Barriers to Clearing the Clutter? There are Solutions!

BARRIERS

Making Decisions – How are you at making decisions?  Difficulty or avoidance about making decisions can be a real barrier to clearing the clutter.  What do you think of this expression?  

“Clutter is really just deferred decision making”

For example, do you hear yourself saying “I will do it tomorrow or another day, someday in the future” It can be so much easier to not make a decision. I can be guilty of this myself.  Not making a decision is really making a decision too.

Perfectionism  –  If I cannot do it perfectly, then there is no point in doing it at all, so I will do nothing.  Thinking that things have to be perfect can be a huge block to getting things done.

Its Too Overwhelming – Perhaps the job is so big that you can’t even imagine where to begin.  Its just so massive that you think “what is the point as I will never be able to get this done, this is impossible, etc.”  So you close the door, try to ignore it, it becomes invisible, well you know the drill.

Misjudging the time it will take – There can be the thought that this could all be cleaned up in a day which of course is unrealistic.  I can relate to this as I have been planning to get my pond filled in and putting a patio in its place.  It’s really not happening as fast as I would like.  At this point I am exercising some patience and trusting that it is all going to happen in divine timing.  Scheduling in some time on your calendar and/or making a plan is helpful.

Not Having Systems – Do you have a system for incoming mail, flyers, paying bills on time,  donations going out as stuff comes in, cleaning out the fridge before bringing in new groceries, laundry getting washed and dried in a timely fashion?  Having systems in place and following through with these on an ongoing basis will help you to keep up.   Clearing Clutter is not a one time event, it is an ongoing process.

Not Knowing What I Want/Not Taking Control of My Life – It can be very challenging to know what you want for yourself and your life.  Perhaps you are a people pleaser and put others needs first.   Having too many interests (or sometimes too many choices) can make it difficult to make decisions about what to do with your time and your stuff.

SOLUTIONS

Small is Huge – This has been a mantra in our Clearing Clutter Support Group and also in the Declutter Your Life and Mind Facebook Group. What this means is that we look at what we did do no matter what it is or how small it is. We celebrate our wins and don’t worry about what still needs to be done. Consistency is key!

Having a Goal – Having goals whether small or huge can really help with some of those decisions that you want to make.  Begin with the easy, small stuff to help you work towards those bigger goals.  Small changes made over time will impact on the bigger picture.  Small is Huge!!

Develop Some Systems – Focus on one area at a time.  What areas are causing the most stress? Try a new system or plan to deal with these areas in a better way.  If the issue is mail, paper or flyers coming in the door,  you could have a plan for Filing, Acting On, Tossing, Recycling.  Or maybe the dishes aren’t getting done. If you really are opposed to doing dishes after meals, perhaps you could just get them rinsed off and plan to do them in the morning when you have more energy.  Doesn’t really matter what the plan is, as long as you act on it and it works for you.

Letting Go – You can let go of the perceived outcome of the situation and try to allow things to happen as they are meant to happen.  Let go of the fact that even if it is not perfect, that is okay.  This can be challenging but so freeing when you say to yourself “this is perfect just the way it is,  good enough is okay,  I can let this go, this doesn’t have to be perfect,  I have done my best”.  Ahh, doesn’t that feel so much easier.

Put Yourself First – This can really help you to think about what is important to you.  Take some time to get to know who you are and what you want to do with your time and energy.   Learn to trust yourself and know that you are doing the best you can for yourself.   I really believe it is important to take some time for yourself every day.  Think about the goals you have for you and your life.   Ask for help when you need it.

Now it is your turn.  What are some things that help you with clearing the clutter?  I would love to hear from you.

Posted in De-Clutter Your Life, downsize, Emotional Clutter, goal setting, Inspiration, organize | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Change Can Be Hard, But You Got This

Do you ever hear yourself saying “change is so hard” or “I really don’t like change”?  I have heard this a lot from friends and clients.  I have always said “I love change” but really, what I mean is that as long as its a positive change then I am all for it.  

But, what if it isn’t a great change?  This past year and a half is testimony to that.  There are things that happen that we have no control over and we cannot change or fix.  That is hard!  

But……Does it always have to be?

Personally, I have been going through some changes and losses over the past year within my family.  Helping to take care of my dad who has had medical issues for many years and just passed February 1 at the age of 91.  Now taking care of my 91 year old mom who continues to be in her home on her own and is having some challenges of her own.  

The family dynamics have changed as well and this is a situation that I cannot fix.  So, I choose to be mindful and kind always.  I know we will get through this and I just want to handle each moment with courage, grace and wisdom.  Being mindful in this situation  to me means being aware of the emotions that come up, reaching out to others for support, reading as much as I can to learn about aging and taking care and being kind to myself.  

What about change that comes from decluttering? 

Reaching out for help can mean that you are ready to make some changes.  And that can be scary or stressful because then “you have to do the work”  I get it!

What if……….you had everything decluttered the way you want it and you were able to maintain your space…………What would this mean for you?  How would you feel? 

“To change skins, evolve into new cycles, I feel one has to learn to discard. If one changes internally, one should not continue to live with the same objects. They reflect one’s mind and the psyche of yesterday. I throw away what has no dynamic, living use.”  Anais Nin  

It is so important to check in with yourself and know who you are today.    Living intentionally means that it is not about the past or about the future. Think about what is most important for you today. What do you need to let go of to allow more of yourself to shine through? 

This quote came to mind after a group member talked about the risks of making a change.

Making changes can be stressful.  Practicing self acceptance and compassion can help you to appreciate yourself wherever you are in this process.  Reward yourself for the effort you are making.  You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want to make positive changes in your life. 

Did you know that Coffee Chats are happening on Zoom once a month with members from the Declutter Your Life and Mind Facebook Group? They are so fun and inspirational. Join us for some lively discussion about all things organizing. You will need to join our group as our chats are confidential of course.https://www.facebook.com/groups/DeclutterYourLifeandMind

I am currently taking new clients for Virtual Organizing Sessions. Usually one hour long, costs less than in person contact and you get to do the work but with guidance and inspiration from me. Would you like to chat with me to see how we could work together? Sign up here for a 20 minute exploration call https://SpaceForYou.as.me/

Posted in Organizing | 7 Comments

What to do with Grandma’s Tea Set?

It’s been forever and a day since you have heard from me.  I guess I have been a bit busy as I am sure you all have been too.  It’s been such a hard time with this Covid situation which feels like will never end.  

I want to share a fun story with you.  I inherited a china cabinet from my grandmother which also included a tea set that she had.  I honestly don’t know if she ever used it.  I had the tea set in this china cabinet for many years and never ever used it.  I actually thought “it might be lovely for a baby or a wedding shower someday but……. realistically, what would really happen?  Likely, a punch bowl that comes with mugs or paper cups and paper plates (I know right?) 

My mom always said to me that this set was going to be worth money some day (which of course it likely won’t be – gold rimmed dishes and all) and that I could never give it away.  It felt like pressure to me because I didn’t really want to keep something I wasn’t using. So…..I packed away the dishes. My mom had not been to my house for many years because my dad was ill and we couldn’t leave him alone.  My dad passed away on Feb 01 of this year after being ill with many medical issues.  So really a bittersweet time for us all.  

My 91 year old mom, now on her own, said she wanted to come over to my house as she couldn’t really remember where I lived.  She has early stage dementia so having difficulty with her short term memory.  I just imagined my mom coming into my home and going straight for the china cabinet looking for these dishes (which have been packed away and luckily I did keep them).  

I decided (at the last minute) to dig them out from the box, wash them and have them ready for lunch with my mom.  I started by pouring us some coffee into the little tea cups.  My mom said they were perfect, exactly what she likes.  It was a beautiful day so we were able to go into the backyard to have our lunch.  Eventually, I said to my mom, “do you remember these dishes?” She said yes, she thought they looked familiar” I told her they were Grandma’s Dishes. She said “I thought so and I am so glad you have them, because you use them. I said no, I just got them out for you”. I know my mom appreciated it so much and I am so happy that I did not get rid of them. Some things are definitely worth keeping.

Did you know that Coffee Chats are happening on Zoom once a month with members from the Declutter Your Life and Mind Facebook Group? They are so fun and inspirational. Join us for some lively discussion about all things organizing. You will need to join our group as our chats are confidential of course. https://www.facebook.com/groups/DeclutterYourLifeandMind

I am currently taking new clients for Virtual Organizing Sessions. Usually one hour long, costs less than in person contact and you get to do the work but with guidance and inspiration from me. Would you like to chat with me to see how we could work together? Sign up here for a 20 minute exploration call https://SpaceForYou.as.me/

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How to Get Grounded and Be More Organized

When it comes to decluttering, do you ever feel like you are all over the map and you just don’t know where to start?  It just all feels so overwhelming at times.  So how do we get focused to do the work that we need to do?  Let’s take a breath together and think about how we can feel more grounded and organized.  Just Breathe!  Awe. That feels better already!

I believe that feeling grounded is the key to being able to focus on what you truly want, figuring out what your priority is and knowing where you want to spend your energy and time.  It can help you to feel more organized because you are more in control of yourself and your surroundings.  Remember where your attention goes, energy flows.  So, the more you focus on what you want, the more you will start to see the fruits of your labour.

Here are some ideas for being grounded and getting more organized:

declutter your life pic

Grounding/Meditation – This is an exercise we did every week in the Clearing Clutter Support Group and it would happen after a short break.  Participants have been given a lot of information about clutter, we have had some intense conversations and also there can be some worries about what is going to come next.  This grounding/meditation helps everyone to get back together, to feel calm, focused and grounded.

Here is an example.  In this meditation  you will feel more focussed and calm and ready to do the work that you need to do.  Enjoy!

A. W.W.  – I participated in a Mindfulness Meditation course which was AWWsome!!!  Actually, this course really helped me personally in numerous ways.  It also has helped me in my work with clients.  This great little tool is something we practiced on a daily basis and is really helpful in scanning your body and paying attention to triggers and emotions that come up.  A.W.W.  stands for:

A – Are you breathing? 

Lets hope so but often and especially if we are stressed, we tend to hold our breath and are not really aware of it.

W – Where am I breathing? 

Most of us are breathing up in our chest which really can cause a lot of anxiety.  You really want to be breathing more in your belly.

W – What am I feeling? 

So important and so challenging at times.  I think we often don’t know what we are feeling or we just want the uncomfortable feelings to go away.  This can really help us with being okay with those not so nice feelings.   You can do this exercise anytime.  Even while you are driving.

The Present Moment  –  I know, I know, you have heard this a thousand times.  It sounds so easy but it is definitely challenging.  Being in the present can mean really looking at what is going on for you today, what is most important for you to focus on and just living day to day.  

When you think about clutter it often is about the past and the future.  It is never about the present moment.  When we think about the past, we may be thinking about happier times, good memories, when we were thinner, about people who have passed or other losses. 

In thinking about the future, it often is about a dream of what we could do “someday”.  “I am keeping this because someday I will have a bigger house or I am going to be an amazing artist someday.”  Well, I hate to burst your bubble but someday is today. We need to focus on what we can do today.  What can I focus on in my home today that will make a difference in my life?  One woman in our group said “Someday is not a day”.  It can get to the point when you need to be brutally honest with yourself.  Am I really going to do this thing?  If not, can you let go of the dream?

What are some of your ideas for being more grounded?  Do you feel these ideas can help you to be more organized?  Please post your thoughts below!!  Thanks so much for following along.

Would you like to work with me?  I offer Virtual Organizing as well as In Home Organizing.  Let me know if you would like to book a Free half hour Discovery Call by replying to this email kimtremblay@sympatico.ca

Posted in decluttering, Emotional Clutter, goal setting, Inspiration, organize, Organizing | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Motivation and Getting Past the Overwhelm

Yes, You can do this!

Have you ever noticed that when you least expect it, something happens and you have to deal with it right away. All of a sudden you have to stop whatever you are doing and get this thing dealt with.  So, imagine, there is water all over the floor because the toilet overflowed or there is a bird in your furnace ductwork. Ugh!  Yes, both of these things have happened to me.  All of a sudden we are in a crisis and have no choice but to deal with it.  So that is one way that motivation can work.  

Of course, that it is not always the way motivation works  We might identify something as a problem and it’s not really a high priority or we might not even recognize it as a problem.  Maybe we don’t know how to deal with it or we just don’t really feel like dealing with it.  

Motivation definitely ebbs and flows.  For me, I have always been “the glass is always half full” kind of gal which I am sure has helped me a lot with my chosen work.  I have my ups and downs as well as anybody but I always hope for more up days. And motivation can really be like that.  One day we are feeling on top of the world and we can feel like we can handle anything and another day we just want to hit the couch, watch Netflix and eat popcorn.  It is important to honour yourself and how you are feeling.  

How often have you heard these statements before? “Just get started”, “just do it” or just get it done” ? What if you really just can’t seem to get started? You can have the best intentions but other things get in the way. You may have other priorities, you are tired, or other people’s problems seem more important than your own. Maybe you don’t know where to start or how to do it. There could also be some fears that come up. For example: What if I get started, then what – I will have to continue with this process and I might have to let go of some things.  I might fail. When you think back to other times when you have worked on your clutter and uncomfortable emotions came up, it can be scary to think of going back there again.

It can be important to think about what the obstacles might be for you.  

Would you like more inspiration on Getting Motivated (to declutter)? Check out this post……https://spaceforyou.ca/2020/05/25/how-to-get-motivated-to-declutter/

Three Tips to help you to get motivated and to get past the overwhelm

The most popular response to “What helps me to be more organized?” (from the Declutter Your Life and Mind Group) is ta da:

1. The “To Do” List

Sounds pretty simple and it is and very effective too.  Just writing it down, gets it out of your head and onto paper.  It becomes more than just an idea.  It becomes more real and it then helps you to be accountable to yourself.  A lot of group members will post their goals or challenges in the FB group and that is a great way to be accountable as well, but not necessary.  Just be accountable to yourself for now.  Write a list for the day or the week, five items, prioritize them and see what you can do.  Then there is the satisfaction of crossing that item off the list.  You can also have a “ta done” list which means that when you find yourself doing a chore that wasn’t on your list, write it down and cross it off.  Yeah!  Feels good. Right? 

2. What are your reasons for “needing or wanting” to do this work?  

What is your why?  Why do you need or want to do this work?  What is your motivation for doing this work?. Do you want to sleep in your bed, cook in your kitchen or have some friends or family over?  Having a goal for yourself can be really helpful in getting going and pushing through even when the going gets tough.  Another way to look at your why is to think about how do I want to feel at the end of the day?  Do I want to feel like I was productive during the day so now I can relax, feel calm and at peace, feel happy to be in my clutter-free space.  What are your reasons for doing this work.  

3. How to Tame the Overwhelm

Do you find yourself saying “it’s all just too much”. “I feel so overwhelmed” or “I can’t even seem to get started.”? I would suggest starting with easier tasks or easier areas. That way there is that immediate successful thing you have done.  Remember “Small is Huge” which just means that we need to look at what we did do and not what still needs to be done.  Being consistent, scheduling time every day whether it’s 5, 10 or 15 minutes – just do what you can. You will start to see some progress. Start to create a new habit.  Reward yourself for a job well done. 

Are you having difficulty getting motivated to declutter? Would you like to dive a little deeper? Sign up to receive my FREE Get Motivated to Declutter Webinar? I will add you to the list.

And always remember to be kind to yourself.  This is intense work, this is your journey and you get to decide how much or how little you want to do.

Would love to hear from you……….. How do you get motivated and what helps you to get past the overwhelm?

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What’s for Dinner During a Pandemic?

Do you have anxiety knowing you need to get out to get groceries?  What about the big question of what’s for dinner?  What if you haven’t been cooking in your home much before the Covid19 Pandemic started?  A lot of us do not even like cooking and what about the chores surrounding the cooking? Eek!!  First, there is the planning about what to cook, then the shopping, then putting away the food (which I know is challenging for some). Then making sure there is a space to cook (my pet peeve), cooking the food (even though you don’t  really feel like it), eating it which usually takes about 10 – 15 minutes, then cleaning up. UGH!! Its just never ending.  And then what is the plan for the next meal???

What would make it all easier and what has changed for you during this time?  Okay, I am going to be honest here.  Personally, I do not love cooking all the time but I do love to eat and want to be as healthy as possible so I have taken on this task. It’s fun to try new things and I am pretty adventurous in the kitchen.  Thankfully, I have a partner who will clean up and do dishes.  I am so blessed with that.  If I am ready to cook up a meal, I really love to have clean counters and not a lot of dishes.  We do have ‘small kitchen syndrome” so it’s important to keep it as clean and clear as possible. My partner also likes to treat us with take out every once in awhile just to give me a break in the kitchen.

What have I learned over this time of Covid19?

I plan the meals so I am the one who gets groceries and I have been working on a plan to go once a week and sometimes I can even stretch it out a bit longer. It can be challenging especially when it comes to having fresh fruits and vegetables. I solved that problem by hooking up with a weekly or bi-weekly Food Basket which has been a great way to support local farms and I get some nice fresh fruit and veg. Win/Win!

This is what I got this weekend in my box

How are you doing with planning out your food for the week?  If you are home full time, do you plan for leftovers?  I love leftovers because it makes for an easy meal for the next day and I am not spending as much time in the kitchen. It’s great to get a break and an opportunity to catch up on other things.

My sister has been trying to get me to purchase one of those meal plans like Chef’s Plate. The ads keeps popping up on Facebook and they do look interesting but I haven’t tried it yet.  So, the food comes with cold packs, all prepped with the recipes and you just cook it up and voila……dinner on the table.  There is a cost but if you are not eating out as much or you just want to save yourself some time and the bonus of convenience, they sound like a fun way to try something new.  You might also learn some new recipes. I am planning to try them soon.

Some ideas to help during the pandemic

  • Use up the fresh fruit and veg first. Buy fruit and veg with a longer shelf life like apples, oranges, potatoes. If they have seen better days you can freeze them for smoothies or muffins.  Have frozen fruit and veg in your freezer for when you run out of fresh.  Depending on the size of your freezer, stock up on fries, frozen fish, chicken or other favourites that are easy to go from freezer to stove and to the table.
  • Keep your pantry stocked with canned meat like tuna and salmon, canned beans are great (one of my favourites is bean quesadilla’s yummy), lots of tomato sauces to make up a quick spaghetti dish, some soups to go with grilled cheese – think about what you love that is easiest to make and with less cleanup too.
  • Make sure you have an ongoing shopping list so that you do not find yourself aimlessly walking around the grocery store. I do an inventory of what is in the freezer and the cupboards before I head out to the store. It’s a good idea to bring food from the back to the front in order to avoid expiry dates or freezer burn. Yuk!!
  • Instant Pots have become really popular and are great for when it is really too hot to cook. You can get a small size one too which is great for one or two people. The biggest chore with an instant pot is getting everything prepped beforehand but once thats done it all goes in the pot and before you know it dinner is ready. It also doubles as an crockpot. Seriously, just donate the old one.

This is a really great time to look at how you have been doing things and perhaps trying some new things. Moving forward we would hope that we can save time and money, live more simply and be healthier than ever.

Would love to hear your tips and how you are managing with all things shopping, cooking, cleaning up and your favourite and easiest things to cook up?

If you would like to get started on decluttering your life please join my FREE 5 Day Declutter Your Life and Mind Challenge (link is on this page) to get started and stay tuned for a Free Webinar coming up soon on getting motivated called Get Motivated to Declutter

Posted in Organizing | 21 Comments

How To Get Motivated? (to declutter)

Hint: It’s not that you aren’t motivated.

What helps you to get motivated?  

How to get more motivated is a huge theme in our Declutter Your Life and Mind Group – for more motivation check us out here https://www.facebook.com/groups/DeclutterYourLifeandMind/  

How do you get motivated?

Some of their responses: 

“Knowing that I will eventually be moving from this house and wanting to lighten the load before I actually have to pack”

“Praying and smudging help me to both clear out the negative and to bring in divine spiritual help” 

“Making a list. Once I’ve written something down, it’s concrete – not just an idea I’m kicking around. I feel great accomplishment when I can cross things off of a list!”

“If I’m having trouble I do a task that makes me happy or isn’t too bad. It helps me to jumpstart to not START with a dreaded task”

“Having a goal in mind really helps – having a plan for a space which could mean activities in that room or having people over, cooking a healthy meal. Personally, I love changing up my space and trying to improve it. The end result gives you a different feeling and it can really feel great”

Motivation is a tricky thing and it can be hard to figure out what is going on and what holds us back.  Group members say they are not motivated or wish they were more motivated (to declutter)  We are motivated to do other things that we want to do or maybe that we have to do.  So, really it’s not that we are not motivated.

So, how do we really get motivated (to declutter)

Why do you want to declutter?

Internal or External Reasons?

An internal reason could be something like “I want to clean up this room because my son/friend is coming to visit for awhile” or “I want to use my garage for its intended purpose” or “my goal is to declutter in order to live in a less chaotic environment, have friends over without feeling embarrassment or to find clothes to wear or to sleep in my bed”.  

Having internal reasons for wanting to make changes will determine whether you will be more successful and will have longer lasting effects because you have more of a personal desire for change and a buy in.

External reasons would be things like  “My landlord wants me to clean up or I could lose my apartment, my daughter has decided to “help” me to clean up because she thinks I have a problem or I know I need to clean up and declutter but I feel so overwhelmed that I wouldn’t even know where to start or what to do so why bother. Other people have a problem with it, but I really think it’s not that bad.”  

External reasons could be successful but once the crisis has passed things will likely go back to the way things were. Threats of punishment usually don’t work.  It is much harder to engage in the task if it wasn’t your idea to start with and you were not committed to the process. 

Are you avoiding uncomfortable feelings?

Decluttering and or organizing bring up uncomfortable feelings. They just do so, of course, who wouldn’t want to avoid anything that is uncomfortable. Avoidance of these feelings protects us from depression and anxiety.    So, if we are going to be decluttering, we want to be in a good space.  Check out this post for more info and support https://spaceforyou.ca/2018/05/16/getting-past-fear-and-emotional-clutter/

Do you feel like you are just waiting for something? 

Especially during this time of Covid 19, it can really feel like we are waiting……waiting for something to change, waiting until we can donate our belongings, waiting until we can have visits again.  It can really feel like we are stuck and cannot do anything until…….  

Is there something difficult that you need to do?

If this is the case, this is actually a form of emotional clutter and can really keep you stuck and not able to actualize your goals. Procrastinating about this even makes it worse.  I was in this place recently where I needed to have a difficult conversation with someone and it was taking all of my energy.  I finally had the conversation and what a lift this was off my shoulders.  This could be a reason that it is hard to get started but once you do the hard thing, it just opens up possibility for you.  

Would you like some accountability?

Accountability can make the world of difference. Having someone to check in with or to talk to at the end of the day can really help you to make progress and to be successful with your decluttering goals. There are opportunities for accountability in the Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/DeclutterYourLifeandMind/ or if you would like a discovery call with me you can book a time here https://SpaceForYou.as.me/

What helps you to be motivated? (to declutter) Let us know in the comments below:

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How to Help Your Child Get More Organized

Are your children organized?  Do you wish they would just pick up after themselves? Is your child a collector of sorts and cannot let anything go? Would you like to help your children to be more organized? I have to be honest here.  I don’t have any young children living in my home but I did at one time.  I do have grandchildren visiting from time to time and I do expect them to clean up after themselves, make the bed for the next sleepover, pack up their clothes, etc. etc. Children need these kind of guidelines or boundaries and I believe they learn respect when they know what is expected of them. Our grands love to come over for Gramma time (x2) and a sleepover. Of course, at this time we are all missing each other. Hopefully we will all be able to visit again soon.

What if your child is a Collector (of stones, feathers, shells, treasures, etc.)

If you have a child like this, perhaps you could help them to have a way to display their items.  If they start to get too much, help them to be able to make decisions about which ones to let go of.  Always reward them for not bringing something home and/or for discarding items.

What if your child loves everything?  

Ask your child to pick out a number of items (say 10) that they love.  Next ask them to rate each of the items on a scale of 1 – 10 as to how much they love the item and how much they need or want the item.  Ask them if they are able to let go of their least favourite item.  If they are having trouble with this and think they cannot let go of this or any item, suggest that someone (maybe you) hold on to it for them for a week. They will think they can’t do it but they can. At the end of the week ask them how they are feeling, if they have actually missed the item and if they are now willing to let go of the item. Praise them if they can follow through.  

What if your child has a hard time with making decisions?  

I see this a lot with my clients as well.  I really believe that being comfortable with making decisions has to do with self esteem, knowing who you are and what you want and trusting your intuition.  It is something that takes time and practice.  To help children, I suggest offering children a choice whenever possible.  For example; “do you want to wear the pink pyjamas or the blue pyjamas tonight?” 

What if your child likes to acquire things?  

Teach your children that there is a difference between Need and Want.  Ask them questions such as “do you have room for that?”, “where will you put it”, “how will you use it?”  Make a deal with your child.  If you really believe you “need” it, then you have to make room by getting rid of something else.  Limiting items might be helpful, explaining to children that there is only so much space so this is what we will allow in this space.  

What if your child does not want to clean up?  

As a busy parent, I really get it.  It can really feel easier and quicker to do it yourself.  However, you will want to have patience and take the time to show and help your child to put their toys and things away. Everything needs to have a home and keep like with like.  This will make things easier for you and your child. This will help your child to see what he has and to help him to have respect for his belongings. Don’t forget that you are your child’s role model. They learn from you.  

What if your child doesn’t want to let go of anything? 

Generally, I do not think it is a good idea to get rid of children’s belongings (or anyone’s for that matter) without their permission.  Especially for children eight years and older.  If they figure out that their belongings have been discarded, this can be traumatic for them and likely they will hang onto their items even tighter.  If your child is pretty adamant that they cannot discard anything it may be time to get some outside help.  There are ways to help children and the earlier this can be addressed the better.  

Some of the therapies would be things like Exposure Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mental Health Treatment for OCD, Anxiety, Trauma, etc.  Dialectical Behavioural Therapy.   

Here is an awesome online resource I found with videos that are made especially for children who are struggling with challenging issues. These are videos that you can watch with your child.

Children need to be encouraged to follow their passions no matter what they are. Never shame or blame your child.  Honour their choices.  Parenting is the hardest job we will ever have. Kudos to all the parents out there who are doing the best everyday. Please let me know if you have found this post to be helpful. Happy Decluttering!

Would you like some help to start clearing the clutter? Let’s chat! Sign up here for a Free 20 minute call https://SpaceForYou.as.me/

For even more inspiration Join the Declutter Your Life and Mind Facebook Closed Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/DeclutterYourLifeandMind/

Posted in Organizing | 8 Comments

Can De-Cluttering Be A Spiritual Practice?

It was such an honour to be invited to speak at The Circle Women’s Collective on the topic of De-Cluttering as a Spiritual Practice. I was nervous and excited as I have been involved in The Circle on and off for many years and have always looked up to these amazing women.  This was such a rich topic with many gems of wisdom (participants words not mine) throughout the night. 

The Altar at the Circle Event

My Thoughts From the Evening 

Having a Daily Practice

Do you have a daily practice?  This can really make a difference in your day.  Whether it is being grateful, meditating, smudging, praying, doing a bit of writing or just being with yourself for a short period of time, this practice will help you to get through your day in a more conscious way.  Those who have a daily practice will say that they can tell if they miss it.  I have a daily practice of yoga and walking when I can without being attached to my phone, having an awareness of nature and the beauty that surrounds me.  

Clearing with Compassion 

Not attacking the clutter, but clearing with compassion!  Having the attitude of I am going to attack that clutter only gets your adrenalin going and you end up feeling aggressive about the process.  Clearing with compassion means that you will not fizzle out so fast.  Also, going at your own speed is always the best. I always encourage people to have compassion for themselves for doing this work as it is important, personal work.  It is a process that we go through in our own time.  We know when we are ready to go through that box or to start to work on that closet. Think about clearing with compassion and awareness of the process, being kind to yourself and paying attention to your emotions.

Letting Go With Grace and Gratitude

We do have a choice and that is that we can struggle with holding on to our stuff, second guessing ourselves about making a decision, leaving it in the donation bag or box by the door where it sits for weeks, maybe months. or We can decide that we will work through these challenging emotions as they come up and let the items go with grace and gratitude.  Maybe the item was a gift given with good intention. It is now covered with dust, has served its purpose, it is not being used, we do not love it or need it, it’s just taking up space in our homes and in our hearts. Let it go with grace and gratitude. 

Accepting Where We Are Right Now

This is all about just starting where we are now with loving acceptance.  We know that clearing out the hard stuff can be challenging. And that is okay. This article might help https://spaceforyou.ca/2014/10/02/letting-go/ Clutter can be all about the past (regrets, happy or sad memories, losses, lost opportunities) and it can also be all about the future as well (worry, just in case I need it someday) We really hang on tightly to these beliefs because they  serve us in some way. Clearing clutter needs to be about now. The best place to start is looking at what is going on today. We only have control over what we can do today.  So we start from where we are now with compassion and loving acceptance. 

Thinking About Our Own Legacy

We know we are not going to be here forever and we need to think about what we are leaving behind for others to go through.  Do you want to leave behind memories of what your life was all about or do you want your loved ones to be going through boxes of items that you carried around with you for years and years and never went through.  Again, it is your choice.  Downsize now while you can.  What type of legacy do you want to leave behind?

Would you like to work with me? I am currently accepting new clients to work with online via Zoom or FaceTime. Sign up here for a free 20 minute Consultation Call https://SpaceForYou.as.me/. This might be just what you need to get started on your journey to Decluttering Your Life.

What do you do as a daily practice to make space for yourself and your goals? Please comment below…….

Posted in De-Clutter Your Life, Organizing, sacred home, Spirituality | 8 Comments

Working From Home – It’s Messy!

Working from home is messy.  It has never really appealed to me but now I find myself in this position.  When I was working at CMHA, My Sisters’ Place, I was offered a “Work from Home” day and I never took advantage of it because I knew that I would so easily be distracted by other things.  It is just too easy to do anything other than the task at hand.   I will find myself cleaning and organizing, doing dishes, getting dinner ready instead of doing some other task that is a bit of a challenge and one I might want to procrastinate on.  Or, possibly, I might find myself scrolling on Facebook, reading articles online and going down that rabbit hole. Can you relate to this? It really takes some discipline to be able to accomplish our own personal goals.  

My office in my home is in the basement and when I really need to focus and need quiet, it is really the best place for me to go to get some work done.  Usually, what I will do is make a plan to be at my desk for a period of time like one or two hours.  I sometimes use the Pomodoro technique to stay focused on what I am working on.  https://spaceforyou.ca/2015/04/13/a-time-management-tool-to-help-with-focus/ I use the timer on my phone to keep focused as I don’t actually have a timer that looks like a tomato.  

Here is my messy desk
Here is another view of my office space. Its really a great space and I love it when I am in the zone.

My most favourite place to be, though, is at my chair in the living room.  I can find myself creating a little nest around this space with paperwork, journals, to do lists, books I am reading and also other little projects I have on the go.  It really is my happy place. Where is your happy place? I find myself going through the piles on a regular basis just to keep my focus on what is most important.  Seems to work for me for the most part.  I really prefer a creative mess to work in. 

This is kind of what happens
And then this – its a creative mess 🙂

I have had fantasies of taking my computer to a coffee shop and doing a lot of writing there. It was on my list as a goal for quite awhile, but I just never seem to do it.  I guess I am most comfortable being at home.  

The very best part about working from home is the ability to work at your own pace and on your own time. Take breaks when you want, schedule clients at the best times for you and the fact that you can work in your pyjamas is a bonus.

I can help you with your office space. Office space is often about clearing some space to work, paperwork, boxes of old papers that need to be shredded, a better configuration of your space and once cleared with a focus, can help you to move forward in whatever your heart desires.

I am now offering Free 20 minutes consultation/intake calls. The call might help you to get moving or perhaps we could work together in person or virtually. Sign up here https://SpaceForYou.as.me/ 

If you would like more motivation and inspiration to achieve your decluttering goals please join us in the Closed and Private Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/DeclutterYourLifeandMind/

Posted in Clutter, goal setting, Inspiration, office organizing, Organizing, Paper Organizing, time management | 12 Comments