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downsizing takes a toll on your emotions 1People often underestimate the toll that decluttering and downsizing can have on their emotions.  Don’t be fooled into thinking that it is an easy task because others tell you it should be - ‘just let it go’, ‘just get rid of it’, they say.  Well, I am here to tell you that it does not work that way.  Even if you are ready and willing to let go of your stuff, even if you have made the decision that it is time to reduce what you own, even if you have a strong why and lots of excitement about what comes next in your life…even when you are totally prepared and ready to do it…It will still take an emotional toll on you as you go through the process. Some will be affected a lot more than others, but in my experience everyone has moments that their emotions get the better of them.

Going through your stuff piece by piece is a grueling task even for the seasoned ‘declutterer’.  Knowing you have to downsize your stuff and making decision, after decision, after decision about what stays and what goes, adds up to a lot of emotional energy.  At some point that energy can get depleted, emotions rubbed raw and reactions happen!  Be patient with yourself and others as you go through this process, allow for some time to decompress when you feel the need.  Allow the emotions to come, honour them, feel them and then deal with them the best you can.

Taking a break during the grueling process can help, taking a step away to regroup so you can prepare to keep going.

TRY:

  • Going for a walk to get some fresh air

  • Work out at the gym to burn off any excess stress

  • Get out of the house and treat yourself to nice dinner out

  • Take an evening off and watch some mindless TV – preferably a good comedy or feel good show.

  • Connect with others- Come to our Clutter Support Facebook group to get some inspiration and support to keep you going www.ClutterSupportGroup.com

Our stuff has physical connections with our emotions - letting go, no matter how ready you are, will trigger some pain, regret and sadness.  Be okay with that, be prepared for that, be real with that and keep moving forward with less!

Here to support you through the process,

Kim

HOW MANY MEMORIES ARE ENOUGH 300x300We store a lot of our memories in stuff. A LOT OF STUFF! Which translates into a lot of memories. So how many memories are enough?

When we think of items that have memories we often think about the pictures, the little ornament or magnet we bought on a trip, the family heirlooms that have been passed down. But in actuality everything we own has a memory attached to it. Where it came from, who bought it, why we bought it, what purpose it has played in our life, how long it has been around, etc.

I am writing on this topic because I had a bit of a trigger last night making supper. I have a strainer that I bought at this cute little kitchen store in New Hampshire when my husband and I were on our 20th anniversary trip (6 years ago)…it’s a strainer…used to drain pasta & wash veggies…nothing magical, kind a cool as it collapses, but still just a strainer...yet it has a memory attached to it. It started to fall apart and get yucky awhile ago, I have a new one that I use, yet I hesitated throwing it out. Why? Because it was attached to a good memory! (See even professional declutter experts can get emotionally attached to memories and things) I know that the memory of that trip will not go away because the strainer does, and I know that all the memories of us using the strainer are not that important to keep in the overall scheme of life…it has fulfilled its purpose for us and its time to recycle it.

There are lots of things in our life we don’t think too much about the story, until it is time to declutter and let it go…then the memories and stories come flooding back…the fry pan you got when you moved into your first apartment, the dress you wore to the Christmas party in 1998, the wine glasses someone gave you for Christmas 20 years ago… all these things have stories…some more emotional than others but attachment comes from the stories and memories we have of these ‘things’. We may not have used them or looked at them in decades but when it comes to making the decision to let it go…the memories come flooding back and we hesitate, because we do not want to lose the memory.

We have decades’ worth of experiences and memories all rolled up into the stuff that surrounds us. Pictures, mementoes, towels, clothing, appliances, dishes, tools, etc…you name it and we have a story about it.

The question is how many memories are enough? What memories are the most important to keep? How much of this stuff attached to these memories do we actually need to keep? When it comes time to part, can you be okay with living with the memory and not the thing? And if the memory is lost with the item…can you live without it? Do you really need to keep ALL those memories, and do you have room in your brain for them all…and still have room for new ones?

How many memories are enough?

Will the world come to an end if you let go of some of those memories? The experiences you had, the time you spend with that stuff, will still be inside of you, will still be part of you past…but does it have to take up so much space, that there is no room for the future?

Here are some clues on when it might be time to declutter the old memories and make room in your life for new ones

- If you are tripping over stuff when walking through your home – and you don’t have a toddler living there…It might be time to declutter!

- If you regularly come into contact with things in your home that make you feel angry, sad or any other negative emotion…It might be time to declutter!

- If you have cupboards stuffed full of things that you never use and don’t really need… It might be time to declutter!

- If your counters are stacked full of items that have no home, because all your space is already taken…it might be time to declutter!

- If you have storage rooms or storage units full of boxes of stuff that you have not looked at or touched in years… It might be time to declutter!

- If you find you are constantly frustrated with your space, overwhelmed with all the things coming at you and your brain is ready to explode…it might be time to declutter!

If you are ready to declutter and release some of those old memories, come join our Kaos Solutions Facebook Group to get the support you need. We are here to help you through the chaos of decluttering and downsizing your stuff.

Hope to see you there!

Kim

How do I organize myself when travelling back and forth between the Cottage or trailer and home?

This was a question that I was asked this week, and I think it makes a great topic for today's blog.

Get Organized travelling Back Forth Between cottage2FTrailer and Home This Summer 300x300

This is the time of year that a lot of people are continuously moving back and forth from home to cottage/trailers and it can get quite confusing to keep track of all the things you have at each place, not to mention what you bring back and forth.  Inevitably you will end up at the cottage without that important ingredient for Friday evenings meal because you could have sworn you had some there…but in fact it is in your home kitchen cupboard.

Planning and organizing are key in moving back and forth.  Deciding which location is home base for the summer helps in planning…do you spend more time at the cottage and only occasionally go home?  Or do you spend the week at home and weekend at the cottage?  For the purpose of this blog I am going to concentrate on those that are weekend cottagers/campers.

For starters I suggest that you have a specific spot in your home that is designated as the cottage/trailer ‘to go’ location. Have a cottage bin ready to load in this location, something that is easy for you to just drop things in as you think of them thoughout the week. 

In the Kitchen:

Duplicate - The simple answer is to try and have duplicates of all the basics, most people do this anyway.

Keep a grocery list for each place separately – This is key so you know what you need at each place not just what you need.  As most people have phones now, the ongoing lists can be kept in digital format or use a shopping app, there are thousands out there to choose from.  I personally just keep it simple and use notes on my phone.

Take a picture of your fridge and main pantry at the end of the weekend – taking a picture of the cottage/trailer fridge and main food pantry will help you visually see what is there instead of trying to remember at the end of the week when you are getting ready to get weekend groceries in town.  Between this and your list you should be good to go!

Plan the menu - I always suggest menu planning, that is one of the key ways to stay organized and plan for meals and grocery shopping.  Whether home or cottage having a general menu plan will take a lot of pressure and stress of you when its time to feed everyone. Fro more info on menu planning check out this blog – Menu Planning Made Easy

In the Closet:

Keep it there- Keep the main items that are a must have at the cottage/trailer right there.  Especially things like bathing suites that are not easy to live without if you forget to bring them back.  For the very few must haves get accustom to hand washing them so they don’t have to be taken home to wash and possibly forgotten there. There is nothing as disappointing as getting to the trailer only to realize you have to spend the weekend without a bathing suit.

Travel with a basic wardrobe – If you often find yourself Sunday evening not wanting to go back to town, but then fussing over the fact that you did not bring your work clothes with you…then get in the habit of having at least one back up work outfit on standby for just such an emergency.  But in reality you should ALWAYS plan to not want to go back home Sunday night hehe

Give everyone their own travel bags that go back and forth- keep everyone’s things separate and teach kids the responsibility of packing what they want to bring back and forth (with supervision if they are young).  Keeping everyone's things separate makes it easier to supervise what is being brought back and forth.  Just remember to check younger kids bags for the essentials.  We once went away for a weekend and I mistakenly thought my kids were responsible enough to pack on their own.  My daughter had 3 suitcases all packed and ready go, so I just assumed that she had what she needed…We arrived at our destination only to discover that ALL 3 suitcases were full of stuffed toys and blankets…but not one stich of clothing.   Yup, nothing but the jacket that I had asked if she had before we left haha.  Now maybe this was her ploy to get new clothes, but I can assure you that the lack of stores in the area we were left her with just a few basics for the week J  After that I checked or made a list and made sure she had what she needed before we left each time.

In the Bathroom:

Duplicate - This includes toothbrushes, toothpaste, soaps and for all us gals have the basics like face cream and basic make up at each location as the possibility that you will forget your makeup bag some weekend is quite high.

Dedicated Travel Case - For all the stuff you cannot have duplicated,like medications, then make sure you have a travel case with these basics that go everywhere you go-  it becomes like your purse and travels with you back and forth.  

Laundry Essentials:

Separate color laundry basket for cottage/trailer - If your laundry facilities are at home and you are bringing things back and forth, then have laundry baskets that are easily identified as belonging to the cottage.  Keeping the laundry that comes home separate from home laundry and setting it aside in the designated cottage ‘to go’ spot will keep you from forgetting it when heading back to the cottage. Always check the dryer before you leave for the weekend.

The juggling of 2 living spaces throughout the summer can get confusing and frustrating once in awhile but the memories and fun had at these summer getaways are well worth the efforts.  A little planning and organizing can go a long way to make the back and forth a little less crazy!

Do you have any tips or tricks you use to stay organized between your cottage/trailer and home?  If so share them with us in the Kaos Support Facebook Group!

Happy Summering!

Kim