow work on a different drawer, another bin and choose another shelf.
Keep in mind:  
How many is enough?
Am I holding on to this just in case?
Would I buy this now?
Does it earn the space it’s taking up?

The situation didn’t get this way in one day.
It will take more than one day to create the easy, spacious feeling you desire.
Start small.
Build on your successes.
One drawer, one bin, one shelf at a time.
You can do this.

Stop comparing.

There’s your physical clutter, emotional clutter and mental clutter.

They all are connected, related, and feed into each other.
(Darn it)
Dealing with one will help you manage the others.

A great place to start:
Stop comparing yourself to others.

The things you never do,
always do, should do.
Your house, your job, your bank balance.

Pay attention to the constant stream of judgments,
criticism, and measuring yourself that goes on in your head.
When you notice that voice:
Take a breath.
Remember your goodness.
Cut yourself some slack.
Put down the beating yourself up stick.

The person who lives in your head, lives in your house.
Make them both welcoming spaces.

Just as decluttering your physical room opens up space;
letting go of mental clutter opens up your mind.
Stop comparing and start creating that life.

Applause, applause, applause.

Who is the ovation for?
For you, of course!

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.  
Remembering who you really are and allowing yourself to imagine the life you want to be living 
gives you a chance to glimpse how that life might look and feel.
Every time you choose to act in ways that support that idea
life gets a little less cluttered, 
you feel a bit more in control, 
and you come home.

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

Take a bow.  
You deserve it.  

One in. One out.

Clutter is often a math problem:
Five pairs of jeans-of which you only really wear two.
Four places where you keep scissors-none where you actually need them.
Ten worn tee shirts just in case you do some painting-which you haven’t done in five years.
Three empty boxes from your recent computer purchase- two years ago.

One answer to a less cluttered and more organized home is the One In, One Out idea.
(This  concept is closely connected to How Many is Enough….)

When you bring a new item into your home, 
you need to be willing to let of  a similar item you already have.
Replacing the worn, tired, obsolete, frustrating to use item makes sense.
Buying yet another of the same type, function, limited usefulness; is trading money for clutter.

Before you bring another thing into your home, decide what the new item it will be replacing.
Don’t forget to think about where this new item will live. 
Everything needs a home,
and being able to put your latest acquisition away immediately will keep it from becoming clutter.

Frame a new purchase by considering:  Do I want it or do I need it?
Two vastly different reasons for adding more stuff to your life. 
How will this new purchase help you live the life you say I want?  
Does this add to the quality of your life, or will it complicate routines, 
systems and spaces that are currently working just fine?

Controlling what comes into your home is key to keeping it clutter free and organized.  
Thoughtful purchases can create a home that feels comfortable and supportive to you.

One in.  One out.
(Maybe even One in.  Two out!)

Just in case

Ah, the old just in case reason to not let go.

Curious that we are so good at imagining a time, somewhere in the future, 
where we might need an object we haven’t used, needed or even remembered we owned!

Here are ideas on how to reframe the whole just in case mindset.
1.  Think of just in case as a guy, named Justin Case.
     You are giving Justin storage space in your house for things that he thinks might come in handy someday.
     You barely have room for your own things, and you’re giving him room on a shelf?  In a drawer?
     In the back of the closet?  Out in the garage?
     And it’s not like he helps around the house.  He just demands room for his stuff.

2.  Hopefully you got your money’s worth out of the item.  
     Holding onto the item doesn’t get you your money back.
     That money is gone.
     Your cost per usage provided the value you desired.
     If you never used or under used the item, you wasted the money when you purchased it, 
     not when you let it go.

3.  Let’s say you let something go.  And in six months you need it.
     I’m willing to bet you could find something in your house that would do the same job.
     Or that you could borrow the item from a friend.  Or purchase it used.
     If you did decide to replace it, I’m betting the new one would be a better version of the one you had.

Instead of holding onto things from the past, just in casing about the future, 
I encourage you to trust yourself.  
Believe that you know what you really need for the life you want to be living.
That you have the ability and the resources to get whatever you may need to support that life.
Come from a place of abundance and not scarcity.
Say goodbye to Justin Case.
And hello to a spacious and more organized life. 

One small change.

We all want our lives to be easier,
for things to flow more smoothly, and
to feel more connected to ourselves and the people we love.

We know from past experiences and successes that 
when we consciously choose to change attitudes, behaviors, and habits
that life can look, feel, and be more in harmony with our desires.

We all know that changing can be challenging.
Wanting things to be different is not enough to make it happen.
Trying to change too many things too quickly usually results in feeling overwhelmed, 
defeated, and things often seem worse.

I invite you to choose one small thing.
One behavior, habit, routine that you feel is keeping you
from being organized, keeps you stuck and holds you back.

Start with hanging up your coat.
Every time you take it off.
Make it fast, easy and convenient.
Hang a hook on the inside of a door.
Heck, hang it on the outside if that means you’ll use it.

Stop yourself when you go to lay it on the chair, thinking you’ll hang it up later.
Later you will be on to ten other things.
Take the 15 seconds right then.
Hang up your coat.

(Once this becomes a habit and a routine,
then maybe you can consider the other piles of clothes in your room)

Put your dirty dish into the dishwasher.
Don’t set it in the sink, or put it on the counter.

(Once this becomes a habit,
you can work on the rest of the stuff on the counter tops)

Optional other small changes:
Walk for ten minutes everyday.
Read for pleasure.
Take care of the mail.
Put down your phone.
Do yoga.
You get the idea….

All our behaviors are the result of choices we make;
either consciously or unconsciously.
By consciously focusing your attention on one small change
you can create a new pathway in your brain.
New routines can become new habits.

You can change the look and feel of your home and your life.
One small change at a time.
Make one change the gift you give yourself for the New Year.

Knowing ourselves and our tendencies makes it easier for us to be successful
changing our habits and routines.
Gretchen Rubin has a great free quiz to help you identify your style
and use self knowledge to your advantage.