The Transformational Power of Clearing Clutter Support Groups

I was inspired to do this post on Clearing Clutter Support Groups because of the Productivity and Organizing Blog Carnival – I have a secret goal of having a submission every month even if its a little outside of my comfort zone.  (not so secret anymore lol)

I was the founder of an in person Clearing Clutter Support Group that ran for many years in the Mental Health Agency I worked for.  

The feedback we got for this group was always so positive and group members made progress in many areas of their lives.  

When you attend a group like this it is something that you do for yourself.  It is all about you and learning about yourself!  The “ah ha” moments will inspire you to make progress as you move forward towards a more clutter-free life.  You learn about your own clutter style including your own personal vulnerability factors, why you have clutter, the thoughts and beliefs you have about your stuff, how to let go of attachments and sentimental items, making decisions and how to problem solve some challenging situations. 

Looking at the relationship that you have with your possessions, decisions that you make, and your goals for our home give you a whole new perspective on your life and home. 

 Would you like the inside scoop on the Clearing Clutter Support Group?

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four

Week Five

Week Six

Week Seven

Week Eight

Knowing that you are not alone in your struggles, being with others who get it, realizing that “small is huge” and this is a life long process will help you to move forward and closer to your dreams of having a clutter-free life. 

This is very personal work and it’s always about learning more about yourself. When you show up and are ready to commit to yourself you will see how much you learn, the progress you will make and what you can accomplish.

Would you be interested in joining me in an online Clearing Clutter Support Group? I am rooting for you! Any questions? Send me a quick message and I will make sure you are on my list.

Happy Decluttering!

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How to Prepare for Spring with Space Clearing

The popular thing right now is Spring Cleaning. You might be surprised to hear that I am not about cleaning at all. Housework, cleaning yuk! I mean I am not saying I never do it. Obviously, most of us have to do some cleaning some of the time – its just not my favourite thing!

Now Space Clearing – that’s a different story!

It’s that time of year again when we feel motivated to make some changes in our lives.  Longer daylight hours and seeing the sun a bit more often just helps us all to feel better.

Here are a few tips for Space Clearing

  • I love to change around a room and even though I have small rooms I try to change up my space every once in awhile even if its a small change. I tell my partner I have an idea and she is like “oh no, what now”? I know right! I guess this is my way of cleaning up. A change in perspective feels so good, though!
  • Freshen up your plants. Your plants love this time of year and they are growing at a fast rate. They probably need a bit more water than usual and this is the time to do some repotting as well. Plants add some healthy fresh air to your home. Bring a little spring into your home, like I did here.
  • Have you been noticing any winter clothing (coats, boots, mitts) that are scuffed up, missing buttons, with rips, holes?  Let’s get rid of these things and next year they can be replaced with something better. This is also a great time to do the Seasonal Clothing Assessment. Check out my free “Wardrobe Refresh” It is full of motivational tips and strategies to organize, downsize, update your style and get dressed with ease
  • Clean up the entrance way which is the area that everyone sees first. Shaking out the rugs, sweeping the floor, getting rid of the winter remnants can really feel good and can pave the way for good energy to come through your door. If you have a porch…..make it a welcoming space.
  • This is a great time to get all of the garbage, newspapers, and cardboard ready to get out to the bin or to the curb just because it’s easier to get out and about.
  • Once you can turn off the heat – open the windows and allow some fresh air to come into your home. If you want to cleanse your space light a candle or some incense or use a diffuser with some essential oils.
  • Freshen up your bedroom by washing the sheets and comforters, dust under the bed, etc.
  • Doing some organizing and decluttering will help move some stagnant energy in your home.
  • Have an ongoing “To Do” list which helps you to keep on track and is a great way to get a dopamine hit every time you cross something off your list. It’s a Win/Win.
  • Sell or donate something that is big that you have wanted to let go of. Once the weather is clear you might not mind people coming into your home. You could even pay a company to take away some of those big things. Yes, it costs a bit of money but it is so worth it. Think of the space you will have.

Once the beautiful spring weather is here I am going to get out every day for a short walk or to work in my garden, raking all the leaves leftover from last year, (Ugh!! I will try to think of this as great exercise), cleaning up outside and watching the world green up again.  How about you?  What do you love about spring and what are you looking forward to?

Would you like to book a call with me? Let’s get to know each other! Here is the link for a call.

Happy Spring Clearing!

Posted in Organizing | 12 Comments

Retail Therapy – It is a Real Thing!

You are driving by your favourite mall and you think to yourself…….“It’s been a hard day, I think I will just pop into this store and look around for a bit and see what I might find. I deserve to treat myself and a little retail therapy can’t hurt.”  Ever had this thought? Have you found yourself shopping when you didn’t plan on it. Before you know it you are walking out with bags of things you did not even know you needed.  Shopping can be a way that we soothe or numb our emotions.

Shopping can make us feel better or even high, however, afterwards we might be feeling overwhelmed, embarrassed, have regrets, wonder what to do with the items or worry about our bank accounts and getting the bills paid. Ugh!

I used to frequent garage sales, thrift stores and cute shops usually with friends and family. It was a fun pastime and something to do. I then found myself gathering up these treasures I had collected just to pack them up to donate. Once I went through that I started to feel like I didn’t really need or want anything and I was happy just window shopping. I am not saying I never bring home a trinket or some other odd treasure, I am just so much more discerning with what I choose to bring home. 

Of course there is nothing wrong with these activities.  Having an awareness of what we are doing with our time, our money and our actions and being conscious about what we are purchasing and why is the key. It is about being more aware of our emotions and taking care of ourselves. It can be helpful to check in with ourselves and ask: What was I thinking before this unplanned shopping trip? Is this item going to add value to my life?  Is this something I need or is it just something I want because I am looking at it now?  Does this fit into my budget? 

There are always going to be temptations out there which can make it challenging to change our habits. It is the job of retail businesses to make their merchandise look as appealing as possible in the hopes that we will be allured into purchasing. Think about three for the price of one deals, one day or limited sales, points cards, credit card discounts, free shipping if you spend more…….. Oh my! 

And what about shopping at Costco?  I admit we do have a membership.  however, I do not love it there.  (My partner loves it so I do go once in awhile)  The huge carts, huge aisles, shopping and food for giants and it is so busy there!

Amazon anyone? Online shopping has become a huge thing. We don’t even have to leave our homes. It can be too easy to get into this as a fun pastime and just “add to cart”. We can get something the next day in some cases. Talk about instant gratification.

Retail Therapy is a real thing!

If you are wanting to be more conscious of your spending I have a great little tool for you. It is a Non-Acquiring Help Card for Shoppers. Just print, cut it out and wrap it around your debit card. There is a space for your goals and why you are working on them as well as questions to ask yourself when you are having a weak moment. If you want to keep it simple just write your bank account balance on a piece of paper and wrap that around your card.

Can you make a conscious effort to pay attention to when and how often you find yourself shopping? How challenging is it for you not to acquire stuff or go shopping? Especially when you are feeling down or upset about something. Sometimes we need new activities to replace the feelings we get when shopping. When you need to nurture yourself, what can you do instead? It is difficult to change habits, so be kind to yourself and take one moment at a time.

Do you have a closet full of clothing and yet nothing to wear? You will love my new for Spring “Wardrobe Refresh“. It is chock full of the strategies and tools I use and share with my peeps to downsize and organize their clothing and get dressed with ease and style every day. And It’s free!

Hey, would you like to book a time with me? Lets chat! Here is my calendar. Can’t wait to work with you.

Happy Decluttering!

Posted in acquiring items, Clutter, Collector, compulsive acquiring, downsizing, Organizing, retail therapy, shopping | 10 Comments

Creative Storage and Organizing Solutions for Small Spaces

I love finding creative new organizing solutions for my home and I love it when I can help my clients to find the same. A lot of us have small spaces so it can be important to figure out how we can store items that we need to keep.

Use a small dresser or a shelf in a closet or a bathroom to store items in – I love this idea

Credit: Rex Van Del

Crates are fun and can be used in so many ways. A friend of mine has hers standing up on a table with her books piled in there. It looks great. They can be used to make book shelves or just stack two of them in a bathroom for towels, etc.

A coffee table or your television stand can be a great place to store some things that you might need in your living area. Foot stools can also be handy for storing things.

Here is ours – I had trouble finding baskets to fit – I feel inspired now to look again

I love baskets and use them in my home in numerous ways. I took down a couple of cupboard doors in the kitchen years ago and put these baskets in instead. One is used for tea and the other is for crackers. I have a small kitchen (which I am planning to update this year to make it more user friendly for us). I use baskets for snacks, on my dresser and in the bathroom to hold items. They just keep everything so neat. Tip: If you find that you have a pile of things accumulating……this might be a good place for a basket.

“Going out to look for new bins can be a distraction from doing the actual work”

The beginning of the year is the time when retail stores are marketing their bins for sale. I really believe its best to hold off on that. It is best to sort, declutter and organize first and see what you have. You will see what you absolutely need to store and you might even find that you have some empty bins or other storage solutions. Tip: If you are storing things that you need to keep in a cardboard box, I would definitely switch up to a plastic bin. Otherwise if you cannot do that, keep the cardboard up off of the floor.

If you have been following me for awhile, you know I am not a big fan of under the bed storage but if you have limited space this might be the best solution. I would suggest bins if they fit or zippered plastic cases.

There are so many great ideas on Pinterest. You can search any challenge or idea you are thinking about. Check out my page here

What creative storage and organizing solutions have you found in your home?

Happy Decluttering and Organizing

Posted in goal setting, home goals, Inspiration, organize, Organizing, small spaces | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

How Can Journaling Prompts Inspire You to Declutter?

The power of journaling is undeniable.  Journaling prompts can help us to have some direction in our writing.  If you can sit with it and allow your thoughts and your pen to flow you will be surprised at what will come up for you.  

Having a safe place to work things out or through is so beneficial.  Our thoughts and beliefs about the process of organizing and decluttering can actually hold us back from doing the work or believing that we can make a change. 

There is something to be said about getting our thoughts out of our heads and down on paper and into a place where we can examine them and make a plan from them. Being honest with ourselves and questioning some of our beliefs is where our power lies and will help us to change our mindset and perspective on a situation.

For example:  This is the first question in The Decluttering Journal 

What I love about my clutter is………

Your first thought might be “I don’t love anything about my clutter, why would I love it”. However, there are reasons why and benefits that you may not have thought about.  

“My stuff helps me to feel safe and comfortable” 

“My treasures are pretty and nice to look at”

“It helps me to remember my past and are a connection to my family”

“My stuff give me a feeling of security – it can’t hurt me

“I am in my happy place when I am surrounded by my stuff”

No wonder this can be complicated.  Right!  On the one hand its causing me to feel overwhelmed or chaotic but on the other hand I feel these other positive feelings. Ugh!  What do I do?  

Thinking about what I can do to make things easier for today is where our superpower lies.   It can feel so enlightening, empowering and gives us a sense of control over our stuff.

Once you understand what’s holding you back the path forward becomes more clear. 

A Journaling Practice will help guide you on your decluttering journey.  The daily “to do list” helps you to think through what you have accomplished the day before and leads you to think about the important things to focus your attention on today. 

Would you like more info like this? Are you on my email list? I am planning a three part series that only email subscribers will get. This series will include more journaling prompts, guided meditations and tips and inspiration to work on a journaling practice. You can sign up here!

Happy Journaling!

Posted in Clutter, De-Clutter Your Life, decluttering, goal setting, Inspiration, journaling, Organizing | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Journaling Prompts to Help You to Declutter Your Home, Mind and Life

I know what you are thinking.  I am not able to get a handle on my stuff, I am feeling overwhelmed, don’t know where to start or what to do and now you want me to sit down and write in a journal.  Are you kidding me?  I don’t have any time for that! 

Well, I am here to tell you that taking the time will help you to feel more in charge, inspired, confident to get started and ready to dive in with both feet.  It doesn’t have to be a lot of time.  Five or ten minutes a day (or even every second day) is great.  Put it on your calendar or on your to do list for that day.  Whatever will work for you.  

I know I make it sound easy, however, journaling can take a bit of effort.  We need to be in a good space emotionally and also in a place where we won’t be interrupted for a short period of time. This is your journey and the more you put into it, the more you will see your progress.  I really believe that doing this work will actually give you time back. We are making space for us!

The Decluttering Journal is now live and here is the link to purchase. (CAD)  It’s so pretty and I mean really, who doesn’t love a new journal.

I got the idea for the journal after sharing journaling prompts in the Declutter Your Life and Mind Facebook group on a regular basis. You can join us here if you wish. Group members are so insightful with their responses and they have made some amazing strides in their lives and in their homes. 

Here are a few sample prompts for you to get started:

My biggest challenge when it comes to decluttering and organizing my home is…….

The reasons for wanting to work on decluttering and organizing are ……

The one thing I can do today to move forward with my home goals is……..

You might have just a quick short answer or maybe you will write and write and write.  There are no rules. Just allow your pen to flow. Just write and see what comes up for you.  

Examining our deeper thoughts (and why’s for doing this work) will help us to get to the root of our clutter and we will feel more confident and inspired to get moving.  

I would love to hear from you. How did you do with this journaling exercise? Just reply to this email.

Need some accountability? Connect with me here!

Happy Journaling and Decluttering!

Posted in Clutter, De-Clutter Your Life, decluttering, downsizing, Emotional Clutter, goal setting, Inspiration, organize, Organizing, sacred home | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Transform Your Life with Powerful Small Habits

Happy New Year! 

I am actually not into New Years Resolutions.  Shocking, I know.  I do love working on goals though and usually have personal and business goals that I am working on on an ongoing basis.  This year in particular I am thinking more about habits.  

We make resolutions to lose weight, to eat better, get healthy, start exercising, quit smoking or drinking alcohol, or to get organized, etc.  Those are all great areas to work on however, they are big and often we just want the end result.  We haven’t considered the small steps needed to get there. The rate of failure around these goals is huge. 

So, let’s consider this.  What if we think about habits instead?  Habits – which can be like small steps to get to where we want to go.  If you have ever tried to change habits, you know it is not easy.  

I have been reading Atomic Habits by James Clear and wow it is such a game changer!

Here are some ideas from his book:

“The process of behaviour change always starts with awareness. You need to be aware of your habits before you can change them.”

“Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.  Getting one percent better every day counts for a lot in the long run.” 

“The most effective way to change your habits is to focus not on what you want to achieve, but on who you wish to become.”

“Your identity emerges out of your habits.  Every action is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”

Some Easy Habits to Work On: 

Making your bed every day – it feels so good to walk into your bedroom and see that the bed is made. It only takes a couple of minutes (if that) and It means you can lay down and have a nap or maybe meditate for awhile.  (Get Organized)

Folding your laundry when it comes out of the dryer – this saves you time later and avoids those wrinkles that can occur.  It also helps you to stay on top of the laundry which helps you to have clean and unwrinkled clothes when you are looking for what to wear. (Get Organized)

Doing the dishes once or twice a day and keeping up with them – means you have room to cook a meal and to find the dishes and utensils you need when you need them. (Get Organized, Get Healthy)

Tidying up on a daily basis – when you leave a room take something with you to put away or tidy up a bit before bed.  This little hack will pay off in the long run and keep your place looking tidy and less cluttered.  (Get Organized)

Sleeping better – going to bed at a regular time, limiting devices, doing some reading with an actual book before falling asleep, listening to a meditation, etc.  Sleep is so important and helps us to be on our game the next day.  (Get Healthy)

Exercising and moving more  – 10 minutes a day, stretches before bedtime, going to the gym a couple of times a week,  joining a program with others , a 10 minute walk, dancing to a few songs – keeps it doable so that it starts to become a habit. (Get Healthy and Fit)

Eating Better – add something healthy to your menu plan each week. Substitute unhealthy snacks for healthier ones. Limit yourself to one small bowl of chips instead of two. Whatever you can do that makes sense to you if this is your goal.  (Get Healthy and Fit). 

It’s really amazing how these habits can really work together.  

A few habits I am working on:

  • Reading from a book every night before bed. I was using Kindle but it’s too easy to start scrolling and then I can’t sleep.  
  • Writing on a regular basis whether it’s in a journal, for a blog post or a possible book.
  • Learning more about plant based nutrition as we have changed our diets.
  • Ongoing habits of healthier living – yoga, walking (even if its 10 minutes at a time), stretching and meditation.
  • Tidying up each evening before bed.

How is the New Year shaping up for you? Do you set New Years Resolutions or Goals? Are you considering working on small habits instead?

Need more support and guidance? I am just a phone call or an email away. Contact me here if you would like a Complimentary Coffee Chat

Happy Decluttering!

Posted in goal setting, Inspiration, laundry, Organizing, organizing over the holidays, visioning | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Let’s 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 music and the pressure to buy and give as much as possible is everywhere. There is this feeling of I better get this now before it is 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 family and friends. That was certainly a happy time even though we had little money. This 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 that could be a lot of fun.

Anyway, back to now. I believe that things are 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 say that if they “need” something they will just go out and buy it. The thought is “I want to let go of stuff, I really don’t need more clutter!” As we get older and might not be entertaining as much we realize we don’t need to decorate as much. We are ready to donate some of those decorations (early in the season is best). I was reading about people putting these type of items on the Buy Nothing sites and they are snapped up real quick and very much appreciated by the recipients.

Christmas is for the Children

Of course when it comes to children this can be a bit more challenging as Christmas is really for them.  Think back as to how it was when we were little and hopefully you have some good memories. What was your favourite gift or maybe it was an experience? I loved when it was snowy and we would go outside to play (maybe with our new toboggan) and then come in with rosy cold cheeks for a hot chocolate. And then there was the excitement of playing with our new gifts. So fun!

Some ideas for a Simpler Holiday

  • If you must give a gift try to make it a consumable gift – something that you can use – Here are some ideas for Clutter Free Gifts
  • Spend within your means and let others know you are making some changes this year – it’s okay to say no to events, traditions, parties, etc. if they do not feel right for you
  • Pare down your Christmas decorations that you are not using and consider gifting them to someone in need
  • If you love to bake – consider gifting friends and family with some yummy treats
  • Plan an outing for yourself and a friend – a music concert, a walk in the park, a special lunch out, etc.
  • If you are cooking a big dinner, ask for some help from family or friends
  • Give yourself permission to let go of a few things – let go of perfectionism
  • Plan for a new or different tradition
  • Volunteer at an organization where they support vulnerable people
  • Give yourself the Gift of Organization – you are worth it!
  • What else?

As always, I love to hear from you. How are you simplifying the holidays this year?

Posted in families, Inspiration, Organizing, organizing over the holidays, simplify for the holidays | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

What’s Your Clutter and Organizing Style?

Take the quiz and find out more about your Clutter and Organizing Style!

Are you a Minimalist, a Collector, a Sentimentalist or an Organized Chaos Enthusiast?

Knowing more about yourself can be the key to making progress in your home and also in your life. We all have our unique personalities and our own ways of being in the world. There are really no right or wrong answers.

All of these styles have their own set of unique strengths and skills that will help you as you navigate on this journey called life. You are not alone! Many of us have the same styles.

Here are the styles including a few of the traits.

Minimalist

As a Minimalist you prefer to keep your living space clutter-free.

Minimalism is a lifestyle that focuses on simplifying your life, living intentionally with fewer possessions and focusing only on the things you need.

You believe in the philosophy of ‘less is more’ and value simplicity and organization. It means making conscious choices about what you buy and how you live your life. 

Collector

As a Collector you enjoy surrounding yourself with various items that hold sentimental or aesthetic value. 

Your living space reflects your diverse interests and passions. 

You are able to make decisions about donating items from your home that you no longer need.

Sentimentalist

As a Sentimentalist you are strongly influenced by your emotions and lead with your heart, and your living space is filled with cherished memories and mementos.

This can be a wonderful quality to have because it allows you to cherish your experiences and the people you love. However, it can also make it difficult for you to let go of things that are no longer serving you.

Organized Chaos Enthusiast

As an Organized Chaos Enthusiast you thrive in an environment where things may appear messy, but have their own unique order. You enjoy the thrill of finding order in chaos and you have the ability to find patterns and create systems that work for you.

Feeling chaotic yet organized allows you to be creative. You are in your happy place when you are creating even if its messy.

To find out even more about your own personal style take the quiz

All of these styles have their own unique strengths and skills which you will learn about after taking the quiz. Focussing on your strengths can only enhance your life, helping you to move forward with confidence and decluttering both your home and your life.

Need more help? This is a great time to give yourself the gift of Organization. Here is the link to my services. Contact me here for a 20 minute Coffee Chat to make sure we are a good fit or send me an email at kimtremblay@sympatico.ca I would love to meet you!

Happy Decluttering!

Posted in Clutter, Collector, goal setting, Inspiration, Minimalism, organize, Organizing, organizing over the holidays, sentimental items | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Clearing Clutter and the Art of Feng Shui

I am not an expert in this area but I have read a number of books on this subject. One of the first books I read and has been one of my favourites ever since is Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston. I used this book as my bible for quite awhile and fashioned the first talk I did on Decluttering Your Life with this book. Here are a few of the tips I talk about with my peeps.

1. Placement of Furniture

When it comes to your home the placement of furniture can be important.  You want the spaces in your home to have a good flow which allows for good energy.  You need space to move around, sit and have a chat with someone, or maybe do some reading with a good lamp. Think about the activities that you want to do in each of your rooms.  

2. Bedroom

You want your bed to be facing out from your room meaning that the headboard needs to be at a back wall facing the door. (if possible)

You don’t want to have things in your bedroom that do not relate to sleeping, rest, relaxation, intimacy….. you don’t want computers, other electronics, exercise bikes, or anything that is crowding out your space. It is best if it is a peaceful and calm space.

If you want to be in a couple relationship having two end tables and two lamps can be a good way to bring some love into your life and your space.

I have never been a fan of storing things under the bed but sometimes we have small spaces and this can be a good solution –  in Feng shui they would likely say no. However, if you need to do this because of space constraints I would suggest a zippered container or a tote with a lid that closes properly.

3. Big Furniture

Do you have big furniture in your home  – like an old sideboard, entertainment unit or a piano that has been sitting there forever? They can be hard to get rid of.  After awhile we just see through them and they become invisible and just a part of the space. Maybe they are buried under the stuff.  There is always a way to let go of these items though.  Keeping them just clogs up your home and your energy. 

4. Mirrors

You want your mirror facing inward to reflect good energy coming in and not flowing out. Mirrors can multiply things too so you want to be careful of where you are placing them.  They can make your space feel bigger if they are placed well.

5. Entranceways

This is a good area to put your attention to as entranceways are considered to be the mouth of your home and of course that is where the first impression comes from with others but also with yourself when you come home. 

6. Unfinished Projects

Also not good Feng Shui whether its unfinished renovations, things that need to be fixed, unfinished crafts, etc.  The problem is that we know they are there even though we might not be consciously thinking about them.  Make a plan to finish them or donate them to someone who will.

7. Dead Plants

If you have dead plants throw them out.  Also fake flowers or big plants can be okay but once they become really dusty or looking shabby its time to give them a shower in the tub or for them to go.

8. Other People’s Clutter

This could be other people who you live with which can be challenging. It could be that your adult children have left behind their belongings and do not take them because they don’t have the space or maybe they have other reasons. Maybe you were kind enough to allow someone to store some things in your garage and they are still there. This is your home and you get to make decisions about what you have in your space. There are things you can do to help move these situations.

I have a free ebook that might be helpful called How to Help Others to Declutter

There is so really much more we could talk about when it comes to Feng shui and so much to learn. I am fascinated by this topic. What about you?

Let me know if you would like to hear more about this subject or if you have any further questions?

Posted in Clutter, De-Clutter Your Life, feng shui, Inspiration, organize, Organizing, sacred home, space clearing | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments