Writing with a Focus on Clutter

As someone who has a lot going on, it can be hard to settle and actually do some writing.  We can have good intentions but somehow writing can be left on the back burner.  I sometimes feel like it is not that important or I am just wasting time. Or maybe I just feel like I won’t know what to write.  Can you relate to this?

Some of you know that I spent a few days at a Soulful Writer’s Retreat recently. I learned how important it is to be grounded and in a good space to write. Even if you don’t know what you are going to write about, if you are in that calm and sacred space, it will come.

Another thing I learned at this Retreat is that writing on the computer and writing freehand are so different.  I have switched to typing on the computer for business, blogs, etc. but writing freehand really got me slowing down my brain and allowing whatever to come up.  

I want to share one of my writings with you.  It was the first one we did at the Retreat and the theme was to write a story about a character.  I wrote about a possible client (totally made up) and I just wrote about what I know.  Here is the link to A Story About Ada.  

I have been working along with some of my peeps who have purchased The Decluttering Journal.  This journal focuses on decluttering both physical and emotional clutter which really work well together.  Writing with a focus on your clutter will help you to look at your stuff with a renewed sense of awareness. Really examining and paying attention to your thoughts, emotions, beliefs and actions will help you to get to the root cause of your clutter challenges. 

We do this by following the prompts in the journal.  Here are a few examples:

“ I would love my home to look and feel…….”

“ I build courage and confidence to care for my home by……..”

“ It is hard to let go of things because……”

This was where I was in the journal.

“Write a thank you letter to an object I want to let go of but I am feeling resistance”

I started thinking about what I want to be doing with my time.  My thoughts went to a quilt I made many years ago.  I really loved that quilt made with Mennonite fabrics but….…now it is worn out, faded and ripped in places. And it has been tucked away. I asked myself, “do I really want to spend the time needed to fix this?”  And the answer was no.  “do I have a purpose for this quilt?” Again the answer was no.  

But then…… I was doing yoga one night and I thought “what if one of my grands comes across it at some point and they would maybe want to fix it or just be happy to find it.

So, this came up for me because I am meeting with friends in August to work on some UFO’s (Unfinished Objects) I was not even thinking about fixing this quilt and maybe I was wanting to start something new. However, after journaling on it and thinking about it, I have decided to repair it.  It is a Star Blanket after all. It will need a few new pieces of fabric added. I won’t replace the faded fabrics as I think they add character. I guess I just needed to work through it by journaling and contemplating on it. Actually, I feel excited to fix this up and actually use it again.

From a happy client

“I really like the prompts. Who would ever say to themselves “the physical clutter in my life includes ……” but there it is in the journal. I actually did an inventory and looked at the list and realized that I was keeping things that I didn’t need for occasions that would probably never happen, so I am in the process of clearing out stuff”.

Have you purchased The Decluttering Journal yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Tell your friends. It really is life changing.

Happy Journaling!

Posted in De-Clutter Your Life, goal setting, home goals, Inspiration, journaling, mental health, organize your thoughts, Organizing, visioning | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Making Time for What’s Important

What do you think when you hear this expression “You’ve Got Time”. Maybe you think about the Orange is the New Black series and you are now singing the song in your head. Yes, I guess the women in prison have time, lots of time to think for sure.

But you have time too. In fact, we all have the same twenty four hours in a day. How we use them is really up to us. I heard or read somewhere that we never want to say “I need to kill time” Instead say…… “How can I spend this gift of time I have” So much better, right!

Do You Have Time Clutter?

. being so busy with outside events that you come home too tired to do anything else

. keeping busy in your home puttering, moving things around and not really making any obvious progress 

. doing things that others expect of you and not having a voice

. numbing yourself with scrolling on Social Media, Netflix, Video Games, etc.

. keeping yourself busy because it’s hard to slow down and relax

. You feel attached to being productive but continue to avoid certain tasks

. spending time worrying, ruminating, looking for things, researching, thinking about doing something but not taking action, and so much more…….

“My time gets cluttered with………

This is one of the writing prompts in The Decluttering Journal and it was also posed in the Declutter Your Life and Mind Facebook Group this past week. A lot of people talked about the time they spend on social media, video games, Netflix, etc. There is really nothing wrong with any of these things. We all need to find a way to unwind and to give our minds a break. It only becomes a problem when it is too much and at the expense of other things that need to be done. A healthy balance is needed. We might need to set some boundaries with others and even with ourselves. 

What is getting in the way of doing what you want?

What are you doing that you no longer want to be doing? 

What is something you wish you had more time for?

Consider tracking what you do over the week to see how you are spending your time. 

As always, I would love to hear from you. Just reply to kimtremblay@sympatico.ca with any thoughts or questions or comment below.

Posted in Inspiration, journaling, organize your thoughts, Organizing, support, time management, too many projects | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Thoughts about Releasing Emotional Clutter

Releasing emotional clutter is about letting go of anything that no longer serves us and is not nourishing to our soul. Emotional clutter is often not visible. We might not even be aware of it. It can really weigh us down and keep us from moving forward.

It could be negative thoughts we have about ourselves, limiting beliefs about what is possible and other things like unhealthy relationships, bad habits, addictions, debt and old patterns of behaviour. 

Here are some other ways that we hang on

. Ruminating

. Overthinking 

. Focusing on the negative

. Worrying about things outside of our control

. Holding onto resentment, past hurt, anger, and sadness

. Keeping a mental to-do list, including our own dreams and goals that maybe we are not pursuing

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on” Havelock Ellis

I found this quote and I think it makes so much sense. We want to let go of things yet……..we often feel very attached as well. It feels a bit like a tug of war. 

There are reasons why we want to hold on. So no wonder it is challenging and possibly confusing to make these changes we want to make.

. it’s easier not to let go 

. we are comfortable with the way things are

. if I let go then what will that mean for me moving forward

. if I hang on to this emotion, then I don’t have to change

. A fear or worry of the unknown

. I am hanging on because there has not been any closure on the situation 

. I cannot let go of this dream that I have had forever even though it may not be realistic any more

What are some of the ways that you can clear emotional clutter?

It takes self awareness, being mindful and paying attention to what is going on with our thoughts and beliefs. A mindfulness practice can really help as well as writing and journaling. Talking to a trusted friend or mentor, praying, tapping or cord cutting are great tools. 

Letting go can mean that you are making room for something new

Give yourself permission to let go

We have the power to let it be – Accept, Forgive and Move on 

I find that when people are struggling with physical clutter, it really isn’t about the physical stuff. There is usually so much more going on. It is often the emotional clutter that is the culprit and can really be the root of the clutter. Working on the emotional stuff that comes up will help you to see more clearly and to move the physical clutter. I love to help you to see what lies just beneath the surface of the clutter and how you can move forward. 

Would you like to chat with me? Check my schedule here!

Happy Decluttering!.

Posted in Emotional Clutter, feeling overwhelmed, goal setting, home goals, Inspiration, journaling, mental health, Organizing, sentimental items | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Two Creative Strategies for Organizing Your Thoughts and Your Projects

You are going around in circles and don’t know what to focus on?

You are feeling so overwhelmed that you just want to go back to bed and read a good book?

You have so many interests and projects that you feel scattered and unproductive?

This is one of the prompts in The Decluttering Journal This is where I am in the journal!

Do A Brain Dump or a Mind Map? (they are similar)

A Brain Dump is a great way to get over the overwhelm of too much going on or too much to do – getting it all out of your head and down on paper can relieve some of that stress.

  • Get everything down on paper and out of your head
  • No need to overthink it or worry about what you are writing
  • Assess your list and scratch off anything that is not important, realistic or doable right now
  • Pick one to three things that you really need or want to focus on
  • Break the ideas down into small steps
  • Make a step by step list of how you want to achieve this (example: booking in some dates on your calendar)
  • Start by focusing on that first small step and take action
  • If you are still struggling with this take some time out, do some self care, go for a walk while you consider what you need, do more writing, talk to someone…….check out this post on staying focussed

This is a great way to figure out what is most important to focus on and to narrow down your choices as to what to work on first.

Mind Mapping is another great tool that can help you to organize your thoughts in a way that helps you to see things in a different way and to make a plan to work towards your goal.

You start with the main idea and then ask questions and/or build from there.  This is a good brainstorming exercise that can help to clarify something that is challenging or to look at your options to solve a problem. 

A great example could be “I need to get rid of an old couch or other big piece of furniture”  Really there is always a way to do it. Brainstorm as many ideas as you can think of that could work for you. Make a list of what needs to be done so that you can get to this goal. Make a plan that will work for you.

Here is a simplified version I made for you when planning to clear out a garage. Of course we could add so much more. Keep it simple and then break it down into smaller steps. Use sticky notes on the wall. Be creative and have fun!

Mind Mapping can be used in so many ways. Perhaps you want to downsize, you are planning a move, a small project or decluttering room by room. Really the possibilities are endless.

Where do you feel stuck? Can you think of how you could use these organizing tools to make some progress? Comment below!

Happy Decluttering!

Posted in feeling overwhelmed, journaling, mental health, organize your thoughts, Organizing, Strategies to Declutter, too many projects | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

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!

Posted in Organizing | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

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” 

This Journaling Practice will help you to uncover what is holding your back from decluttering your life and mind. The prompts will inspire you to make a plan to work on the areas in your home and life that are stressing you out. 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.  It’s time to take action on your goals.

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