Tag Archives: change

From Cluttered to Clear in 2018

As we near the end of 2017, your thoughts may be drifting to what’s possible in the new year. It’s a fresh start, a time when can decide what you want in 2018. People make New Year’s resolutions about eating right, losing weight, exercising, etc. And, once the enthusiasm of the first days and weeks of doing things differently has passed, they return to familiar behaviors and lose sight of their resolutions. Is this you? Do you want to have a different experience this year?

What would be possible if you committed to clearing clutter from every part of your home in 2018, and kept that commitment? Based on my 20 years of working a professional organizer helping people clear clutter, I predict that many of the following would occur:

  • You will feel lighter. Clutter has a heavy energy. You feel the weight physically and psychologically in the form of stress even if you are not conscious of it.
  • You will feel more optimistic. Once the weight of clutter has lifted, your spirits will lift accordingly.
  • You will be able to think more clearly because you won’t be distracted by the noisy, negative energies of clutter.
  • It will be easier to make decisions because you can think clearly and better weigh your options.
  • It will be easier to see your reality. What is working and not working in your life? This could lead to clarity that it is time for change — a new job, working on or leaving a difficult relationship, retirement, better self-care.
  • You will be more productive because you can think clearly, make decisions more easily, find what you need when you need it, and take action more easily.
  • You will see possibilities for personal growth, relationship growth, and career growth that you couldn’t see before when distracted by the negative energy of clutter.
  • Your health will be better. The negative energy of clutter affects your energy and your physical body. People with a lot of clutter seem to attract chronic illnesses like breathing problems (asthma, allergies) and autoimmune diseases (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, etc).

I could go on. People’s lives change for the better when they clear clutter. Feng shui teaches that things that are no longer loved or used hold negative energies. Those negative energies hold you back. Remove them and life begins moving in a positive direction.

I can hear you thinking, “That’s great, but how do I make it happen? There is so much clutter. I don’t know where to start, how to start, or how to keep going when I do start.” The first step is to make a commitment in writing to yourself about what clutter clearing you intend to do in the new year, and then tell trusted others who can help you keep going by cheering you on, helping out, and reminding you of your commitment.

The second step is to follow a roadmap that will lead you from an overwhelmed mindset to an “I can do this” mindset. My new book, From Cluttered to Clear in Just One Year: Your Room-by-Room Home Makeover, was designed to be just that, a road map to lead your from stuck to clearing clutter and creating good feng shui in every room of your house.

Time and the quantity of your clutter may limit your ability to completely clear every area of your house in 2018, but what if you committed to clear some clutter in every part of your house during the year? Perhaps set a goal of doing some clearing in one or two rooms a month. Because you would be removing negative energies from all parts of your house, the balance of energies in your home would shift from negative to positive. That shift would likely have a direct positive effect on the quality of your life. You’d begin experiencing the benefits listed above. And, you would be making space for new, good things to come to you in the new year.

Be ready to have a very different experience in 2018.  Order your roadmap, From Cluttered to Clear in Just One Year, today. It will provide you with step-by-step instructions for clearing clutter and creating good feng shui in every room as well as information about how to address common barriers to clutter clearing and find appropriate support if needed. Then, look for the good that will come your way in 2018!

Best wishes for Happy Holidays and lots of clutter clearing in 2018!

Coaching and Organizing Differ

I love coaching, both the coaching I do and the coaching I’ve received. Why? It is the single most

If you want to make positive changes, choose coaching.

powerful process for change I’ve ever experienced with clients and myself.

I’ve worked for years doing hands-on organizing for people (since 1997), a role in which I usually direct the action, make decisions about what to do, and make sure progress is being made. Clients request hands-on organizing because they want me to improve their spaces. There is the possibility for change because as we clear clutter and organize a space, the energy in the space shifts from negative to less negative or positive. It’s a rather passive change process. Although the client may be the recipient of the energy benefits of improving their space, those benefits happen without much ownership by the client. Without ownership of the change process, the client is less likely to commit to maintaining the environmental changes that are made.

Coaching is a learning/action process that helps clients reach their goals. Unlike typical hands-on organizing, in coaching the client is the driver of the process of change. Clients reach out to me because they want something to be different and better in their lives. They want to be different — more productive, less scattered, more aware of what they want and how to get it. They want to change what they are doing so they can get the results they seek.

I partner with my clients to co-create a relationships that make it possible for clients to find their own answers. For coaching to work, the client must be invested in the process of coaching. They have the opportunity to create awareness of who they are, what they’re doing, what they’re thinking, their values, challenge areas and strengths. That information and learning is then leveraged to inform action. With awareness the client and I work together to strategize options for action. I may offer possible strategies, but the client decides what action he/she will take.

Accountability is part of the process of coaching. The client agrees to take specific action between sessions and report his/her progress in the next session. It is his/her opportunity to take their learning into real life practice. I provide accountability and support for the client taking action by inquiring about his/her action in the next session. Whether the client completed the action(s) or not, he/she has the opportunity to learn from whatever was or wasn’t done. With learning and practice change occurs.

Hands-on organizing is very beneficial in the short run. However, if you want real change, if you want to learn to do things differently with a non-judgmental support, coaching is your best option.

Are you curious about what coaching could do for you? Experience the benefits of coaching by scheduling a FREE 30 minute Back on Track phone coaching session with me. You’ll get a risk-free taste of coaching and have the opportunity to learn more about this empowering process for change.

ADHD Coaching Benefits Those Ready for Change

As I reflect on the progress of my ADHD coaching clients, both individual and group clients, the main factors that affected their progress were a compelling desire for life to be better, and their readiness for change. Those who have been most successful really were “done” with bumping along in constant stress and environmental chaos by themselves. They committed to a coaching relationship for support to get to a better place. Their commitment to making changes to improve their lives and their spaces made them willing to do the uncomfortable work of self-examination and doing things differently than what their ADHD brain dictated.

Change is hard. Habits are hardwired into the brain. Changing habits that don’t serve you requires creating new neural pathways. Those pathways are formed by doing new behaviors over and over again. Repetition is boring to the ADHD brain, and often avoided. Keeping a new behavior in awareness is also hard for the ADHD brain. So, what does it take for a person with ADHD to make changes necessary to manage their ADHD symptoms?

People with ADHD are motivated by strong emotions. When they reach a point where they feel extremely tired, discouraged, and stuck in stress and misery, that extreme discomfort motivates a strong desire for change. Those with that compelling desire benefit most of coaching. It keeps them stepping out of their comfort zone and open to learning about their ADHD. It helps them move past their shame, anxiety and resistance to look at how their ADHD shows up to cause them problems, and helps them access their creativity to explore new ways of doing things.

ADHD coaching is a learning/action process that can result in positive changes in self-awareness, life management, and relationships. It only benefits those with a compelling desire for life to be better, and a willingness to change habits and behaviors that cause problems.

Are you ready for life to be different? How strong is that desire? If you are ready for long-lasting positive change, schedule a FREE 30 minute Back on Track sample phone coaching consultation now.

ADHD coaching can open new doors of awareness and lead you to life-altering changes when you are ready. 

9 Elements of Success: Self-Care — Laying the Foundation

Self-care. I’ve been writing and speaking about self-care for over two decades. I’ve been striving 

A good night's sleep is an essential building block of good self-care.

A good night’s sleep is an essential building block of good self-care.

to achieve it for just as long. I hold it as an ideal, but staying true to it has been difficult. It was a long, slow process for me to establish some good habits –eating well, getting a good night’s sleep, getting regular exercise, drinking plenty of water, and controlling my exposure to toxic people and negativity. 

If my clients are any indication, many people struggle to make self-care a priority. Almost without exception my organizing and coaching clients either are unaware of the value and true necessity of self-care, or have not made it a priority in their lives. Why is this? For one thing, productivity is revered far more than self-care in our culture. Often self-care takes a back seat to striving for success and managing life’s many activities and demands until there is a crisis. Heart attacks, diabetes, cancer, divorce . . . the possible outcomes of a lack of self-care, shine a light on the need for it.

Also, people who struggle with clutter and issues with productivity are usually working so hard to keep their heads above water that self-care never makes it on their radar. An overwhelming, harried, overly busy life is the breeding ground not only for clutter, but also for behaviors that actually cause health issues that could be prevented by self-care: over-eating, working late, and having no time or energy for exercise.

If you want positive change and a life of choice instead of crisis, reactivity and chaos, self-care must be part of your action plan. It really is not optional. It’s a necessity. Self-care is the foundation from which all change is possible. It is essential to generate the best brain power, best attitude, best energy and best results.

What is self-care? When Certified Organizer Coaches® were asked about their self-care in 2013,  most viewed self-care as regular exercise, eating well, and getting good sleep. Their priorities were right on the money! Those three practices are key essentials of good self-care and are what most people think of as self-care. They lay the groundwork to create the physical balance that makes possible good thinking and good emotion regulation. When they are in place, they create the physical, mental and emotional conditions needed to be able to thrive in all areas of your life. 

Starting with the big three, regular exercise, eating well, and getting good sleep, is a great place to start if daily self-care is not yet on your radar. Clients who practice those forms of self-care get immediate results not only in feeling better physically, but in effectively handling challenges, improved mental clarity, and accomplishing their goals. Conversely, when their self-care slips, and it will from time to time even for the most committed, everything is more difficult. Getting stuck is also much easier.

 

If you make the big three a priority in your life, you will find that you are better able to handle the rough waves of your life as they roll in. You will be less easily knocked down and carried away by the waves. When you do get knocked down and find yourself off track, you can more easily get back on your feet, supported by your self-care practices. With good self-care in place your confidence will grow making it more probable that you will be able to take on the risks of change necessary to achieve your goals and live a life in which you thrive instead of merely survive.

Make self-care a priority. The quality of every aspect of your life depends on it.

A Positive Focus Is Empowering

The Law of Attraction states that what you focus on you attract. A friend once told me, “You are 

Look for the positive, the gifts in every circumstance!

Look for the positive, the gifts in every circumstance!

addicted to your misery.” That’s one of those statements that at the time felt like a slap in the face. However, it gave me pause and the opportunity to look at my behavior to see if what she was saying was really true. She was right! At that time I did invest much energy and time focused on problems, losses and negative thoughts. As long as my focus was negative, I made little progress moving forward to a better place.

Why was I so wedded to negative thoughts and a negative focus? Looking back at my history I realized that I was raised by parents who had lived through the trauma of WWII and focused on problems and spoke of the malevolent universe. I grew up listening to news which was skewed to the negative because trauma, violence, and wrongs are more dramatic and attract more viewers. Essentially I was programed to focus on the negative. I knew no other way to be.

It was only after my husband and I were in a serious motorcycle accident, when I sought help for anxiety and fear about my husband dying, that I became aware that there is another way. I was advised to do a gratitude list every night, listing five things I was grateful for. Recording gratitudes and affirmations each night became part of my bedtime routine.

I faithfully kept that journal for at least three years. The result? I unconsciously re-programed my brain. No longer did I automatically go to negative thoughts and judgments about myself, my circumstances and others. I noticed that I was looking for the good in every experience, looking for solutions instead of wallowing in the drama of the problems. With that new focus, I was able to better manage my feelings, even difficult feelings like sadness, hurt and anger. I was able to experience more moments of joy. I felt empowered and was able to handle my life more effectively.

Neuroscience teaches that change is not possible in the presence of negative emotional attractors. Change can only happen in the presence of positive emotional attractors. Believing that there is a solution to a problem you encounter is a positive emotional attractor. Trusting that there are lessons and gifts that exist even in the most difficult situations, and looking for those gems can shift a negative situation into an opportunity for growth, empowerment and change. And, remember the Law of Attraction? It teaches that positive thoughts and feelings attract more positive into your life. Negative thoughts and feelings attract more negative into your life in the form of challenges and obstacles.

Make looking for good, lessons and gifts your focus in every situation and you will empower yourself to keep growing and making changes that will make life an exciting, positive adventure. It’s your choice. Make it positive!

9 Elements of Success: Self-Knowledge

Future VisionA person who has good self-knowledge knows what matters most to them, their strengths, their challenge areas, their values and needs, what they hate, what they love, where they shine and where they struggle. How well do you know yourself? 

In our busy, busy, stimulation-filled world with so many demands and distractions it can be a real challenge to turn your focus to yourself. Why bother with self-knowledge? Why add more to your overflowing to-do list? 

Self-knowledge is your compass, your guide for making informed decisions and good choices. When you are out of touch with what you want, need and value, you become vulnerable to reacting to whatever presents itself in your life. For example, I was scheduling presentations about office organizing because it was a subject matter that decision-makers in corporations and companies were seeking and willing to pay for. I hated doing speeches about office organizing, and consequently dreaded doing those speeches. I consequently did not speak as well to those audiences. 

When I examined my dislike for office organizing speeches and how I speak in business settings I realized I have no real interest in and passion for sharing information about office organizing.  I also became aware that I’m not a big fan of speaking in businesses  because many people in attendance are not there voluntarily. Rather, they attend because they are expected to be there. They come to those seminars feeling unmotivated, uninterested, and/or distracted by other things they need to do. People with those characteristics don’t make good audiences, the kind that respond to speech content with interest and enthusiasm and motivate me to do my best speaking.

Once I became clear about my dislike for doing office organizing presentations and how my speaking is affected by the energy and interest of audiences, I was able to cease scheduling speeches on that topic and spend my marketing and speaking efforts to attract and schedule topics and audiences that are a good fit for me. I now enjoy ALL the speaking I do. 

Self-knowledge is a way to create self-acceptance. When you are clear about your interests, passions, strengths and challenge areas you are then in a position to accept what you cannot change instead of trying to be interested in things that don’t interest you or be good at things that you’ll never be good at. 

I have great difficulty working with numbers. Because I don’t have a natural aptitude in that area, I am easily overwhelmed when dealing with numbers. I also noticed that I was spending inordinate amounts of time when I would be paying bills and balancing my books. 

When I accepted that working with numbers is very difficult, overwhelming, and uncomfortable for me, and an area of activity that always left me feeling incompetent, I was in a better position to seek support with paying my bills and keeping my books instead of beating my head up against the same brick wall over and over again. I accepted that it’s in my best interest to get help to do tasks involving numbers. No longer did I waste time trying to be competent in an area where I cannot be competent. And, no longer did I beat myself up for not measuring up in that area.

Self-knowledge helps you set realistic expectations.

Knowing where you shine and where you struggle can help you know set realistic expectations for performance and productivity. For example, if you have ADHD and understand the challenges of time management, activation, organizing and emotion management that are associated with that neurobiological disorder, you will know expecting yourself easily engage in paper intensive and boring tasks is not realistic. Given your brain wiring it’s doubtful that even with great effort you will be able to engage in those activities with minimal resistance.

Self-knowledge informs you of where you need support.

Knowing your areas of struggle, disinterest, and/or resistance will make it possible to identify when it’s best to stop spinning your wheels in procrastination by seeking outside help.

I hate cleaning the house. 

Making time for house cleaning was very difficult given my complicated schedule and overloaded to-do list. If I finally did it, I felt resentful and angry. If I didn’t do it I’d be irritable and distracted by the accumulating dust and dirt. Plus, it really wasn’t the best use of my time with other higher priorities like running my business and spending quality time with family and friends.

With that information I knew that if I continued to clean my house I’d die of exhaustion and/or have no time for what really matters to me: building and running a successful business that helps people get unstuck and moving; enjoying deep connection and supporting family and friends; and creating space for self-reflection, self-care and self-awareness.

Self-knowledge is a way to step into your own shoes, to ground yourself to face any circumstance that comes your way.

Life constantly throws curve balls. It’s quite common to become ungrounded and off balance when you experience an unexpected hit or life turn, like finding out you have an illness, learning of an unexpected expense or being informed that a parent is struggling and in need of services and assistance. To expect anything different is not realistic. 

When you are aware of your gifts, strengths, and previous history of successes despite struggle, you can better manage your fear by reminding yourself that you are capable of either handling any challenge or of seeking support to find solutions to problems.

I have been involved in coordinating care for my mother who has Alzheimer’s. Her physical and mental challenges can amp up at any time. Before I became conscious of how I can call on my strengths of organizing, self-soothing, problem-solving with love as a guide, using my determination to effect changes on her behalf, and recognizing my choices in the moment, any new challenge could knock my sideways, sending me into feelings of overwhelm and depression.

One day when I was once again disconnected from myself, from my strengths and my awareness of choice, a wise friend reminded me that I don’t have to go down with Mom when she’s struggling, that going down is a choice. Now knowing that I am capable of making choices to calm myself, I more quickly handle uncomfortable feelings that surface when a new problem emerges. I am better able to call on resources that can restore my equilibrium and get me back on track.

Self-knowledge is a resource at your disposal that makes navigating life a more purposeful, smoother ride. How well do you know yourself? Are there areas of self-awareness that are blocked or limited that if expanded would arm you to move forward in your life with more confidence and competence?

If you know there is room for exploration in this element of success, coaching could be just the support you need to develop greater self-knowledge so you can get unstuck and more effectively navigate through the uneven waters of life to a create an empowered life that fits. If you want a partner to help you develop greater self-knowledge, email me to schedule a 30 minute free consolation to discuss this possibility. 

Self-knowledge is the foundation that makes all change possible.

Self-Care and A New Definition of Competent

This post will make the most sense to those of you who never seem to be able to slow down newspaper-300x248and stop doing tasks to have a life of your own. That has become the norm for many of us these days. Instead of technology facilitating better time management and helping to increase leisure time, the exact opposite seems to have happened. We now can be accessed at any time of the day, and have more on our plates than ever before. There are so many possibilities out there. Our expectations of ourselves and our performance has never been higher and more unrealistic.

This year I made a New Year’s commitment to have a different kind of year from the overly busy, stressful years of the past. I wanted more rest, play, and lighthearted times. I have a long history of over-functioning and pushing myself beyond my physical limits. Not only was I running on empty, I was running on fumes trying to run my business, finish organizer coach certification, coordinate care for my mother who has Alzheimer’s and is in assisted living, oversee my disabled brother’s care in Connecticut, maintain a good marriage, and manage our household. I knew if I didn’t make some real changes I would eventually pay a hefty price with my health. 

When I began making changes, like avoiding my computer weekday mornings until after I had walked my dogs, had quiet time with a cup of coffee and reading books that feed my heart, soul and brain for 15 to 30 minutes, I felt wonderful. And, I also felt uncomfortable. Fortunately I’m working with Diane Thomson, a great coach, so I had the support I needed to work through my discomfort. Together we discovered that what was driving my compulsive doing was my value of competence and my need to do all I could to feel competent in every area of my life.

Following is what I wrote Diane as I was trying to make sense of my discomfort with slowing down.

“After our session I did some thinking about my blahs today. It occurred to me that perhaps part of the blah feeling is because I’m not running on adrenalin constantly. I’m now not getting high from urgency every day. What I’m feeling might really feel OK to a “normal” person who is not a compulsive doer. This feeling of going slower and more deliberately, instead of at warp speed to get as much done as possible, trying to jam way too much into the time available, feels unfamiliar. I think I may be equating unfamiliar with wrong, problematic, and bad.”

As a result of that awareness, I thought that it would be a good idea to re-write MY definition of competent. My old unconscious definition was something like “be reliable and do high quality work for as much time as possible during a day or until you drop dead or get sick.” Yes, I had been living by that unconscious recipe for disaster for many decades.

I was able to identify that the notion of self-care was completely missing from my original definition of competent. But, with new awareness, facilitated by coaching, I realized that I’m not being competent when I am being super productive at the expense of my health, rest, relaxation, and quality relationships. So, here is my new definition of competent. Competent is doing high quality work in amounts of time that also allow me to stop, breathe, rest, enjoy life, have fun and build/maintain quality relationships.

With my new definition of competent I’m moving into each day deliberately making space for me and my needs. I am getting more rest, having more fun, enjoying a deeper connection with my husband, and still being productive. In fact, when I work I am able to focus and get a more done in less time. Who knew that taking care of myself could improve my efficiency!

Yes, I still feel twinges of discomfort because I’m not driving myself as I once would have. I notice it and remind myself that change is hard, but that my choice is right. I believe getting off the fast track and onto the right track, a track that is respectful of me and my needs, is the only way to be able to make the biggest difference in this lifetime and drink in all the blessings and gifts this life has to offer.  

Change Your Perspective, Change Your Experience

Mom and me on Valentine's Day

Mom and me on Valentine’s Day

As I was thinking about plans I’d made for a day trip with Mom last weekend, I noticed that I was in a very different place mentally and emotionally with regards to my mother than I was a year ago. Mom has Alzheimer’s, a tragic, progressive form of dementia that eventually leaves people unable to care for themselves.

A year ago I had just moved Mom into assisted living. At that time she was unhappy and unsettled about the change. It took everything in my patience arsenal to get through every interaction with her. Consequently, I felt burdened by the responsibility I had, resentful that Mom had Alzheimer’s, mad that everything seemed so hard. I was focused on the difficulty and struggle. I had a “I’m worn out, scared, resentful” perspective of my reality. If I’d been planning a day with Mom last year that perspective would have made me dread taking the day trip.

What I noticed this time is that I was looking forward to having an adventure with Mom, to having the chance to bring her some pleasure by having lunch with an old friend, to having a great trip through the country listening to music we both love. My perspective had shifted. The current perspective is, “This is an opportunity to connect with Mom where she is, to enjoy special moments in her company, to make a new memory for me.”

How did that perspective shift? I wasn’t aware that I was trying to operate with a very limiting, negative perspective last year. I was just doing the best I could. Part of what happened with is that enough time has gone by and Mom has adjusted to her new home and is less scared, threatened and oppositional about her living situation. She has adjusted to her new home and has forgotten much of her previous life. Ironically, that’s one of the gifts of dementia.

I’ve also had a lot more experience dealing with Mom in her impaired state. I have figured out what works with her and what doesn’t. At some point I began making a conscious effort to go with the dementia rather than resent and fight it. Since I couldn’t change what’s happening to my beloved mother, I chose to observe it with curiosity. I watch the changes and make adjustments to my behavior in order to accept what is and make the most of a very sad time.

Instead of focusing on my sadness, I spend more time looking for ways to give her pleasure, even as this terrible disease is robbing her of so much that is precious to her — her ability to take care of herself, her ability to anchor memories, her ability to read, her ability to understand language and communicate with people who matter to her. By going with the flow of the disease process and looking for opportunities to demonstrate the love I feel for her, I’ve landed in a much more accepting and positive place myself.

If you have a difficult situation in your life, check out your perspective about that challenge. What are you thinking? Are you holding a positive, helpful perspective or clinging to a limiting perspective that keeps you feeling like a victim of circumstances beyond your control? Choosing a new way of thinking about your situation can change your experience from negative and burdensome to positive and life-affirming. My mother’s disease has taught me so many important lessons. The lesson I’m sharing with you now is that changing the way I view things can change my experience of them. I’ve learned to look for and spend time with what I can control, my thoughts and my perspective.

Decorating for Christmas: A Catalyst for Change

When I decorate for Christmas I’m always looking for items I no longer love. This year I put one roll of ribbon, two seasonal wreaths and one ornament in the donate bag. This practice over the last five years has resulted in me reducing the number of boxes that come out of my attic from about 10 to just 3. Decorating is a much less overwhelming task these days! What surprised me this year is that once I started decorating my urge to purge went beyond my Christmas decorations.

As I looked around my living room I found myself feeling bothered by a plant that had grown so big that it felt like a green invader rather than a green asset. I was also ready to be done with two other plants that had needed repotting years ago, whose growth was out of control and ungainly. I tossed them in the trash and added their pots to the donation pile. I relocated the green invader to another room and tossed the corn plant that had been in the green invader’s new home. As I worked to make the plant adjustments I realized I was really craving more simplicity in my living room, less stuff, nothing that felt out of control. When I finished clearing plants and decorating I felt such peace, such relief.

Earlier this fall I set an intention to have more space in my life next year, for rest, reflection and writing. It seems my Christmas decorating was just the catalyst I needed to make my space mirror my intention. Because what I have in my space affects what happens in my life, I’m expecting to have the space I am seeking. I’ve laid the physical foundation. I’m ready for the change I am seeking!

House Transformation Tells Truth About Impending Change

Our homes are an outward expression of our inner selves. And, sometimes they tell the story of imminent change. Let me show you what I mean.

“It just doesn’t feel like my house anymore!” lamented Sally, a client who was in the midst of preparing her house for sale. Sally’s decision to pursue a life dream to buy a farm and raise alpacas necessitated her selling her split-level house, a place that she had made her sanctuary over a period of ten years. At this time when houses are slow to sell, it is especially important that they look almost perfect. Her realtor had advised her to paint the entire house in shades of buttery yellow. Gone was the brilliant blue office and the peaceful blue dining room. “I feel like I’m living in a margarine stick!” she railed.

Sally was also agitated because creating a peaceful, neutral space that a prospective buyer could view without distraction and easily picture himself inhabiting, had required that she move many of her belongings to a storage unit. Preparing her house for sale had also given her the opportunity to sort through her belongings and clear out anything that she no longer needed or loved. She was left in a shell of her former home, a place that she no longer recognized, nor did she feel comfortable inhabiting.

Sally was between selves. She had moved beyond the self who had painted those blue walls and had tolerated a packed attic, to a self who was prepared to make a huge leap of faith, buying a farm and finding a new job in a new location. When she began clearing out her house, sending things to storage, the trash, and a local charity, she was physically ripping up energetic roots that had helped her feel comfortable and grounded. She was adrift in unfamiliar territory. Painting the walls in colors not of her choosing effectively wiped away evidence of her individuality. Everything became neutral. Of course Sally had reason to rail against the injustices of the real estate sales process! She was feeling like a stranger in her own home. She was grieving the loss of her things and already grieving the loss of the home that had been such a comfort to her.

Is this a normal reaction? Absolutely! Preparing a house for sale is a stressful and exhausting process. If, like Sally, your home has been your haven, transforming it into a strange place devoid of evidence of your energy can only be disturbing. At a time of high stress you crave stability and familiar, safe places to retreat. Everywhere Sally looked was upheaval, strangeness and work to be done.

Was making all those changes imperative? Given the current real estate market, and given that Sally’s house has no special features like a water view or new garage, making those changes were the best steps to take to increase the probability of a fast sale.

Is there a way that Sally could have avoided the grief and stripping of her energy from her house? Unfortunately, change often comes with a cost. In Sally’s case, she paid the price by having to strip her home of specific evidence of her existence, leaving her feeling sad and mad and frustrated. To her credit she put words to her anguish, which helped her deal with her mixed feelings. What a healthy response!

Wouldn’t you be troubled if your influence was erased from your home and you found yourself living in a place of your own making that was not an outward reflection of your inner self? And, all those changes also came at great financial cost. They speak volumes about the price Sally was willing to pay to go for her dream!

© 2012 Clutter Clearing Community | Debbie Bowie

“Author, Organizing Expert and Feng Shui Practitioner Debbie Bowie, is a leading authority on clutter clearing to attract more of what you want in your life. If you’re ready to finally clear the clutter from your life and move your life forward, get your FREE TIP SHEET, “Feng Shui Tips for Instant Success” at http://www.clutterclearingcommunity.com.