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THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES 300 X300Ah... memories! Are your memories attached to things? Remember the time you took that trip to Florida (which now are stored in many trinkets you got on that trip all those other trips), the smell of grandma’s home (which is now stored in your kitchen, full of her old baking pans and utensils), the way little Johnny looked in those sweet little overalls (which are now stored in your basement in a box with other sweet clothes of your kids)

I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful senior lady the other day, helping her unpack and settle into her new bachelor apartment at a senior’s home. She had gone through several transitions over the past year from having an unexpected move from her home into a 2-bedroom apartment and then only a few short months late having to move again to this new location due to illness.

I was reminded about how we collect a lot of our memories in ‘things’ but at some point we cannot physically keep it all, and we don’t always know when that time will come for us. As I unpacked her worldly possessions she reminisced about how she had gone from 75 boxes (her first move) to only a few boxes and possessions…each precious piece she kept had a story and memory behind it and I was regaled with stories as I unpacked. But the one thing she kept mentioning was how relieved she was to not have to deal with 75 boxes this time around.

Our houses are being overrun by the past, by the physical reminders of these precious memories we can’t seem to let go of. This includes the aforementioned travel trinkets, pictures, old dishes, children's clothes, family heirlooms, and more. And these things are all being stored in boxes, bags, in totes, on shelves, in cupboards – anywhere and everywhere in our homes. 80% of them never seeing the light of day until it's time to move.

I always ask clients to think about how they are honoring the memories of this stuff if they are shoving it in a closet and complaining about it being in the way. How much space do you really need to live? How much stuff do you really need and use? Are you surround yourself with yesteryear’s trinkets and sentimental clutter? Are your memories attached to things?

If you are ready to release some of this sentimental clutter and downsize for your life today here are some tips: 


7 TIPS ON LETTING GO OF SENTIMENTAL CLUTTER:

  1. TAKE A PICTURE - the digital footprint takes up a lot less space than keeping the actual item.

  2. SAVE ONE TO REPRESENT MANY - If you have a collection of similar items pick a favorite to keep the memory alive. A single favorite baby outfit, One of the teacups from your grandma’s collection or a Mickey Mouse from all your Disney visits.

  3. GIVE IT NEW LIFE BY GIVING YOUR STUFF TO SOMEONE ELSE - Give your stuff new life by giving them to someone else. Think about how you honor the items by giving them away- if you have too many tables, dishes and useful things that other people need, are you allowing them to fulfill their role by keeping them hidden in your basement taking up space but not being used.

  4. TAKE TIME FOR THE MEMORIES - Take a stroll down memory lane, just don't get lost there.  Take a minute to reminisce and be sentimental. Say a little thank you for the memories and good times and then let it go.

  5. RELEASE THE NEGATIVE ENERGY - If it has bad memories…get it out of your space! If you look at the object and all you can think of is memories that make you sad, mad, resentful or any other negative emotion then let it go. Life is too precious and short to get lost in the negative sentiments. 

  6. CRY IF YOU WANT TO - Understand that feeling sad and wanting to cry is a normal part of the process. Embrace the feelings, let them flow and then let it go. It is all part of mourning the release of a cherished item.

  7. BE OPEN TO HELP - Be understanding with yourself if you cannot do it alone. Sometimes we all need someone to help us through tough times, get someone who is understanding, compassionate but cans still challenge you to help you move past the sentimental attachment and see your stuff as stuff! If you don’t have someone like this in your life, then give me a call…it is my passion to help people gently move through this process and release their clutter.

Letting go of sentimental clutter can be an emotionally draining process, but in the end can be freeing.  Sometimes circumstances force us to take action like my client, but I like to think we can make these choices on our own terms before it is too late.  Releasing what you no longer need, clearing your space for living in the NOW and as a bonus ensuring the burden of clearing out all those memories do not get passed down to our loved ones.

 

types of clutter 300 x 300

Have you ever thought about what kind of clutter you have messing up your space and filling your storage areas? besides a bunch of “stuff” taking up valuable real estate in your home there are some distinct kinds of clutter we collect.

I am going to break down into categories what I encounter on a regular basis with my clients, so you can better understand what kind of clutter you have. Each category has distinct characteristics and is often accompanied by some internal connection.  Paying attention to what kind of clutter can help with releasing the clutter.


Here are the types of clutter:


Things without a home- these are the things the never got put away and never assigned a permanent home. In effect they are homeless and travel from space to space in your home.

Needs Repair – broken things that you have the ‘intention’ to maybe someday fix

Valuable but useless – these are the things you or someone spent a lot of money one…but are never used, never needed and not loved

Abundance Clutter - Too many clothes, too many gadgets, too much food.  More than we will ever need or use.

Bargain Clutter – It was on sale…It was Free…It was cheaper to buy in bulk.

Guilt Clutter – Gifts, hand me downs, inherited treasures from others. 

Aspirational Clutter – We might, maybe, someday do something with this stuff.  Maybe!

Sentimental Clutter – Memories and keepsakes from times gone by.

Paper Clutter – I think this is self explanatory.

Trash – Broken beyond repair, old, worn out.  Stuff that has done it’s duty!


I challenge you to take note of the type of clutter in your space today.  Taking notice is the first step in understanding where the clutter is coming from in the first place and being able to move toward reducing and conquering your clutter once and for all.

As always, if you find yourself in need of help, connect with me to chat about how my team and I can help you Release The Clutter!


Happy Decluttering,

Kim

Decluttering Your Clothes SeasonallyIt’s that time of year for us up here in the northern hemisphere, where seasons are changing and we start to haul out our cool summer clothing…and stash away, for a few months, the cold weather garments that keep up warm in the cold Canadian winters.

I typically use this time to go through my clothes and get rid of anything that I did not wear over the season that just passed and release anything that no longer fits- whether it physically no longer fits or it just does not fit who I am now.  If I have not worn it through the past season, I let it go. If I wore it once or twice but didn't really love it, I let it go. 

My biggest advice to any client is the constant reminder to be living in the NOW, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you USE NOW in your life
  • What do you NEED NOW
  • What do you LOVE NOW


Perhaps the stuff cluttering up your closet was a perfect fit in seasons passed, but in life we are always changing and so do our needs, tastes and desires.  What good is a piece of clothing that hangs in the closet and never sees the light of day? 

Be grateful for all that you have, thank all your clothing for the use that you got out of them and release all those that you no longer need.  Releasing them to allow them to go on to their next assignment and clear that dead energy out of your space.

If you have stuff that you bought but never wore – because it just did not look as good once you got it home - be thankful for the experience of shopping for it and buying it…maybe that was all it was suppose to be for you.  Now release it from your space!

Switching seasonal clothing is a perfect time to evaluate what you wear NOW and release the unused stuff.

Happy Decluttering

Kim

Leaky bottles and other broken thingsIt was a rainy weekend here in the Maritimes.  Although it was tempting to just craw under the covers and not do anything, I was in an energetic mood and felt the need to do something that required movement...So I decided to reorganize my kitchen cupboards and declutter some stuff that was no longer useful to us. 

I actually started in a small cupboard with all our water bottles in it, after the girls were complaining that some of the bottles leaked.  My response was 'well if they leak why do you keep putting them back in the cupboard' (I don't use most of them so I have no idea)? Their answer was 'we didn't know what to do with them'...Ummm throw them out? 

They were taken aback at first, then quickly realized that that I was brilliant....Okay maybe in reality they realized they already knew that answer...They were just waiting for me to do it or to get permission to throw them out.  After I empowered them with this all mighty decision making power, with great gusto they went through them and chucked out the broken, leaky bottles! We now have a cupboard half full of perfectly usable bottles!

Do you have stuff that gets stuck in your home or office because it 'use to be useful' but is now broken and unusable? does that stuff get stuck back in its original home 'just for now' until you decide to do something with it? How long do you keep it lying around?  How much of those unmade decisions are cluttering up your space? 

If you need permission to throw out broken unusable stuff, then okay:  By the power vested in me, by the 12 years of experience as a clutter coach, I am now officially giving you permission to chuck it out.  Go...Do It Now!  Don't let old crap take up any more of you space and energy.  Let it go!!!

If you are still not convinced and need more support to get the job done then check out the FREE Kaos Support Group on Facebook.  It is a place to ask questions, get support and connect with others who are going through the declutter process as well.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/kaossupport/

Happy Decluttering!

Kim

 

Hug a treeThe Daily Exhale: Hug A Tree

I have been having a crazy couple of days...things were not going the way I wanted them too, I was not feeling well and generally feeling a little overwhelmed when I realized it was only Tuesday and there was still plenty of time to regroup and make the most of the week.  but first I needed to take a little breather.  For me the best place to decompress and breathe is in the woods, which I am lucky enough to live in walking distance to the beautiful Centennial Park.  

So here I am in the woods, talking myself through the tough stuff and releasing my worries to the trees.  Best way to do that is get up close and personal...go hug a tree.  Mother nature has wonderful healing powers and I know she can handle anything I release to her.  

The next time you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, go find a little piece of nature and touch it...feel it, smell the flowers, touch the leaves, hug the tree!  Feel that negative energy release from you and send it on it's way!

Wishing you all peace and calm!

xox Kim