TOP 5 QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN 300 X 300

I might, maybe, someday, perhaps use that…but will you really?

In my experience people’s homes are often filled with what I call aspirational clutter.  This is all the stuff that you think you might one day use or you use to use it in the past and ‘maybe’ you will use again one day.  (but probably not!)

These items include:

  • Old craft and hobby stuff, for crafts and hobbies you no longer do or participate in.  This includes crafts and hobbies you thought you might like so you bought that old car to refurbish, that needle point to do, that sports racket but you never actually got around to doing them or you started and realized you did not like them!

  • Odds and ends that you keep stored in many containers in the garage and junk drawers because you never know when you need one of those gizmos or whatnots. 

  • All those magazines and books that you might read one day.  I’m not talking about your favorite books or those sentimental books you keep on the shelf (that is more sentimental clutter), I’m talking about those books and reading material that you planned to read but it has been over a year (or more) and you still have not cracked it open and probably never will.

  • Recipes & recipe books full of potential new meals that you might, but probably wont, try one day because it is easier to just fall back on the family favorites or you just look up new recipes online now.

One of the hardest things about getting rid of this aspirational clutter is getting over the money that was spent on the stuff that you did not use.  So you hold onto it forever thinking you may one day actually do something with it. In the mean time your home is so full of good intentions that you have no room to live today!  What is that cost to you and your mental state having so much clutter around?

My questions to clients when dealing with aspirational clutter are:

  1. How long has this ‘stuff’ been lying around your home?  (the answer is normally many years)

  2. If you have not touched it 3 years or more do you REALLY think you will ever use it? I mean REALLY and HONESTLY?

  3. If the time comes that you need this doodad or gizmo will you actually be able to find it (is it organized and stored in a permanent home)? or will you end up having to go buy a new one because you have no idea where it is?

  4. How much square footage does this stuff take up and is it worth the price you pay per square foot to store it long term?

  5. What would your life be like if you let this go and cleared it out?

These questions are meant to stimulate thought about this aspirational clutter.  It is not my job to decided for you what you should keep and what you should release.  It is my passion and my job to get you thinking about what you surround yourself with, why you keep the things you keep and how it is serving you in your life today. Surrounding yourself with too much aspirational clutter can invoke feelings of guilt for not ever getting around to using the stuff and feelings of overwhelm if there is just too much.  It is time to let go of the might, maybe & someday and make room for TODAY!!  

The final question is always....Does it stay or go?

If you are ready to tackle the clutter and need some help, then connect with me, I can help you move forward towards releasing the clutter!

Happy Decluttering!

WORK SMART CREATE A SPACE THAT SUPPORTS YOUI cannot sit still. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a wiggler by nature. I have wiggled in any chair I was put in since I was a little girl. My body's natural state is movement. So sitting at a desk writing blogs, articles, editing videos, posting status updates, writing a book or any other sitting at a desk task is not a natural state for me. The creative part is there...the content is inside of me. But taking the time to sit still to get it out is painful. (that is why I like doing videos hehe)

When I spend too much time in a chair my body protest loud and clear...sore back, sore hips and just generally feeling yucky. Over the past year or so my solution to that was to avoid sitting at my desk, avoid any work that required me to sit at my desk and generally avoid work that was not hands on and required movement. This year I made a pack to change that. I started a LMI course called Effective Personal Productivity to learn to be more focused and use my time better. Through this course I had to look at all the time I was wasting procrastinating. the lesson was 'time is not wasted in hours or days but in minutes'. I wasted A LOT of minutes avoiding being in my office at my desk. I would start, then get up every few minutes to do 'something'.

Because of that avoidance, I had let my office get out of control. It was messy (yes don't freak but even organizers get messy sometimes, at least this one does). I had moved around some pictures and never got new ones put up, I love plants but not a one was in my office! Because I was avoiding being at my desk, I avoided looking after my space. Because my space was driving me crazy, I avoided it, so it got worse. Because my mind was focused on my uncomfortable desk, I kept the pattern going- I could not work in there. The more I focused on not being able to work in there, the more chaotic the space became.

Once I became aware of what I was doing and what I was focusing on, I decided I had enough of the chaos pattern, understanding the root cause (an uncomfortable desk), I took action and did something about it. I took some time for my office and I to spend some quality time together!

Here are the 10 things I did:

1. First I made the decision to make my office space 'yummy' –I wanted my space to feel inspiring, look great and smell good!

2. I designed my dream stand up desk and then whined to my hubby to build it for me – because he is both handsome and handy!!
Some Assembly Required

ONCE THE DESK WAS BUILD - WHICH TOOK A COUPLE OF WEEKS OF PLANNING, ORDERING AND WHINING- THE REST OF THIS LIST HAPPENED OVER A WEEKEND!

 3. I decluttered old paperwork that had gathered and got rid of junk that came out of my old desk, as I cleaned it out preparing for a move to the new stand up desk.

Sort Purge4. Since I was in the mood, I also cleaned out the office closet and reorganized it.

5. I watched a marathon of Netflix to keep me company, mindless stuff that played in the background as I worked.

6. I opened the window to let some fresh air flow into the space.

7. I went and reclaimed a favourite painting to hang above my desk.

8. I went out and bought a couple of plants.

9. I posted my old desk on Kijiji and sold it!

SOLD

10. I sat in my office Sunday night, vanilla candle burning to fill the air with sweet scent and I planned my week…feeling tired but inspired once more!

I am now the proud owner of the most beautiful, practical stand up desk a girl could want in an office that inspires me to take action. I can stand, wiggle, dance all I want and STILL get work done. I am wiggling as I write this post lol.

stand up desk

So this is a reminder to pay attention to your own habits and body. Figure out what you need and create a space to work that supports you. Create the space you need to work comfortably and that promotes your own health. Standing desks are awesome, we are not meant to sit for long periods of time (well at least I am not)!

What issues are you dealing with that seem to be a habit that stops you from being your most awesome? Do you need to fix your work area? declutter? Get organized? Get focused? If so give me a call, I can help! My Declutter Packages are customized to your needs and takes you through my 6 step process to get you on track and working smart.

Kim

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