Too Much Stuff? Choose Simplicity

In more than 30 years of working as a Professional Organizer, it is still apparent to me that most of us have too much stuff. Even when we take time to purge, there’s still too much. Recent travels through 12 western states and two Canadian provinces brought this to my attention more profoundly. We saw mini-storage facilities in nearly every town we went through (mostly on roads less traveled).  From my point of view, too many people are willing to pay way too much to store stuff they have no room for in their living quarters. This has prompted me to declare a theme for the coming year of SIMPLICITY! If this is something that calls to you, here’s a process that could help all of us let go and lighten up.

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It’s About Time!

When we think about the word “time,” it can conjure up a number of phrases that make it sound like our enemy—time crunch, time constraints, killing time and, more frequently, ”there’s never enough time.” It works much better if we can see time as our ally and make it work for us rather than against us. So I invite you to practice taking time or making time for the things that are most important to you.

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Letting Go

Letting Go can be a very challenging, difficult and emotional process, AND, it can be very freeing and create much joy and delight!

One of the most frequently asked questions I am asked is, “How do I let go of things?” It is often followed by the comment, “It’s so hard!” This inquiry prompted me to co-create my first workshop in 1999 called, “Letting Go & Lightening Up—In Your Mind, Your Home, Your Office & Your Life” (which was the foundation for my book, Conscious Order: Clear Your Mind, Leave Clutter Behind).

What I’ve discovered over the years is that when we have lots of clutter in our spaces and our life, there is often lots of clutter in the spaces of our mind.

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Shedding the Shoulds and Shame

How many times a day do you use the word SHOULD?

I encourage you to pay attention to your “SHOULD-ing.” It is a word that can be very depleting and problematic. It can keep you from moving forward and getting things done.

Louise Hay (author of many New Thought self-help books, including You Can Heal Your Life) is the first person who helped me recognize how powerful and disempowering the word SHOULD is. When we use the word SHOULD, it feels like it is coming from someone outside of ourselves—a parent, a sibling, a boss, a partner, a friend. It sometimes feels like an external condemnation of our putting something off or not meeting someone else’s expectations. Yes, you may SHOULD on yourself, and you can choose to do so, but, think about it, how does it make you feel? Usually pretty rotten!

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Dealing With Change

We often hear that “change is inevitable,” but our ability to deal with change can make the difference between joy and despair, fulfillment and disappointment. This quote from American author William Arthur Ward describes it well:

Change, like sunshine, can be a friend or a foe, a blessing or a curse, a dawn or a dusk.

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The ABC’s of Starting a New Chapter in Your Life

In recent years, I’ve become much more aware of how our life can be divided into chapters. Whether we’re sorting photos and memorabila, going through books and papers, even kitchen appliances and dishes, or sports equipment and hobby supplies, it’s interesting to note what we hold on to from earlier chapters of our life, as well as what we might need (or not need) for future chapters.

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Organizing: Some Favorite Tips to Get Started

As summer approaches, some of us wish we could get SOMEthing done in the next few weeks (or months). Here are a few thoughts and tips that might help.

1. Recognize that how you use your time is a product of your own choices. Take time to choose some of the simple tactics below to get you started.

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A New Approach to Getting Organized

As we begin the New Year, there are many words of advice written, especially about resolutions and goals. As I’ve mentioned in earlier writings, for the last ten years or so, I’ve been resistant to making New Year’s resolutions and goals, mainly because it’s always felt like I was setting myself up for failure…again. Does this sound familiar?

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Organizing and Coping with Moving, Remodeling, Delays and Stress

We bought “the perfect house” five months ago. We had pre-qualified for our loan, mapped out “the perfect plan” to sort, pack, make some changes in our new house, have a moving sale, and then move in. There was plenty of time, we thought!

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Fall is About Change – Part II/Papers!

In Part I, I suggested that each time we move, we have another opportunity to do some shedding—to “let go and lighten up.” And I promised I would share some of the ways I’ve been able to make changes in my mind that have allowed me to make decisions more easily about what to let go of and what to keep. (Note: If you have no plans to move in the near future, pretend you are moving and ask, “Would I take this with me when I move?”)

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