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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.

Not worth keeping

Often things get put away or tossed into the laundry
or put back in the drawer when they really should be discarded.

The pen that doesn’t write that gets stuffed back into the cup.
The stained tee shirt that gets tossed into the laundry hamper.
The  3/4 empty box of stale cereal that never gets eaten.
The toy that is missing a part goes back into the toy box.

Deal with the broken, used up, worn out, or unnecessary item while it is in your hand.
(Make it easy by having trash and recycle containers available in every room.)

Don’t waste storage space on things that have out lived their use and value.
Be honest with yourself and realistic about mending, repairing, repurposing, or ever eating.
Deal with it now, so you don’t have to be confronted with it again in the future.

Don’t like it?

If you don’t like it, don’t keep it.

Are you keeping something hoping you will
start to like it,
or wear it,
or use it?
Probably not going to happen.

The air in your house, (or dust in your closet)
isn’t going to imbue the item with some kind of
make it likable magic.

Poof.
Let it go!
Feel the magic of having more space,
less stuff, and room to live your best life.

Pause

Yes, you have a busy life.
Yes, things feel a bit overwhelming.
Yes, it seems no one else is pulling their weight.
Yes, you could use a break.

So, take one.
Hit the Pause button.
Break the cycle of hurry, scurry, worry, fret.
Take a breath.
One slow inhalation.
One slow exhalation.
Give it your entire attention.

Feeling bold?
Take a second one.
Be in your body for the entire breath.

See if things don’t shift, just a tiny bit.
Grounding yourself, for even a minute,
will give you a sense of a bit more control.

Reminding yourself to pay attention to your breath
is good practice for paying attention to whatever it is you are doing;
right now, in this moment.

Pausing gives you a chance to consider a different choice,
opt for a different reaction, and
remember who and what is important in your life.

You are not what you own.

Unread books don’t make you smarter.
Unused kitchen tools don’t make you a better cook.
Unused food in the pantry doesn’t make you more healthy.
Unused sports equipment doesn’t mean you’re in good shape.

It isn’t about all we own; it’s about what we actually do with what we have.
We are not human havings, we are human beings….

Edit out the stuff in your life you don’t use, need, love or value.
Experience what it feels like to live with more empty space,
and time to spend doing the things that lift your spirit.

Time Management

Better time management won’t solve your clutter problem,
nor will it make you more organized.

You don’t manage time,
you manage your behavior.

Paying attention to and changing your behaviors is how real change happens.

At its heart, decluttering and being more organized are visible proof of how you manage your behaviors. 

Putting things away when you finish using them, is managing your behavior.
Hanging up your clothes instead of dropping them in a chair, is managing your behavior.
Calling a friend to see how they are, is managing your behavior.
Habits and routines are ways to manage your behavior.

Choose to make your actions reflect your values.
Behave in ways that support the life you want to be living.

Quality over quantity

Being better organized is about making better decisions.
Choosing to store frequently used things in accessible places.
Taking care of something now, instead of leaving it until later.
Knowing how many is enough.

And just as important, it is about being thoughtful and conscious about where we spend our money.
Cheap things are cheap, for a reason.
In the long run, cheap is expensive.
Consider the hidden costs of what we buy, who actually is making it, where and under what conditions.
What is the real price of owning more than we really need?
When cheap things wear out, break, or stop working; where do they end up?
When you throw things ‘away’, there is no real away.
It ends up in a landfill somewhere.

Better quality items last longer,
usually feel, look and function more smoothly,
are easier to maintain,
and need replacing less frequently,

Make an effort to buy the best quality you can afford.
(and if you’re buying something just because it’s cheap, 
maybe you don’t really need it after all)
Spending a bit more now can often save you
from having to spend money again and again on the same items.

Be generous.

You have a rich and abundant life.

Everyday tiny miracles happen to you and around you.
The sun rises every morning,
and gravity holds you to the earth.
You have connections to people and
relationships that move your heart and soul.

You get the chance every day to be kind.
Often with very little effort on your part.
Okay, it’s harder some days and with some people.
(Remember, some days, you’re the hard to deal with person)

Generosity isn’t just about money.
We can be generous with our attention, our time,
our support and our encouragement.

All of our lives are incredibly rich.
On so many levels.
Gratitude encourages generosity.
Choose the generous option.
Practice acting from an open and generous heart.

Thoughtful spending

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”Annie Dillard

How are you spending your life?
Who gets your attention?
What does your money buy?
Where do you spend your time?

What exactly are you waiting for
to start living the life you say you want?

There will always be reasons and excuses why you can’t start today.
Why tomorrow or ten pounds or better equipment
or a better system is what you need to really be successful.
When in truth, you already know and have everything you need to start.

Quit wasting days waiting,
and start spending days being and doing and living.
It is your one amazing life, after all.

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.
Squirel.

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.