Living in a space that only contains things that spark JOY
What does your home say to you as you wander through each hallway and room?
Does this home reflect the “you” you strive to be? Or the “you” who wants to change?
What is your vision?
Recent Room For Peace Projects:
Scroll My Latest Blog Topics!
The first half of our life is about accumulation.
Friends, roles, identities, experiences, STUFF…In our youth, we are willing to try lots of new things in search of that “perfect” or “right” thing. It’s a game of trial and error. After all, how are we supposed to know what “sparks joy” for us when we’re still in the process figuring out WHO we are. It’s been my observation as a professional organizer that amidst all of this trial and error, we often drag the artifacts of our failed experiments along with us:
That lip shade that just didn’t look right on you.
Mom and dad’s old dining set that you never really loved in the first place, but it did the job.
Those high waisted jeans you kept trying to make work, but send to the rejection pile each time you try them on.
Of course, my FIRST advise is always to declutter, declutter, and declutter some more before going out to buy any organizing products. No amount of bins or organizing units will outdo the work needed to actually address your stuff. Always start by taking everything out of the space, dividing it into categories, and purging the things you no longer need!
When you’re down to ONLY the items that you love and use; that’s when the fun begins :)
“No matter what I do to get organized, it never seems to last. I end up feeling like I’ve failed, so I avoid trying altogether. I guess I just wasn’t born with the organized gene.”
A recent client spoke these familiar words as we stood in the pile of clothes collected from over 20 years of postponed decisions.
I hear this notion all too often. “I’m just not an organized person.” “I’ve never been organized, so I’ve learned to embrace the chaos as my natural state of being.”
Honestly, to a great extent- what they’re saying is right.
xI’ve been in and out of over 50 homes throughout the past year. Each case of clutter I encountered was as unique as the individual tethered to it.
Their reason for calling me, the state of their home, their feelings surrounding the clutter and willingness to let go of it; all fell somewhere along what I call “The Clutter Spectrum.”
While each case is different and I’m still learning each day as I work through the piles of forgotten stuff in people’s homes, there are a few commonalities I have taken away.
#1 being: your clutter can serve an important message about what is off balance in your life.
January is National Get Organized month, and for good reason!
After all the hustle and bustle from the holidays, what we’re left with come January is often a home bursting at the seams with clutter and incomplete tasks
Working form home can be both a blessing and a curse, especially when it comes to organization. Yes it may be nice to roll out of bed and leisurely check emails over coffee with the news on in the background, but it also comes with the blurry boundaries of trying to multitask two different lives in the same space.
Imagine walking into a kitchen to see the sink overflowing, water spilling all over the floor, soaking into the walls, and you had to think fast. Panicking, you see you've got a bucket, a mop or a plunger. What do you do first?
Why don't we turn off the tap?
The true solution to clutter is simple. You have to address the sources of “stuff” that come flooding into your home on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis by strengthening the muscle of DECISION making.
Nothing kills romance more than heaps of laundry on a messy bed, piles of bills spread over the kitchen table, and remnants of last nights’ dishes towering in the sink.
A survey by Princeton Research Associates International shows 52% of American couples who are married or live together argue over clutter. In a world where the divorce rate is creeping to 50%, inanimate objects DO NOT need to be another reason for discord among our partners!
Most people think that their thoughts are their thoughts- coming and going just as our lungs inhale and release air.
Many people also experience their thoughts as facts, rather than the accumulation of memories, emotional triggers, sensory input, physiological states and their environment. The idea of paying attention to our thoughts and noticing our ability to control which ones we latch on to is becoming a much more common practice through meditation, yoga and other mind control exercises.
We live in a society that wants us to BE so many things.
In fact, a good majority of businesses run and make a profit off of this notion alone.
We’re in a constant state of motion. Striving and searching for answers and ways to reach this “ideal self” that will allow us to finally be content and happy.
With commercials and social media and marketing campaigns and a holiday for just about every day of the week, it’s no wonder we get so wrapped up in this quest for “more” and “better.”
That’s what our society has designed for us to feel; because if we did decide to slow down, take a look at what we ALREADY have, and realize that IT IS ENOUGH…we would stop consuming.
“I’ve tried telling my in-laws that we have more than everything we need and that we would really appreciate experience gifts this year, but judging by the boxes they just unloaded from the back of their trunk I take it they did not listen.”
With the holiday’s fast approaching (read: two days from today) I’ve had several clients express the anxiety and frustration they feel about ALLLL the new items that are to be introduced into their home through gifts.
If the problem with having too much stuff and clutter stems from OTHER people bringing stuff into your life and making you feel guilty about keeping it or accepting it in the first place; allow me to provide this gentle reminder…
Clutter often appears when we give into false notions of lack. We then try to compensate for these feelings of lack by bringing MORE into our homes.
That initial dopamine kick we get out of buying something new and bringing it home leads us to believe that whatever that “thing” is will be full of promise and bring us a little closer to happiness and prosperity. The truth is, that feeling fades just as fast as it appears. And there we are; right where we started, with unfulfilled promises from our new “thing” and a couple dollars fewer in our bank account.
It may or may not come as a surprise that disorganization not only affects your outer world, but can create a physical manifestation in your inner world as well.
A recent study found that families who had more clutter and disorganization and unfinished projects in their home had lower cortisol levels, higher rates of depression and anxiety, reportedly less satisfied marriages, higher stress and overall feelings of unease.
Clutter embodies things that are in excess, overlooked, unloved or simply in the wrong place. Even mismatched colors in a space can be perceived as clutter in our minds. If we have a beautiful, natural-tone color scheme in a room, and then throw in some brightly colored children’s toys and mismatched bins, it’s still going to be seen as clutter in your minds eye no matter how “tidy” you try to keep the room.
More often, clutter simply comes from a consistent lack of decision making.