The Graduates of the Clearing Clutter Group – Week 8

Week 8 – Eight graduates finished strong today.

Eight Weeks really flies by and from what the participants wrote on their evaluations they wish that this Clearing Clutter Support  Group could be longer. Participants are usually invited to come back for another 8 weeks, however, the next group in April is already full with a waiting list.  A number of the group members asked if they can attend the next group after that which is likely to be in September.

Most of the group members are planning to attend the Peer Group next week which will help them to stay on track with their de-cluttering goals.

The three areas that participants made progress on are:  How much clutter is in the home?, How much difficulty do you have with discarding?, and How much are you acquiring?  In looking over the scores everyone has made improvements.  You can check out some previous scores here:  http://spaceforyou.ca/2015/03/19/huge-improvements-on-the-de-cluttering/

We had really great attendance for this group and we also had three participants who attended for all of the eight weeks.  We seemed to have a number of snow storms on these mornings too.  We had eight people attend strong on the last week.  We started the group with twelve so this is pretty good.

On the last week we discuss alternative ideas for finding enjoyment in your life.  This is especially helpful for those who find it exciting to find a treasure in a thrift shop, are having fun when moving things around in their homes or are excited to get some free items.  It can be important to find other ways to create comforts in your life.   Think about other activities that you can do other than going to a flea market or yard sales.

We also discussed some Tips for Overcoming Clutter Issues which were adapted from Dr. David Tolin.  These serve as a great resource, review and ideas going forward with confidence.

So, how did I do with my challenge this week.  Well, it was a busy week, out every night blah blah blah.  I know, excuses, excuses!!  I did clean out a drawer in my bedroom and it took about 10 minutes, filled up a bag for donation (it was already mostly full) and it is now in the trunk of my car ready to be dropped off.  My partner also got motivated and filled up a bag to go with mine so ……SUCCESS!!

My co-facilatator and myself will be attending the Peer Support Group next week along with the Graduates from this group.  The topics the group are asking for are Motivation and Procrastination.  Great topics.  Stay tuned as I will let you all know how it goes.

I plan to carry on with my de-cluttering.  My goal is to work on something every week.  How are you doing with your de-cluttering?  Happy De-cluttering and have a great week.

 

 

Posted in chronic disorganization, De-Clutter Your Life, goal setting, Inspiration, Organizing, Support Groups | Tagged | 10 Comments

Week 7 – Now What?

This is actually the second last week but participants are realizing that this group is coming to an end. They are starting to feel concerned that they will not have the same accountability when they are not attending the group.  Now What?

But surprise, this support does not have to end. Today, we had guests come from the Clutter Clearers’ Peer Support Circle. They came to talk about what they have been up to and to invite everyone (the graduates) to attend the Peer Circle. The Peer Circle meets at the same time of the week at an undisclosed location and is an ongoing group. This group operates with a similar format with group members checking in, problem solving and working on personal challenges. You can find more information about the Peer Group here.

A Visit to the Clutter Clearers’ Peer Circle

This has been a really great group with participants really getting the information quickly so it feels like we have really sailed through the material in some ways. One of the challenges that has come up is the dreaded “Paper”. We did discuss a handout a few sessions ago but I thought it was appropriate to re-visit this issue.

Paper can be so challenging because it is small and usually has information on it that we may or may not need and every single piece seems to need a decision. Ugh!! Things have really changed with how we deal with paper especially if we have access to a computer. We always tell participants that “if your system is working for you, then you don’t need to change it”.

So, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Bert Lance

How do you deal with all that paper that comes through your door? Mail, newspapers, flyers, junk mail, pamphlets that you picked up, receipts, etc. It can be helpful to have some kind of system or a flow for dealing with the papers that come through your door.
My partner actually told our delivery person to stop putting flyers in our mailbox, we don’t read them and don’t want them and these have stopped. This has been really good for us as there is now no pile of flyers and papers that we have to deal with. Just one less thing. Yes!!!

How did I do with my challenge this week? My challenge was to finish filling up a box for donation, getting it out of the house to charity and cleaning up the floor in the basement. I did take the time to do this (the night before group hehe) but it got done. Accountability can be a huge thing. I was able to clean up a few things, get the box filled up with a number of other items that have not been used in years including some mops which haven’t been used since maybe 2007. I was very aware of different emotions and indecision that came up.  It’s definitely a process and takes time.

This week I am tackling some messy dresser drawers.

How are you doing with your weekly challenges?

Posted in De-Clutter Your Life, decluttering, Inspiration, Organizing, Paper Organizing | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Doing the Work of Decluttering- Week 6

By week 6 the participants are really getting it and doing the work of decluttering. They are talking about some subtle shifts happening in their lives and homes. Most participants in this session are living with others whether it is a partner, sister or parent so this dynamic is coming up a lot. There hasn’t been any major roadblocks around this, however, it can be important for others in the family to know what you are learning and what you are working on. It is going to be best if you can work together, however, if this is not the case doing the work on yourself will eventually carry over to someone else.

After our check in with challenges and successes and then a discussion regarding the homework from last week we moved on to a Problem Solving Exercise. We always have a group member come up with a good example of a problem they are dealing with and then we go through the process together.

Most of us who struggle with clutter have a hard time with Solving Problems which has to do with making decisions and taking actions. It also has to do with trusting ourselves and knowing who we are and what we want. So, that is why it is important to pay attention to whats going on with ourselves, how we are feeling, what we tell ourselves and what actions do we take.

Think about a problem you might be facing. It could be something that has been on your to do list forever or maybe its a pile of boxes in a corner that you don’t want to deal with. Think about these steps to help you to move forward.

Problem Solving Steps

1. Define the problem and contributing factors
2. Generate as many solutions as possible. (doesn’t matter if these ideas make sense or not – we are just brainstorming here)
3. Evaluate the solutions and select one or two that seem feasible.
4. Break the solution down into manageable steps.
5. Implement the steps.
6. Evaluate the outcome.
7. If necessary, repeat the process until a good solution is found.

We talk a lot this week about really “doing the work”. So, that involves looking at How to Organize: Making decisions about your stuff using the Decision Tree, picking a place to start, gathering supplies, working on some categories for the stuff and following up with where things are going to go.  Individuals always say we make it look so easy but half the battle is just getting started and remember:  

 

JUST START SOMEWHERE

So, how did I do on my challenge this week?  Well, I have to admit, I picked a fairly easy one.  I went through a big pile of books and journals that were sort of hidden in my bedroom.  Yes, I did go through them, found a few to go back on a bookshelf, some to donate, a couple I want to read and put the journals back with the other journals.  This exercise has helped me to feel more focused and able to work on my own personal goals.

This week my challenge is to get some donations out to a charity and clean up my laundry area.  Should be a doable challenge for a busy week ahead.  Stay tuned for next week when we have some visitors from the Clutter Clearers’ Peer Support Circle.

What are you up to with your de-cluttering goals?

Posted in chronic disorganization, Clutter, compulsive acquiring, decluttering, goal setting | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Getting Motivated – Week 5

 

Getting Motivated and Staying Motivated is always a challenge and of course is never a straight line. Life is going to be up and down, good days and bad days, low energy at times, and slipping back is easy enough to do. In fact, we did have a discussion about relapse which certainly can happen even after getting more of a handle on chronic disorganization. This topic allowed us to introduce the group to the idea of the Clutter Clearers Peer Support Circle which is an ongoing maintenance group and all of the graduates from this group will be invited to attend at the end of this eight week session.

We did an brainstorming exercise on “Reasons Why We Don’t Want to Change” and ending with the more positive “Reasons to Change”. We always end up with more reasons to change which can help with the motivation issue. Another exercise and discussion was based on motivation tips to help individuals move forward with their goals.

You can see what happened with this exercise at a previous group session:

http://spaceforyou.ca/2015/02/05/clearing-clutter-support-group-week-3/

This particular group is doing really well with their challenges, making a lot of progress, lots of insights and feelings of lightness and satisfaction with the areas they are working on. One woman talked about a bag of odds and ends (like a junk drawer) that she was just dreading going through. She was encouraged by her mom to go through it and she did and she was able to let it go without any difficulty.  Check out my tweet here:

Many of the participants are in the process of really de-cluttering and letting go and they are finding it quite satisfying.  We often repeat our mantra:

SMALL is HUGE

So how did I do on my challenge?  I picked a fairly easy challenge this week and it went well.  You may remember the picture from last week. It was a small shelf in the bathroom, quite cluttered, dusty, etc.  I was able to take everything off of it and I was unsure as to what I wanted to put back on there.  It’s really too small for towels even though that is what I see in magazines.  So, I decided to only put back this piece that my friend, April, made for me.  It’s a beautiful fairy surrounded by mauve flowers with her baby on one of the flowers.  It is something I have always loved.  Check out the picture at the top of this post. If you would like to see some of my friends beautiful dolls you can check it out here.

http://www.aprilartdolls.com

So, challenges are on for this week.  The group is motivated.  We talked a lot about clothing and books this week.  So, my challenge this week is to go through a pile of books that are kind of hidden in my bedroom.  Yes, I have my secrets too lol.  They are mixed up with journals, books started but maybe never finished and other books I might want to read.  It’s all about getting focused and working on one of my own goals for this year which is to read more books.

Thanks so much for following along with us. What are your goals for this week?  or this year?

 

 

 

 

Posted in chronic disorganization, goal setting, Inspiration, mental health, Organizing, Support Groups | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Awareness and Letting Go – Week 4

Awareness and Letting Go.  Yes, week 4 already and halfway through this session.

You may recall from last week that participants were asked to bring in items that they were struggling to let go of. Participants who bring in items present the item(s) and then the others ask questions of the item.

The first participant to share brought out a little bag of jewellery that was handed down to her by family members. She said it was jewellery that she wouldn’t wear and had no one else to actually pass it down to. She also had a silver pie server and spoon which would need to be cleaned with silver polish. She did not know who this came from and said that she would not use these. This participant shed a few tears as she felt the attachment to these items but also felt good about passing them on to a program that makes new items out of old jewellery and other items.  Often being able to donate to a good cause can help.

Another participant had an unopened boxed gift that had gathered a lot of dust and had been given to her from a young niece. It was a little wooden character that holds your glasses. This group member said she loved the gift because it was given to her by her niece but she won’t use it because she doesn’t wear glasses. After answering many questions she decided to repackage this gift and give it back to her niece at their next visit.

The third example was a gentleman who had a big pile of Shoppers Drug Mart gift cards. At first we all thought they were worth money but actually they had been purchased in order to receive more Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum points and they were used. Why he kept them is hard to understand, perhaps they had become invisible to him or he kept them as a reminder that he had purchased them. He did talk about how he can be lured in with marketing to try to get as many points as possible. In the end, he was able to discard all of these into the garbage bin.

Awareness is key in helping us with the letting go process

Individuals become very aware of their time, energy, stuff around them, triggers, behaviours, etc. This is always the first step in beginning to examine behaviours and habits and to start to be able to make some changes in their lives.  Awareness is key.

We always do a short grounding exercise after our break which really helps people to get calm and focused and ready for the next piece of learning. On this day we moved right into a Visualization which is about visualizing a room in your home and paying attention to what you see and feel. We then look at the same room with the clutter, not gone, but all organized and put neatly in its place. We had people answer a few questions after this and there were some great aha moments. One woman said that when she thought about her space all cluttered it was night time and when she visualized it all organized it was daylight and sunny.  Great metaphors for our space.

So, how did I do on my challenge of cleaning off my dresser? Well, I thought it would only take about 20 minutes but it did take more like an hour or so to do it properly. I did have to push myself to get off the couch and do it but I got into it after awhile. I was able to discard a number of lotions and potions not needed. I put together some bits of jewellery that will be donated to the Micro Enterprise Program at my work place. I felt I might as well clean off a second dresser as well which was not too cluttered. It felt so good to get this done and it really helped to see what I have and what I can be using. A big success.

My challenge this week is to clean off a small shelf in the bathroom.  There are little books at the back and while they are cute, its pretty cluttered and dusty.  Here is a pic below.

Homework for this week is to pay attention to the trigger situations, feelings and thoughts, and behaviours that follow.

What are your challenges for this week with your de-cluttering projects?  Please comment below and thanks for following along with our group progress.

 

Posted in chronic disorganization, De-Clutter Your Life, Inspiration, Organizing, Support Groups | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Emotional Responses to Our Clutter – Week 3

When you think about your stuff what kinds of emotions come up?

If you struggle somewhat with your stuff you may think of these negative emotions right away. They may include feelings of fear and anxiety, grief and loss, sadness, guilt and anger or perhaps just feeling overwhelmed with it all. Some of these feelings may come up when you are handling your possessions, you are thinking about where to put items, how to organize or discard items.

and

There are also positive emotions like pleasure, comfort, or satisfaction. For example, finding a lost treasure, (ie: something that has been missing for awhile) finding a found treasure (ie: at a thrift shop), finding a bargain, giving something away to someone who will enjoy it or even donating to a worthy cause.

I like to use the example of finding an amazing treasure at a thrift shop, feeling like you are on a high, bringing it home and then thinking “where will I put this” or looking at your finances and thinking “oh no, now what will I do for groceries for the rest of the month?”

Both the negative and positive emotions can keep us stuck in the cycle of acquiring stuff, moving stuff around aka churning (as opposed to finding a home for the item or letting it go) and difficulty discarding.  It often is about the avoidance of the uncomfortable feelings associated with taking these steps to make change.

We always do a Needs vs Wants exercise and this session we had participants do the work right there during the group.  It can make such a difference to take the time to do this right there and then and we always hope that people will have some ah ha moments.  This time they did not disappoint as there was some great discussion.  Do you ever think about this when you are about to purchase something?  Do I really need this or do I just want it?  hmmm?   Here is something that can help in that moment….

So, how did I do with my challenge?  Well, I am loving my new habit of getting off the couch and doing something every evening- anything really – just something small that makes a difference.  I really feel like I am working on a new habit for myself which is awesome.  My other challenge was to clean off my dresser and I have to admit I did not do this.  It will happen this week my friends.  It needs to be done!

One gentleman in the group talked about the fact that he felt like a failure because he had not done his challenge to his expectation.  He thought about this a lot over the week, it likely really stressed him out and he had an awareness of what was going on with his thought process.  Maybe his challenge was too big (which we always caution) but the important thing is that he is showing up, he is doing the work, he is aware and  he is trying to figure out what to do next.  We do have a mantra in our group which is “Small is Huge” so anything you can do to start to make a change is amazing.  Coming to this group and showing up is amazing.

Next week participants will be bringing in items that they know they want to let go of but are having difficulty parting with.  We will have other members of the group ask each person questions about the item in question.  In the end it will be up to each person as to what they plan to do with the item.  Such a great exercise.  I can’t wait.

Thank you so much for following along with our group process.  What emotions does your clutter bring up for you? Please comment below…..

 

Posted in acquiring items, difficulty Discarding, Organizing, Support Groups | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Why do I struggle with this clutter issue? Week 2

Week 2 is all about looking at yourself and figuring out why I am struggling with this issue.  It can be quite intense as it is all about looking at yourself and the factors that have led up to why me?

So, we are starting to create our own “clutter model” and we begin by talking about:

1. Vulnerability Factors such as mental illness, trauma and loss, family values and role models, physical limitations and other factors. Putting your attention to these issues can be difficult as it really brings it to the forefront.

We then look at

2. How we Process Information.

Problems with Attention – I am sure most of us can relate to this . There is so much vying for our attention every day that can really make it hard to stay focused on the task at hand. We will share some tips on how to do this more effectively coming up.

Problems with Categorization – because everything can feel so special it can be hard to figure out how to organize items. Overwhelm and Emotions can really get in the way which makes it easier to not make any decisions.

Elaborate Processing – lots of very creative people with many ideas on how to use an item. We always say that if we passed around a bottle cap we could probably get 10 different ideas on what to do with it.

Problems with Memory – again something that most of us can relate to specially those of us who are getting older. The thought process is that because I am worried I will forget about this bill I will leave it here on this pile in plain view. The problem is that when it becomes too many things it is just overwhelming, piles can fall over and we can’t remember anyway. We often have participants say that they have empty drawers or filing cabinets because of this.

We then start to examine some of our

3. Thoughts and Beliefs. These beliefs can really keep us stuck and can add to the clutter or cause us to be stuck and not able to move forward. Later on we will question some of these and see if they still fit. But for now…. These are a few of them

Beliefs About Usefulness, Waste and Responsibility – not being able to dispose of something in an environmental way causes me to keep the items even though they are in my way, etc. Our thinking process about the objects can be that this is still good, I can fix it, recycle, give it away to someone, etc.

Perfectionism – Wanting to do things perfectly can really keep you stuck. Are you going to make a mistake and throw something away that you regret? Possibly! Is it the end of the world? Can you get the item again if needed? Maybe? Waiting to do things perfectly is unrealistic and will keep you stuck.

Sentimental Attachments – having a strong belief about possessions and their importance. Items feel like they served as a tangible record of a happier time or of a loved one and throwing this away can cause a lot of anxiety and uncomfortable feelings.

These three areas help individuals to start to build their own clutter model which is the homework for the week. Next week we will look at the emotional responses to these thoughts and beliefs and examine them further. People will start to see how these emotions positive and negative both contribute to the clutter issues.

So, how did I do with my challenge from last week? My challenge was to get up off the couch nightly and do something I have been thinking about (and not doing) every evening. It doesn’t have to be a big thing but significant enough to make me feel good about myself and maybe create a new habit. This has been really great and I plan to carry it on again this week. Also, to add to my challenge this week my plan is to clean off my dresser which tends to gather lots of possessions, dust, etc. Seems to be a seasonal project.

How are you all doing? What challenges do you have with your thoughts and beliefs. Thank you for following along with our progress.

Posted in Organizing | 12 Comments

Clearing Clutter Support Group Week 1

Welcome to Week 1 – I hope you will follow along for the next 7 weeks while we go through this 8 week session of the Clearing Clutter Support Group.

Agenda: Week 1
Welcome, Introductions and Warm Up – What has motivated you to come today?
Ground Rules/Guidelines for Group
Group Exercise
List of Topics
Assessment Tool
Break
Grounding/Meditation
What is your definition of clutter/hoarding?
Why do we have clutter?
Safety Concerns
Checkout/Challenges/Homework: Awareness of Acquiring, Goals for Course

There were 14 of us in this very small room today at this very cute Branch Library. We just love this quaint little community Library and are so fortunate to have a partnership with the London Public Library and this ongoing space for our Clearing Clutter Support Group.

So, we were a little worried today that a few people would attend the group who were not on the list because there was a mistake printed in the CMHA Program Guide with information about the group but no information about how to register. Fortunately, there was only one woman who came who was not on the list. She came early so I was able to chat with her. I let her know that the group was full and she wasn’t on the list, but I reassured her that she was here and it would be okay, we would just see how things go. Often, there are one or two who don’t show up so it can all work out in the end. Which of course it did! This woman came up to me at the end of the group to thank me for making her feel so welcomed.

Now, this was a first. We had three people for this group ask if they could bring a support person for the first week. I am sure it can be very scary to come out to this type of group for the first time so I can understand this request. Two support people attended with two participants. At first they thought that they could just sit back and observe but they soon saw that they would have to participate the same as everyone else.   In the past we have had a mother and son, husband and wife, sisters, etc. so its not a problem but yes both would need to sign up and both would participate in the program. The two facilitators myself and Kara Kelly both actively participate in the group exercises and personal challenges.

There were actually 10 participants, 7 women and 3 men, today which is pretty awesome. Some of the issues that arose were losses, letting go of items, acquiring too much stuff, feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, don’t know where to start, addictions, mental health issues, moved a lot in the past and stuff was stored away in Storage Facilities, living with others, churning (moving stuff around), collecting specific items such as books, CD’s, tools, etc.

Participants were very quiet for the first hour of the group but by the break everyone was chatting away.  So, as you can see the agenda is full and it is a very intense two hours which fly by in a blink.   I am so looking forward to this session and happy to be back in this role.

My challenge for this week is to get up off the couch in the evening and do one thing that I have been thinking about.  It could be something like hanging up some clothes, doing a load of laundry, or re-potting a plant.  We will see how I do.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the group and I will do my best to answer them here.  Thanks so much for following along with us.

 

 

Posted in acquiring items, Support Groups | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

What is your Resistance to Clearing the Clutter?

What is your resistance to clearing the clutter?

What do you think holds you back from moving forward?  I believe these three things are tied together.

  • Resistance
  • Your Inner Critic
  • Limiting Beliefs

Resistance

Think about something that you have wanted to do, you think about doing it but can’t seem to get started.  Maybe it is something that has been on your to do list forever.

What thoughts come up for you?  The reasons why you can’t do it – limited budget, lack of time, too many commitments, the goal is too big, no related skills, etc.

All of these can be just excuses which = resistance to change which can = clutter

When you say you want to make a change but take no action to support it….what are you saying about yourself?  “I am not important enough, my needs don’t matter,  others needs are more important than mine”.  What else?

Your Inner Critic

  • Is not a fan of change
  • Wants to keep you safe
  • Likes to stay where things feel familiar and comfortable
  • Does not want to rock the boat
  • Is a loving little liar
  • Is scared so she makes up all kinds of excuses so you won’t make progress

The clutter she thinks you can’t handle could be keeping you from getting that great job, meeting a new partner, or improving your health. It’s not the clutter your inner critic wants to hold onto, it’s the fear of change and the protection from what feels like a big scary goal.

I have a great example of this.  I was scheduled to present a one and a half hour workshop on this very topic which was coming up in a couple of weeks.  I was driving to work one day and was thinking about this and thinking “oh no, why did I sign up to do this, what was I thinking, what do I really know anyway?”  Fear was setting in but I knew right away that this was just my little scared self and my inner critic wanting to keep me safe and inside my comfort zone.  Knowing this can really help you to feel like you can move forward and take some risks even if they are scary.

Limiting Beliefs

Some examples of limiting beliefs are things like excuses (see above), negative thoughts, worries, beliefs from the past ie: family values, past failures, fears, etc.

You can see how these three areas are similar and are tied together.

The way to overcome the challenges of your own limiting beliefs is to change them to something new, a new belief.  Remember, you have learned the lessons from the past and are ready to move on and ready for new experiences and new empowering beliefs.

You have to be able to give it up…..for example:  you could say “I’m done with that, I’m ready for the lesson and I have learned from it.  Thank you I am ready to experience something new.  I am ready to move on.

Are you ready to let go of your resistance to clearing?  What stops you in your tracks?  Please share in the comments below.

 

Posted in Emotional Clutter, goal setting, Inspiration, Organizing, space clearing | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

How to Simplify for the Holidays?

Most of us can probably feel the energy and the anxiety of the festivities coming up. Just pop into any retail store and the pressure to buy and to give as much as possible is everywhere. There is this feeling of I better get it now or it will be gone. You might even be thinking of previous years when you felt stressed the day before Christmas and you were worried you didn’t have enough or you missed someone who is sure to give you something. Ugh!! I remember one year as a youngster thinking I would stay up all night to finish knitting a scarf to give to my brother. Lol

When I was younger and a stay at home mom with two young children, I actually made all my gifts for friends and family. That was certainly a happy time even though we had little money. That was back in the day of macramé, knitting, crocheting and ceramics. I was so proud of those gifts and had really poured my heart and soul into them. I have heard of families having this as a theme for Christmas gifts.  Good idea, but maybe too much pressure, especially for my family.

Anyway, back to now. I believe that things are really changing and people are more aware of the fact that they do not need a lot of gifts. A lot of people in my circles will say that if they “need” something they will just go out and buy it. In my family we would pick two names each and had a limit of between $40.00 or $50.00 but it was all about “what do you need, what do you want?” I would just try to surprise people because what is the point really if you are telling people what to get you and they know what they are getting.

We have changed over the years and started to play the Christmas present game where you can take a gift from someone who has opened one or from under the tree. This is a competitive game and one that has caused confusion and hurt feelings in my family. Oh my!! So this year we have decided on each person bringing one gender neutral gift ($30.00) limit and then you get a gift. No stealing but if you want to exchange with someone at the end, then no problem. Basically, you bring a gift, you get a gift. No pressure. Love it!!

Of course when it comes to children this can be a bit more challenging as Christmas is really for the children.  I have my four grandchildren to buy for and will try not to go too overboard on gifts for them. I really do believe that experiences and spending time with them really means so much more to them. So, as well as the gifts we purchase, one on one time with the grands is really important and it allows them to feel special and gives them the attention that they so crave and need.

Some more great advice from me and my friends:

From Me

For my shopper friends. You know who you are. And who doesn’t love a little retail therapy or perhaps time out with a friend or family member. I often go out shopping with my mom and it is just something social that we do to spend time together. Perhaps you find little gifts or cards for friends or family over the year on sale or a special treasure for someone. My advice to you is to make sure you keep all those gifts together (remember like with like) and then when that special day or holiday arrives you can easily find that special gift and you are not out trying to buy that same thing or trying to find something else.

April Norton

Did you know that women are highest risk for heart attacks around the holidays because they are the ones that do most of the work? I know firsthand since mine was January 6.  She says “You don’t have to do it all.  Enlist the help of others, especially if the event is held at your home.  People are happy to contribute and just may need to be informed about how they can help.  You do not have to e a martyr or have everything perfect.  Let go of expectations and enjoy the time with your family.”

Jakki Petricca

1.  Have no expectations or try to live up to others standards/expectations
2. Do not over buy
3. Do buy some emergency gifts like boxed chocolate and wrap it, never know who you may need a small something for
4. Do baking early and freeze it so come Christmas everything is done

Janet Barclay (Your Organizing Business, Organized Assistant)

“Don’t feel obligated to go to every gathering you’re invited to. You can’t enjoy the holidays if you’re constantly driving back and forth and mixing and mingling with people who aren’t important to you.”

Alison Lush (Professional Organizer)

Getting together with family or friends? Ask people to bring something to DO rather than something to UNWRAP. Animate a game, sing a song, tell a story, show a few photos, etc.

Some great ideas here.  What do you think?  Do you have some great tips that you are planning this year to help simplify your holidays? Please join the conversation and add them in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Inspiration, Minimalism, Organizing, organizing over the holidays, simplify for the holidays | 6 Comments