Tag Archives: clear clutter

From Cluttered to Clear in Just One Year

I am very excited to report that I am in the final stages of preparing From Cluttered to Clear In Just One Year: Your Room-by-Room Home Makeover, my second book, for publication. I hope to have it available for sale on my website and on Amazon by December 2017.

Why is this exciting news for you? My first book, Rock Scissors Paper: Understanding How Environment Affects Your Performance on a Daily Basis, described how the condition of your environment affects your performance, the tools that can be used to create high performance environments, and a general process for clearing clutter. It was designed to set the foundation of principles, information and processes to create high performance spaces by clearing clutter and improving feng shui in spaces. From Cluttered to Clear in Just One Year goes a step further by providing specific recommendations and step-by-step plans to clear clutter and create good feng shui in every area of your home.

From Cluttered to Clear in Just One Year begins with a chapter designed to help you start clutter clearing. It includes information about where to start clutter clearing for the best results, where not to start clearing, the best way to start clearing, how to clear clutter, what to clear out, and how to get started and continue clearing clutter.

What distinguishes this book from other books about decluttering is that chapters address both clutter clearing and feng shui challenges in each area of the home. For example, in the Bedroom chapter you’ll find a section that addresses how to clear clutter from the tops of dressers as well as sections about how to make your bedroom peaceful by eliminating things that affect quality sleep like loose shoes and an open laundry hamper. At the end of the chapter is step-by-step plan to clutter clearing from the bedroom.

You can use From Cluttered to Clear in Just One Year as your guide to systematically clear clutter and create good feng shui in your home over the period of one year. Or, you can use it as a reference manual to pull out when you are ready to tackle clutter in any area of your home.

Is this the year you are going to get your clutter clearing done and reclaim comfort and peace in your home? If so, email me to be added to a list to be notified when From Cluttered to Clear in Just One Year hits the book shelves later this fall.

Why You Procrastinate Mailing Returns

Heavy sigh! You’ve just received the shipment of shorts that you badly needed and were sure would be just perfect for summer travels. Alas, they don’t fit! I’ll bet part of your sighing is because you are disappointed that the shorts don’t fit. I’ll also hazard a guess that  another reason for the sigh is because now you are facing the onerous task of mailing back the shorts. The potential positive energy of that new addition to your wardrobe disappeared as soon as you realized they didn’t fit. Now their energy has changed to negative not only because of the fit, but because now they are also associated with work, the work you have to do to return or exchange them.

When things have a negative association (not fitting) and hold negative energies, they repel you. That is one reason you are very likely to put off returning the items. Also, there is nothing fun or exciting about finding the return form, figuring out how to do the return, filling out the form, most of which are challenging to decipher at best, and sealing the package. Then you have to get the package to the post office or UPS, another unexciting item to add to your to do list. What’s your reward? A task done that you’d rather not have had to do. That’s not much reinforcement for your efforts!

I have become very experienced at preparing returns because it is a task that so many of my clients procrastinate. Unreturned items have become part of their clutter. I don’t particularly like doing returns. I find them as annoying as the next person. However, I’ve learned that they are easier to do if instead of focusing on how boring and irritating the task is, I focus on the fact that they are all about money. If I return mistakes, items that don’t fit or don’t measure up to my expectations, I get a refund.

When I work with clients I focus on how the task will benefit them. Money will be refunded, or the mistake will be fixed by exchanging items. Also, when I complete those returns I remove a heavy weight from my clients’ shoulders. Items that haven’t been returned hold energies that communicate messages like this: “you are letting money slip through your fingers,” “you should be responsible and return these things,” or “all you do is make mistakes.” Plus I’m helping clients improve the energy of their spaces. When items are returned that source of negative energy disappears and the space immediately feels better.

I recommend preparing returns within a week of receiving something that doesn’t work for you. Why one week? Every day you put off doing the return, negative energy increases making it harder to motivate yourself for the task. I say one week because it may not be possible to prepare the return during a busy work week. You may need to wait for a weekend to be able to focus on the task.

Returns not done = wasted money, negative energy, feeling burdened, annoyed, irritated, and being stuck. Returns done = money, peace of mind, positive energy, lightness and relief. Remember that, and send back items as quickly as you can.

Clear Old Newspaper Clutter!

Newspapers are meant to be temporary residents in your home. If so, then why do I find them

Old newspapers can anchor the energies of tragedy and destruction in your home.

stashed away in closets, boxes, drawers and cabinets in the my clients’ residences?

Checking out the content of those papers gave me several possible answers. Some papers were kept because there were articles associated with my client or family members. However, a majority of the papers I find contain stories of major events in our history that mean something to the client: Obama’s inauguration; Kennedy’s assassination, 911, etc.

It’s interesting to me that people keep and often are very attached to papers that mark tragic events. I think many do it reflexively, as if the event itself was so significant to them that articles about the event must be valuable too. In that regard, the papers tell me what has mattered to my clients and what has touched them deeply.

Keeping old newspapers is not a good idea for a very practical reason. They deteriorate over time. First they get yellow. Then they dry out. Then they fall apart. Most people don’t know how to store newspapers so they won’t disintegrate over time. By the way, when they disintegrate, they make a great fire starter.

More important though are the energies that those papers hold in place. Articles about terrorism, death, and violence hold the energies of terrorism, death and violence. They also hold the energy of powerlessness and of the enormity of conflict that exists in our world. Those energies in turn affect your energy. They pull your energy down, keep you focused and sometimes spinning in thoughts of how bad things are in the world, and hold fear in place.

Some people say, “But, I don’t want to forget 9-11.” I usually counter with, “How likely are you to forget 9-11?” It was such a huge tragedy on so many levels that it’s very unlikely that any of us will ever forget it. I also ask, “When was the last time you perused these papers to wake up your memories of 9-11?” The answer is always, “No.” Or, I ask, “Do you really want to hold onto the energies of death and destruction?” Then I remind them that if they need to access information about 9-11 they can find it on the internet or in the numerous books written about the event.

Newspapers aren’t the best way to hold memories in place because over time papers disintegrate. If their stories are positive, find another way to remember them — internet articles, books. If their stories are negative, remember, their negative energies affect your energy and mood. Ask yourself why you are saving them and how they affect the way you feel. Releasing them is a good investment in letting go of events over which you had no control and of choosing to let go of sadness and tragedy to make space to welcome good into your life.

Transform Refrigerator Clutter Into Art

We’ve all seen it, the front and/or sides of a refrigerator plastered with papers and photos

Can you guess what I love when you look at my refrigerator collage? Dogs, art, family and friends!

hanging on for dear life at all angles in a hectic jumble. I’ll bet your first instinct when you see that messy bulletin board in someone’s kitchen is to look away. Why is that? Because it looks chaotic and radiates negative energy.

“But,” you say, “it’s so practical to have those papers within easy reach for reference or to cue you to do something . . .” I’m sure it could helpful if you could easily see everything hanging there. What seems to happen over time is that so many papers begin to accumulate on the refrigerator surface that it’s hard to see anything. To make things worse, papers are placed there at different angles which creates an off-balance, out of control feeling. Plus, if you look closely, many of those papers are probably out of date and irrelevant, therefore trash. Refrigerators loaded with papers are vertical displays of clutter.

What to do? Transform your refrigerator surfaces into a vertical collage. Create an arrangement you love to look at. Here’s how you can do that:

      • remove everything from the refrigerator surface
      • sort through the papers and photos, choosing items that are still relevant and/or lift your spirits 
      • find other items that warm your heart and make you smile, like photos of special people or places, a colorful calendar, inspirational poems or sayings, interesting or unique magnets
      • intentionally arrange those items on your refrigerator so that you can see everything, each item is at right angles to the edges of the refrigerator, and the overall arrangement is attractive and interesting to look at
      • put all papers in one area or mix them with photos and other items of visual interest which will offset the somewhat negative energy of the papers
      • step back and look at your creation
      • rearrange items if necessary for visibility or to make it more visually attractive

Once you’ve created your refrigerator masterpiece your work is not done! It’s important to maintain its order and visual appeal. Regularly clear off papers that are no longer useful. When you add new items, resist the urge to slap them up there willy nilly at odd angles. Place each item deliberately at right angles to the refrigerator edges, making sure it can be easily seen and that its placement adds to the visual appeal of the entire arrangement.

If you start thinking about your refrigerator surfaces as opportunities for artistic expression instead of convenient bulletin boards, you are more likely to treat them with the respect and care they deserve. The payoff for taking a few extra minutes to arrange their surfaces and maintain them as peaceful collages that hold useful information and warm your heart is that they will enhance your kitchen instead of being eyesores. You and others will be drawn to look at them with interest and curiosity instead of being repelled by their chaos and negative energy.

Clear Greeting Card Clutter

Greeting cards flow into our lives as we move through them in an endless stream. What do you do with all of them? If you haven’t established personal guidelines for which cards to keep and which to toss, you likely have greeting card clutter.

When I was a young adult I tended to keep most of my greeting cards because they were an indication that people cared about me. It wasn’t until I was about 40 that I noticed that the cards I was holding onto were taking a significant amount of space in my little home. I simply had to do something different with my cards.

As I looked through my cards I realized that many of them weren’t even very important to me. They were organized and carefully stored, but, was I re-reading them? No. When began to consider my opens for reducing my greeting card clutter I re-read many of them and noticed that most of them didn’t say anything every important, anything that stirred good feelings in me. The quantity of them actually felt very heavy.

When I became aware that not all greeting cards are created equal in importance, I thought to myself, “Whose cards mean the most? Which ones would I want to re-read when I’m 80?” The answer at that time was very simple. My husband’s cards and my some of my mother’s cards. Mom and Bob were the most important people in my life. Their love and their words meant the most to me. For many years I only saved cards from Mom and Bob.

I now continue to keep all of Bob’s cards and letters. They are truly precious and remind me of his funny sense of humor and way of being as well as his love for me. When Mom was alive I kept only those cards that had a personal note of love, thanks or that demonstrated her personality and what mattered to her. She often wrote about what she had for dinner or did during the week. That content had no special value to me. I let those notes go.

I now keep cards from clients, friends, family members and my dad that have a note that really connects with my heart and/or helps me acknowledge my own worth and accomplishments.

What greeting cards are most important to you? Which ones lift your spirit and light up your heart? Those cards have the best energy. They are the ones that are worth keeping to remind you of the love in your life.

How to Clear Clutter Off Your Kitchen Desk

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is often a hub where people gather for nurturance and communing with family members. As mentioned earlier, the kitchen is often where women center their energy. As such, it has become an action area, not only for food preparation, but for women to coordinate a variety of activities as diverse as meal planning, scheduling appointments, coordinating schedules, and making important phone calls.

The kitchen desk probably came into being to accommodate the ever increasing needs of women to have an office of sorts close to where they spend most of their time. The idea was good, creating an area for the CEO of the home to work. I know, you’re already laughing! Who works at their kitchen desk? Who even sits in front of a kitchen desk?

First of all, kitchen desks are usually about the size of a postage stamp–too small to accommodate the needs of a busy family. Also, they are not comfortable places to sit because they are built-in pieces of furniture which force people to sit facing a wall with his or her back to the rest of the room. Sitting with your back to a room puts your nervous system on high alert, ready for any possible threat. In that state it’s difficult to focus. Consequently the chairs of those desks, if they even exist, are rarely used, except as a stacking spot for paper and other objects.

Kitchen desks of even the most organized women quickly become drop spots. Typical desk clutter consists of papers that come in from children returning from school, the mailbox, and meetings, not to mention all kinds of other objects that family members drop on their travels through the kitchen. Most people just roll their eyes when they look at their kitchen desk. Unless properly set up and managed, it is often a source of frustration, as well as an eyesore.

Clearing clutter from a kitchen desk first involves separating papers from other objects.

Work with objects first. Follow these steps:

  1. Sort objects into those that belong in the kitchen and those that do not.
  2. As you’re sorting, feel free to pitch any items you know you don’t need, love, or that aren’t worth the effort of moving to another location.
  3. Put items that belong elsewhere just outside the kitchen door to be dispersed to their homes after you finish working on the desk.
  4. Put away those items that do belong in the kitchen. That may involve going into drawers associated with the desk. Resist the urge to organize the drawers at this time. Your first focus is on restoring order to the desk top.
  5. If objects don’t fit in the drawer, put them aside for the clutter clearing session when you’ll address the drawers.

Once you’ve addressed the objects on the desk top, sort the papers that were on the desk.

  1. Pull out the biggest chunks first: the newsletters, magazines, and stapled-together papers.
  2. Toss or recycle those that are no longer relevant.
  3. Sort the remaining papers into the following categories:

Trash (recycling),

Refer Out (goes to another location or person),

Action (actions to be taken at this location),

Reference (e.g. contacts, schedules),

Filing (at this location),

Pending (e.g. tickets for an event, directions to a social event, etc.),

Reading (optional reading), and

Possibilities (e.g. information about products that you could use or events that you might attend).

The only papers that should remain on the desk are the action papers. The desktop is an action area. It ceases to be an action area when clogged with papers that need filing, reading, or are references and possibilities.

  1. Move reading papers to an area where they are most likely to be read.
  2. If you have room to store files, filing ideally would be done immediately up receipt.
  3. Reference items can be stored in files or binders.
  4. Pending and possibilities can also be filed for easy access.

A good filing solution for the kitchen is an open filing box for files to accommodate all the types of paper you need to access from the kitchen. It could be stored on the counter, but preferably under the counter in a cabinet or in the opening where the chair is supposed to be. It must be easy to access so frequent filing is easy to do.

Whew! Who knew that clearing clutter from a kitchen desk could be so complicated? Anywhere you have paper, you have complexity. When you set up a system for managing paper you need to access in the kitchen, and you use it, maintaining order on the kitchen desk gets easier.

Remember, keep only those things at the kitchen desk that you regularly use in the kitchen. I call those tiny desk areas “prime real estate”. If you want to maximize the potential of a kitchen desk, you can’t afford to park useless things on those small surfaces. If kept clear and set up properly, they can function as the cockpit for the coordination of most of the activities of a busy family. Is that how your kitchen desk functions? If not, why not? Claim your kitchen desk as a mini-home office, an action area for women at the heart of the home.

The Konmari Method: Not a Magic Bullet!

51mf3u-jpal-_sx348_bo1204203200_Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, has been the all the rage for the last two years. I’m guessing it caught on because people were fascinated and hungering for information about how to rid themselves of clutter forever. Wouldn’t that be nice! Or, perhaps the idea that tidying up could be magical and not a dreaded boring task was appealing.

Unfortunately, the only way to rid yourself of clutter forever is to have a highly effective, committed staff that follows you everywhere cleaning up and clearing out behind you or to be dead. As we move through life, we create clutter. The only way I know to live somewhat clutter-free is to make daily clutter clearing a priority along with several larger clutter clearing sessions per year.

Not only was I initially very put off by the suggestion that it is possible to clear clutter forever, I also had a problem with Ms. Kondo’s insistence that everything should be cleared out at once. Having worked as a professional organizer who has cleared clutter for almost 20 years, I have learned that the human brain wears out after an hour or two when making decisions once after another. Going through an entire house can take weeks or even months for most people. It is an enormous task!

Clutter clearing is all about making decisions. The idea that people are capable of working hour after hour, day after day to clear clutter not only is an impossibility (unless a team of people are doing the clearing), but it is a recipe for exhaustion and failure.

I also struggled with the sorting method proposed in Ms. Kondo’s book. At one point she suggested that a person’s closet be emptied onto the floor and clothes from other parts of the house be added to the pile. Then the sorting would begin and continue until all the clothes were sorted.

First, piling all the clothes in one place is a recipe for overwhelm. Seeing all the clothes at once would shut down most of my clients’ brains, especially those with ADHD. Also, it really isn’t necessary to empty closets when clearing them out. In fact, it’s much more efficient to leave all clothes in the closet, except for any that are on the floor, and pull out only those that a person no longer wants.

Finally, it is highly unlikely that even a person who is highly focused and motivated would be able to stay engaged in the sorting process until that enormous job was done. When exhaustion sets in, the brain melts down. When the brain is done, people quit clearing clutter. That would leave a big pile of clothes in the middle of the bedroom, a pile that would be much harder to get back to than it was to work on it the first time.

With all that said, I really liked the feng shui feel of the book. The way she looked at possessions was almost referent. Plus, she linked quality of a person’s life to the condition of their environment. Feng shui teaches that what you have in your space affects what happens in your life.

I can see all my shirts at once! No MIA shirts!

I can see all my shirts at once! No MIA shirts!

My favorite part of the book, however, was the section addressing how to fold clothes for maximum visibility. Using her suggestions I have totally transformed my sock and nightgown drawer and my shirt drawer using her methods. I feel proud and happy every time I open one of those drawers. Everything is so neat, organized and visible.

No, you can’t banish clutter forever. There are no magic bullets. But, you can improve the condition of your space by clearing clutter every day.

Clear Clutter: Donating Items Pays Off

Donate quickly to attract more good in your life!

Donate quickly to attract more good in your life!

It seems like donating items you no longer love, need or use would be a simple process. Just drive to the closest charity of your choice and drop off your stuff, right? I wish!

In particular, many people who have a difficult time letting go of things want to find just the right person or place to donate their former treasures. What they don’t realize is that having to find the best place for everything adds a complexity to the process that is time consuming and often ends up being a barrier to donating anything.

For years I have advocated to clients and participants in my educational seminars that they donate items quickly and as easily as possible trusting that their things will end up with just the right person. For example, Goodwill is five minutes from my house. All my donations go to good will.

I have also recommended that people consider donating items without making itemized lists to claim tax deductions. Making that list is another step, is tedious (I’ve never been able to make myself do it!), and because it’s an easily procrastinated task it is another potential barrier to getting things out of your space.

I gave up getting receipts from Goodwill years ago. I view my donations as a form of community service. I also believe that what you put out there will come back to you in some form. For example, I recently rented a car to visit my disabled brother. I need a car bigger than my tiny Honda Fit because Mark’s leg doesn’t bend at the knee. A van would be ideal, but the rental cost is prohibitive. Therefore, I made a reservation for a standard car with the hope that Mark would fit in it. When I picked up the car I explained what I needed and why, and to my surprise  was offered a van for the cost of a standard car.

I believe that by being generous and freely giving away things I no longer love, use or need that I attract generosity in others. The van was my good will coming back to me.

You will not experience the benefits of clutter clearing until your donations are out of your space. Make donating items a quick and easy process to attract more good into your life.

How People With ADHD Can Successfully Clear Clutter

I received the following post from Tom Robinson, the founder of Adventures event_455738537in ADD, a meet up group for people with ADHD in the Richmond, VA area. Tom has ADHD, and like many people with ADHD, getting and staying organized is difficult.

Tom wrote, “I just started on the first step of my goal to get better organized and free of un-needed, (not un-wanted), “stuff” before Christmas. What could I do with two dozen rods and reels that were stacked in a corner and all tangled up with lines, hooks and weights? I gritted my teeth and made a decision to take the bull by the horns and take a positive step towards a less-cluttered life. Viola! In less than an hour I built twelve feet of rod holders to suspend from the ceiling of my fishing shack. Wow! Looks great and no tangles.”

Tom took the following steps.

  1. He set a goal to get better organized and free of un-needed stuff before Christmas.
  2. He set a specific deadline.
  3. He chose to grit his teeth when hit with some initial overwhelm rather than run from the job.
  4. He made a decision to take a positive step, just one step toward his goal.
  5. He made the task enjoyable by coming up with a creative solution for creating order.

Tom made progress toward achieving his goal by focusing on a very specific desire, to get better organized. That desire helped him push through his resistance. Plus, he used an ADHD strength, his creativity, to make the task more enjoyable and ultimately successful. And, surprise, surprise! The task took less than an hour!

People with ADHD can be successful with clutter clearing if they 1) focus on what they want, 2) find some way to make the task pleasurable/fun, and 2) use their strengths of persistence, determination and creativity to keep them moving and on track.

Clear Clutter to Manage Grief

My mother is dying. She has been in the process of dying for more than threeIMG_0634 weeks. Her death is inevitable. When Mom will leave is uncertain. As you might imagine, I am swimming through a sea of feelings. My relationship with my mother has been precious. She was my best friend, a constant source of love and support. Her passing will leave a huge hole in my life.

How am I coping? I’m clearing clutter. When my emotions run high, I clear clutter. I am able to care for Mom and make sure she is comfortable and getting good care. However, I am utterly powerless about when she will actually die. There is no distinct deadline to this period of great pain and sadness. That leaves me feeling out of control and powerless.

When I feel out of control, I clear clutter. Clearing clutter is a process I can control. It is concrete and I get tangible results immediately. I am also aware that as I clear clutter, I am shifting energies from negative to positive. In so doing, I increase the probability that I will be able to better manage my feelings of grief and make good decisions as this sad journey comes to its ultimate conclusion.

What am I clearing? I am clearing things from Mom’s room that are no longer of use to her in her current state. Feng shui teaches that the best way to create change is to move things and to live with only those things that are in alignment with who you are in the present moment. Most things are no longer relevant for Mom.

Yes, I have had a twinge of guilt about whether it’s amoral to clear out things before Mom has actually died. I got over that feeling by reminding myself that Mom’s passing could actually be easier for her if she’s not anchored in her current state by the negative energies of physical belongings that no longer serve her.

I am also selfishly clearing because I know if I do the clearing in small increments now her death will be easier to handle emotionally. I won’t be left with an enormous painful clutter clearing project when I’m grieving.

I’ve seen what happens to the homes of adult children when they have cleared out parents’ homes post-death in the midst of their grief. Things that belonged to their loved one hold the energy of the loved one and the energy of the loss. They avoid making decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of because it hurts to do so.

Consequently they take home enormous quantities of things that may or may not be significant to them. They then cram those things into their attics, garages, utility rooms, basements and storage spaces instead of going through them and integrating items of true significance into their homes. When that happens the pain of the loss gets anchored in their space for years instead of the joy that is possible when precious items are integrated with their belongings. They can’t move through their grief because the pain associated with the stuff keeps them stuck.

I’m deliberately making decisions with each car load I take from Mom’s room. I am keeping the items that are most precious to me, saving some items for other family members, and donating everything else to charity except items that are trash.

Lest you be worried that I have completely stripped Mom’s room, do not worry! Her furniture, art work, key photos, stuffed animals, and a few decorative items remain to make the space feel homey and inviting.

Has this clearing helped? Yes. I feel calmer about Mom’s passing. When I visit her room feels calm and comfortable. I feel more in control of my emotions and less frantic. I also feel lighter because I have lightened the load of responsibility for what must be done following her death. And, I have found places in my home for the items I chose to keep. Warm touches of Mom speak to me as I move through my home, reminding me of her and our very special relationship.

China Cabinet: A Haven for Treasures or Trash?

Have you ever noticed who you’ve got living in your corner cupboard or chinaliving-room-670237__340 (1) cabinet?

In my work as a feng shui practitioner who works with people to clear clutter I help people identify and evaluate the energies throughout their homes and offices to make those energies conscious and ensure that they were positive and supportive. Positive and supportive energies attract more positive experiences and good into your life.

I once worked with a man who had been divorced for many years. His feelings about his ex-wife could best be described as hostile. When we reached the dining room he was startled to realize that his wedding china, which was prominently displayed both inside and outside of his corner cupboard, held the energy of his marriage and of his ex-wife. Needless to say, we discussed the significance of those pieces and removed them from their prominent location.

Items that are stored in china cabinets, buffets, and corner cupboards in dining rooms are often loaded with associations with family members and past events. It’s where we store our “good stuff.”

Take a look at your dining room storage cabinet. I’ll bet you find china that belonged to your mother or grandmother. Or, perhaps you have crystal you got when you got married. Or, there may be candle holders from a dear friend. Rarely does a dining room storage cabinet hold things devoid of associations.

When an item brings back the memory of a family member, it holds the energy of that person. It’s as if that person has taken up residence in your space. If the item holds the energy of a significant event, the event will replay in your mind when you see the item. If you are not in good relationship with the person whose energy is held in place by an object, or if your memory of a significant event is not positive, those objects are holding negative energies associated with the person or event.

Check out each item in your china cabinet, buffet or corner cupboard. Pay attention to the thoughts that immediately pop into your mind. If an item has a strong positive association you could hear, “Oh, I love that! It’s the gravy boat we used every year for Christmas,” or “That’s Nana’s salt and pepper shaker. She was so special.”

When an item holds a strong negative association or has no significant association at all you might hear, “That ugly thing was so important to Mom. It belonged to Aunt Thelma. And, she was not a nice woman!” or “I don’t know where that came from. It isn’t nearly as nice as some of my other pieces.”

Also pay attention to your energy. Items with good energy are likely to lift your spirits and elicit a warm feeling inside. They often bring a smile to your face. Items that hold memories of painful times or stressed relationships are likely cause your energy to drop and can register as a groan, a frown, or as an uneasy feeling.

Make your dining room storage cabinets a repository of treasures, not trash. Save items with the best associations, the best energy. Donate the rest!

Clear Clutter: Have Your Cleaning Products Had Babies?

It’s always interesting to see how many kinds of silver polish I find when I’m cleaning-932936_640helping clients clear clutter from their utility rooms. I’m not exactly sure how it happens, but I often find duplicates of silver polish, glass cleaners, carpet stain removal products, floor waxes, and furniture polish in particular.

I wonder if this happens because clients hear about a new, improved product and just have to try it. Or, if they just don’t remember that they already have a product. What’s also interesting is that when they discover that they have multiples of a product, they keep all of them. “They are still useful,” they say. Yes, but how long have you had them? Why haven’t they been used before? Are you REALLY likely to use them? Get real and get clear!

I recommend that you figure out which products work best for you, and either let go of the rest or systematically use up the extras. A good way use up a product is to put the bottle you want to use up first in front of the other duplicates. It’s also always a good idea to keep smaller containers on lower shelves so they will be visible and easy to access. Even though you use many of those products only occasionally, storing them on an upper shelf guarantees that they will get lost in the bottle jungle. Make them visible and use them up! Also, make a deal with yourself that you will only buy new cleansers when you are SURE that you need them.

Things that don’t get used have a static, dead energy. Plus, those extras are taking up prime real estate that could be better used in some other way. Get real with yourself about those that are really worth keeping! Lighten your cleanser load!

12 Tips to Ensure Peace in your Family Room

A cluttered room, regardless of its furnishings and paint color, is a noisy,

A family room can be peaceful!

A family room can be peaceful!

stressful environment whose negative energy will have a negative effect on the energy of its occupants. Conflicts are more likely to occur in a cluttered space.

When you think about your family room or den, do you sigh with pleasure or groan with displeasure, irritation or overwhelm? Family rooms are gathering spots, high use areas for relaxing at the end of busy days and busy weeks. As such, they tend to attract all kinds of things that have very little to do with relaxing, like computers and other forms of technology, CDs, DVDs, newspapers, magazines, catalogues, toys, art supplies, paper. . . the list goes on! If your family room is cluttered, you are not alone! Family rooms seem to take on a life of their own, especially when more than one person is sharing that space.

Guidelines for a Peaceful Family Room

  1. Remember that everything is alive with energy, and that the energies of items talk to you all the time. The more items you have in the space, the noisier and less peaceful the space will be.
  2. Keep small items like CDs, DVDs, art supplies and games contained and out of sight to quiet their noisy energies.
  3. Limit the number of knick knacks you have out and visible to just a few precious items.
  4. Have a balance between large objects (furniture) and small objects (knick knacks, books, magazines, etc.) in the room, erring on the side of more large objects and fewer small objects.
  5. Keep paper out of the family room. If you bring paper into the room to read or work on, be sure to remove it when you leave. Paper usually has the energy of activity and work, and is not conducive to the function of peace and relaxation of a family room.
  6. Limit the number of framed photos to one to three per surface so each photo can be enjoyed. Large quantities of framed photos on a surface have the energy of a crowd, more annoying than pleasurable. Plus, because the energy of a crowd feels overwhelming, it’s less likely that all the photos will be seen.
  7. Contain your magazines and catalogues to one or two baskets or bins rather than out on tables. If a basket fills up, consider it a sign that it’s time review the contents of the basket and let some items go to recycling or the trash.
  8. Keep side tables clear by using small boxes with lids on side tables to contain small items that are frequently used in the family room, like nail clippers, nail files, pens, note pads, etc. When those items are used, return them immediately to the box.
  9. If you have more than one remote, devote one attractive container to remotes and return all remotes to it at the end of each day.
  10. Teach children that whatever they bring into the room must leave it when they leave, like book bags, school supplies, books, snack wrappers, plates, shoes, iPods, tablets, laptops, etc.
  11. Return the room to order each time you leave it and teach your family members to do the same. Return magazines to their basket, remove newspapers, return dishes to the kitchen, and put CDs and DVDs that were used back in place.
  12. Keep the room clean. Dust and dirt are negative energy. Negative energies can induce negative behaviors, irritation and conflict.

It takes just minutes per day to maintain peace in a family room. And, a peaceful family room can also be trashed and transformed into a chaotic mess in a matter of minutes of thoughtless action. Choose for peace!

Cram-It Method of Cleanup Creates a Clutter Nightmare

DSCN0890

The result of the cram-it method of cleanup — a clutter nightmare!

We’ve all been there. Company is coming and you look around your home in dismay. What will you do with all the clutter? You can’t have anyone see the way you live. What do you do? Grab a bag or box and cram all the stuff that is cluttering your space into it. Problem solved. The clutter is gone. . . momentarily. But, is it really gone?

What happens to those bags and boxes? They get stuck in a closet, the basement, garage or attic. Once they are there they grow roots and stay put, little cesspools of negative energy that only get more negative over time. Do you feel inclined to pull them out and go through their contents? No! The negative energy of their mixed contents is overwhelming and shuts down any motivation to address those bags and boxes. Plus, much of their contents is not important enough to motivate you to go through them.

If you continue the cram-it method of cleanup without clearing out those bags and boxes, you are planting a garden of negative energy in your home. The longer those containers go unaddressed, the harder it will be to muster the motivation to empty them out and make decisions about what to do with their contents. Also, like energy attracts like energy. Boxes of unprocessed stuff will attract more boxes of unaddressed stuff. The end result? A clutter nightmare!

The cram-it method of cleanup can quickly become a habit because it provides instant gratification. Couple that with “I’ll get to it later” thinking and you have a recipe for serious clutter problems.

What is your alternative?

  1. Create new habits. Make putting things away on a daily basis a priority so you can restore order to your home with minimal cleanup. When company is expected, use that event as your cue to put things away. Returning items to their “homes” takes a lot less time than it will take to excavate the clutter heaps you create.
  2. Make time to create homes for everything, and clear out spaces so that everything has a home that is easily accessible.
  3. Hire a professional organizer to help you clear clutter and create homes for everything if you are unable to  motivate yourself to set up your space so that your belongings can be put away easily. 

When you avoid the cram-it method of cleanup you are choosing to live clutter-free!

Clear Clutter to Create Mental Space

Today I woke up at 4:00 a.m. I had a fleeting thought about my business and my brainclock-157400_640 (1) was off and running. Not a chance that I would be able to fall asleep again! My work plate is quite heavy at the moment, and I was feeling stressed about getting everything done. So, I took my racing brain into my office to put it to good use.

I first cleared my desk and computer screen of clutter. Part of the reason I was feeling stressed was that in the busyness of the week my desk had gotten cluttered. I couldn’t clearly see all of the tasks I needed to do. After clearing the clutter I organized what was left and made my action items clearly visible. I not only felt more grounded, but I created both physical and mental space to be able formulate a game plan for getting everything done. I began to relax and feel more in control.

The best benefit of my early morning clearing was that the introduction for a free ADHD tele-class that I’ll be doing this month just fell into my head. Clearing my mental and physical clutter made space for ideas for the tele-class to flow.

Insomnia isn’t all bad if well spent!

Clear Bedroom Book Clutter & Sleep Better

Books are FIRE in the bedroom.DSCN0764

Do you want to sleep peacefully?  Do you want to have sweet dreams? 

If so, it’s a good idea to become very conscious of what can influence you while you sleep.  Most people have books and other reading material on their bedside tables.  Some have a book or two and others have the equivalent of a whole library.

Let me describe for you what a book is in terms of the FIVE ELEMENTS.  In feng shui there are five elements: wood, fire, metal, water and earth. 

The hottest, most energetic of those elements is fire.  Books are fire elements.  The words on the pages are the equivalent of fire.  The pages themselves are wood elements.  Wood feeds fire.  In other words, if you have many books in your bedroom, you are sleeping with a bonfire. Sound restful?

What I’m saying is that books are high energy things.  Their energy will affect you while you are sleeping.  That’s why it’s good to limit the books in your bedroom to one or two per person.  Store your books elsewhere and bring them into your bedroom when you are ready to read them.

I was working with a client who loves to read in bed.  She had her current reads on the bedside table.  On the floor on the other side of the bed she had a 4’ row of books lined up that she was interested in reading.  I urged her to move the books to a bookshelf in her office that she could designate as the holding place for books she really wants to read.  She was willing and we got to work. 

As I was moving the books I noticed the titles.  She had a whole series of books by one author who writes about vampires and death.  It seemed like every book I looked at had death and dying in the title.  That alarmed me because not only is it a good idea to limit the number of books in a bedroom, it is also a good idea to make sure the content is peaceful and pleasant.  When you sleep your subconscious has access to the content of books.  I could only imagine what my client’s subconscious was doing with all those death books.

In another situation I was working with a woman who was a physician and was married to a physician.  Guess what I found in their bedside tables?  Medical journals!  How romantic!  Work and romance really do not go together!  And, she and her husband were both working right up until they closed their eyes at night! Sleeping with those journals in the room kept both of them focused on medicine through the night as well. I suggested that if she wanted more intimacy with her husband as well as more restful sleep, the journals should be banned from the bedroom. She was thrilled to have permission to remove them and later reported that her husband was also very happy with the arrangement.

Clear book clutter in the bedroom and sleep well!

Prevent Clutter: Make Returns Quickly

What do you do when you buy something only to later realize it was the wrong size,

something that won’t work, or something you just don’t want? Do you return it immediately? Or is your habit to set it aside to return sometime. . .? In my clutter clearing work I’ve learned that many people do nothing with items that really need to be returned. I find numerous bags of items to be returned in clients’ homes. Some haven’t been returned because the person needs to find the receipt. I have a hunch that many items get set aside and then go out of awareness

Things that need to be returned are usually a let down to the purchaser. Then they become work, another item on the over-filled to do list. I view items that need to be returned as “mistakes.” They hold mistake energy. Mistake energy is very negative. If you have too much of it around it’s easy to start feeling like you are a mistake. As more negative feelings and energy become associated with mistake items, it becomes harder and harder to motivate yourself to take action and return them.

I recently made a mistake and ordered two mattress covers that are too heavy to be

Mattress cover mistake.

Mattress cover mistake.

washed in my washing machine. It almost burned out the motor of my washing machine! What a disappointment! Not only that, I was left with a very soggy mattress cover that still needed to be dried before I could ship it back for a refund. So, not only was I disappointed, but I had several more tasks on my to do list: take the cover to a laundromat to dry it in a heavy duty commercial dryer, repackage the mattress covers, and drop the packages off at the post office.

Needless to say, I was not happy to have the extra hassle and the extra work. My first impulse was to just ignore the whole situation for awhile (I’ll bet you can identify with this response!). All three tasks were things I didn’t like doing. They all would eat my limited and valuable time. And, the tasks weren’t as important as many other things on my to do list.

This mistake, however, was hard to ignore. The queen sized mattress covers were not things  that could be stashed away to deal with when I felt like it. Their presence filled my living room. Plus, one cover was wet. If I left it alone, it would become mildewed and stink. That aspect of the situation is what really motivated me to deal with the situation. I didn’t want to add the hassle of having to fix a mildew problem. Plus, I reminded myself that the mattress covers held mistake energy, big mistake energy. I certainly didn’t need that energy affecting me and my husband.

So, I pushed aside my dread, resentment and disappointment, and the mattress cover was dried and both covers were packed up the next day. The following day I dropped them off at the post office. Mission accomplished.

When you realize an item needs to be returned, immediately put it near your car keys so you can take it back out to the car on your next trip to the car. Then, set a deadline for returning it, preferably within 1-2 weeks. Motivate yourself to get the task done by remembering that you are fixing a mistake. Also remember that when you return the item(s), you’ll get money back. Items that never get returned are worth money, money that will go down the drain if you don’t take action.

Clear Clutter: Top of the Bedroom Dresser

You may have learned this the hard way, but it’s best to leave clearing cluttered dresser

Bedroom dressers are best used as decorative surfaces,  not storage areas or dump spots.

Bedroom dressers are best used as decorative surfaces, not storage areas or dump spots.

tops for last in your bedroom clutter clearing efforts. Why? Those surfaces are usually covered with little stuff like jewelry, receipts, business cards, perfumes, coins, knick knacks, photographs and anything else that lands on that tempting flat surface.  If you begin clutter clearing with small stuff, you’re more likely to get overwhelmed by the quantity of decisions to be made and the impossibility of seeing visible progress quickly.

If, on the other hand, you figured out that it’s best to tackle the rest of the room first, good for you! That way you have already improved the energy in your space to a point where facing that dreaded mess of little stuff seems possible.

So, you’re looking at all that little stuff. Where do you begin?

Start by considering the function of that surface. In other words, what kinds of items do you want to have out in the open, either because you love them and they make your heart sing or because you want easy access to them?

Once you make that decision, remove anything from the dresser top that doesn’t fit that function. Move those items in the direction they need to go. For example, if business cards really belong in your home office, place the cards near the door to the room, ready for transport to the home office when you take a break or finish your work for the day. Don’t take those items to the location at that moment. If you do, you may never get back to the dreaded dresser top!

Once you’ve removed those things that don’t fit the dresser top function, sort the remaining items into categories of like items. Clump jewelry with jewelry, perfumes with perfumes, etc. That way you can get an accurate picture of the quantity of each item and you are better able to decide how many of a particular type of item you want to have out in the open. Be very selective about those things that remain on the dresser top because each is alive with an energy that will talk to you while you sleep. Remember, your bedroom will feel more restful if fewer items are visible.

A great option for a dresser top is a box and small containers in which you can store all the little stuff that talks too loudly.

Men find a dresser box helpful for storing nail clippers, other small grooming tools and various odds and ends that could get lost in the depths of drawers. Another option for keeping a dresser top less cluttered is to place a small container to hold loose change or frequently used jewelry. When small items float over the top of a dresser it feels more cluttered. Be sure to use each container for just one category of little stuff. When you mix items in containers you create clutter in a container and can’t easily find and access items you want.

Dresser tops are best treated as decorative surfaces rather than a landing strips for the stuff in your pockets and anything you don’t want to bother moving to its rightful home. Once you identify the function of the dresser top, it will easier to stop yourself from just dropping anything in your hand or pocket onto that surface.

Clear your dresser top and then treat it with respect. The peace of your bedroom depends on it!

ADHD Self-Awareness Challenge and Clutter Creation

One way that ADHD shows up is in deficits in self-awareness. In other words, people

Hanging up clothes at the end of every day prevents clutter.

Hanging up clothes at the end of every day prevents clutter.

with ADHD move through life, but can’t clearly see the effects of their behaviors and decisions.

I first became aware of this ADHD challenge when I was helping a client clear clutter in her classroom. As I worked my way around the room creating order, she was working her way around creating new clutter. When I paused and saw what was going on, I pointed it out to her. She looked around and was totally baffled to see what she’d done. She was totally unaware that as she worked she was creating more clutter. Very often when I ask ADHD clients how their space got to be so cluttered they honestly answer, “I don’t know.”

When a person has good self-awareness, they are able to observe their behavior as they move through life. People with ADHD have busy brains, so much going on in their heads that paying attention to their behavior and how it’s affecting their lives and the lives of others doesn’t make it onto their radar very well.

In ADHD coaching, I partner with clients to help them learn how to be more self-aware. Together we look at situations and challenge areas and create awareness of habits and behaviors that affect outcomes. With practice over time, made possible by weekly coaching sessions, clients become more adept at observing themselves and what they are doing so they can better avoid problems and make progress to achieve their goals.

Got ADHD? Got clutter? A good first step is to create awareness of what you are doing that creates clutter. Watch yourself as you move through your day. What are you doing that creates clutter? Not putting things away immediately? Not cleaning up after yourself? Not hanging up your clothes? What are you thinking when you decide not to put things away immediately?

What are you doing that prevents clutter?  Are you sorting mail every day over your recycling bin to get rid of as much unnecessary paper as possible? Are you taking a few extra seconds every evening to hang up clothes you wore that day? With awareness of how you create clutter you can then plan strategies to prevent clutter.

If you find you can’t create awareness on your own or make necessary changes to prevent and clear clutter, email me to schedule a free 30 minute consultation to learn more about how ADHD coaching can help you address your clutter challenges.

Clear Clutter, Save Money!

I read this on Facebook yesterday.

“Cleaning out the sewing room. .. Ah, you know all those missing scissors? Think I found them. Wonder how that happened.”

Scissors FoundThis is what can happen when a space is not organized so that you can find what you need when you need it. Can’t find a pair of scissors. . . buy another pair, and another pair, and another pair.

Cluttered spaces hide things. They can make your brain shut down and go to the path of least resistance. . . buy what you can’t find. Think of the money that could have been saved if this woman had been able to find those sewing scissors!

Clear your clutter and set up your space so that the tools you need are visible and easily accessible. Save money, sanity and time! If you can’t make yourself clear that clutter, ask for help. Over time living in clutter can cost you more in the cost of new items than the cost to get help from a professional organizer.

How a Professional Organizer Can Help You Clear Clutter

Most people baulk at paying for the services of a professional organizer. They know they can do what’s required to clear clutter. They are just not doing it. Knowing you can do something and actually doing it are two very different processes. So, in this post I’m going to explain how I help a client clear clutter.

I recently worked with a client to clear her computer room that served a dual purpose as a repository of her daughter’s school papers and school supplies. This is the clutter that greeted us. It was so overwhelming to my client that she’d put off doing the job for months and months.IMG_3026

IMG_3024How did I help her?

  • My presence helped her focus on the project. After all, she was paying for my time, so she made time to get the work done. And, just having someone by her side when she face the clutter helped her lower her anxiety. Anxiety about the size of the challenge and not knowing how to address it had probably been blocking her from getting started.
  • I figured out where to get started so we could see feel immediate results. I asked her to clear books from the overflowing bookshelf while I began restoring order in the rest of the room.
  • I kept the clutter clearing project moving by periodically taking stock of our progress and making decisions about theIMG_3025 order in which to tackle different areas of the room.
  • I kept track of time and prioritized the work to get the most done in the allotted two hours.
  • I helped her make decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of when she was uncertain.
  • I urged her to let go of many of the books. When she hesitated to get rid of books because they belonged to her daughter, I reminded her that her daughter had outgrown many of the books and that her daughter is not a saver (I knew that because I’d cleared clutter with her daughter in the past).
  • I sorted multiple bins of school supplies while she worked on the bookshelf, something that would have been hard for her to do because she doesn’t naturally think in categories, and she would likely have gotten overwhelmed by the quantity and variety of supplies.
  • I directed her to where to work next when she finished one project and was uncertain where to go next for the most benefit.
  • I helped her clear the little stuff one of desks, something that was overwhelming to her.
  • I came up with a storage plan for all the school supplies. I then moved the supplies to their new homes, making sure they were all easily visible and in locations that provided easy access to the supplies that would be used most often.
  • I helped her finish up the project by moving boxes of items to donate out of the room and straightening  up the space.

We worked at a rapid clip for two hours. This is what the room looked like at the end of our time together. Not perfect. Not completely cleared, but much better!IMG_3028

Could my client have made this kind of progress working on her own? Could she have done it in two hours? No way! She didn’t even know where to start clearing, much less how to think about what should be kept and what she could let go of.

Working together as a team with me IMG_3030directing the work made all the difference. When we were done she was sighing with relief and had a big smile on her face. Working with a professional organizer cost money, but it also helped her get the clearing done! 

IMG_3029

Utility Room Clutter Clearing or Have Your Cleaning Products Had Babies?

It’s always interesting to see how many kinds of silver polish I find when FullSizeRenderI’m helping clients clear clutter from their utility rooms. I’m not exactly sure how it happens, but I often find duplicates of silver polish, carpet stain removal products, floor waxes, and furniture polish in particular.

I wonder if this accumulation happens because clients hear about a new, improved product and just have to try i. Or, if they just don’t remember that they already have a product. What’s also interesting is that when they discover that they have multiples of a product, they often keep all of them.

I recommend that you figure out which product works best for you, and either let go of the rest or systematically use up the extras. A good way use up a product is to put the bottle you want to use up in front of the other duplicates. It’s also always a good idea to keep smaller containers on lower shelves so they will be visible and easy to access. Even though you use many of those products only occasionally, storing them on an upper shelf guarantees that they will get lost in the bottle jungle. Make them visible and use them up! Also, make a deal with yourself that you will only buy new cleaning
products when you are sure that you need them.

Remember, things that don’t get used have a static, dead energy. Those extras are taking up prime real estate that could be better used in some other way. Get real with yourself about those that are really worth keeping! Lighten your cleanser load!

Clutter: The Risks of Not Doing Clutter Clearing

imagesCAGBLYOU“Risk is a part of life, work, and love. If you leap, a net will appear.”

~Barbara Talisman

When you clear clutter you are taking risks. You could decide you are going to clear a particular space, but then find you can’t get started. You risked and failed at starting. You could start clutter clearing, get stuck, and run for the remote. You risked and bailed out. You could identify items to donate, take them to be donated, and later find you need the very thing you donated.

Those risks can keep many people from achieving their clutter clearing goals. Some people decide it’s better to be cluttered than risk failing or making a mistake. But, what if the risk of not clutter clearing is far greater than the risks associated with clutter clearing?

The risks of NOT clearing your clutter include:

  • not being able to achieve your goals because you can’t find what you need when you need it,
  • missing opportunities because your clutter makes it impossible to think clearly and make good decisions,
  • not being able to achieve your goals because your clutter is so distracting that you lose sight of your goals and/or fail to follow through on opportunities and necessary actions,
  • wasting money in late fees and/or destroying your credit rating because you aren’t able to find your bills to pay them on time,
  • blocking the flow of money and other good things coming into your life,
  • having relationship conflict or even getting divorced because your partner or spouse cannot tolerate the clutter,
  • being lonely and isolated because you don’t want anyone to see the condition of your home, and
  • having health challenges because the negative energy of your clutter affects you physically (breathing problems, autoimmune disorders, heart problems, cancer).

Can you afford to not clear clutter? You can get over making a mistake or failing in your clutter clearing attempts. But, can you afford to risk your productivity, your financial situation, relationships and health? Take a risk. You will survive and be glad you did!

If you need help to move past your fears of failure and/or making a mistake in clutter clearing, email me to schedule a free 30 minute consultation to determine your best next steps to get unstuck and moving to clear your clutter.

Clear Clutter to Get Clear About What You Want

“Clear to get clear.” That’s a slogan I’ve used for years. When you clear physical

Can't figure out what to do? Clear clutter!

Can’t figure out what to do? Clear clutter!

clutter you clear environmental distractions to clear thinking. It’s fun to watch this happen when I work with clients. At some point in our session we cross a line. After we have removed items from the space to donate, send to trash, recycle, or relocate new ideas and thoughts start popping. Decisions we couldn’t make at the beginning of the session are suddenly easy to make. With the clutter gone, so too are our minds clear, and creative ideas and clear thinking emerge.

Recently I received a message from a coaching client who had enlisted my help to clear clutter once she realized she had ADHD. We coached together for about four months. During that time I also did several hands-on organizing sessions with her. Her note expressed gratitude because as a result of our coaching and clutter clearing she was able to figure out what she wanted for the next chapter of her life. She wanted to move. With quantities of clutter gone from her space she was able to think more clearly and figure out the fact that her house was too big for her and her husband now that her children are leaving the nest. With that clarity she was motivated to continue to clear clutter to prepare the house for sale.

Not sure what you want? Clear clutter for greater clarity. Make space for your truth, new ideas, and clear thinking.

Clear Clutter to Manage Uncomfortable Feelings

Last week I wrote this post while sitting in the surgery center waiting room while Mom was DSCN0207having a total hip replacement. Mom is 84 and has Alzheimer’s, so even attempting this surgery was a big deal. Needless to say I was   anxious about that surgery because of Mom’s age, her cognitive impairments, the risk of surgery, and because Mom and I have always been very close.

So, what did this professional organizer do the day before her elderly mother’s surgery? Some people would clean house. Others would drink alcohol or eat unhealthy food. Me? I cleared clutter. Of course! Fortunately for me we are getting a new stove, and that required me to reorganize my kitchen to incorporate all the things that had been stored in the location where the stove will go. I say “fortunately” because it often takes an urgent need to motivate anyone to tackle a project as big as clearing clutter in a kitchen. Most of us would rather avoid that project! Too many decisions!

In my case, however, it gave me a concrete project that I could focus on instead of thinking about Mom’s surgery. It was cathartic to throw away multiple items from under the sink to make room for my zip lock bags and other food wraps. It felt really good to release numerous serving dishes that were very nice, but never used. I got real about the fact that they really were too fancy for the way I like to entertain. Besides, I needed the space for the dish towels and my supplements.

The whole project was a big puzzle. The challenge of figuring out how to make more space in my cabinets and drawers, and how to get current about what we eat and what I use kept me mentally occupied for hours.

The end result: two full bags of garbage and four bags to go to charity. When I finished clearing and reorganizing the insides of my cabinets and drawers, not only did they look in control, but I also felt calmer and less anxious about Mom’s surgery. That clearing set the stage for me to visit Mom to have dinner and do pre-op preparations feeling lighter and capable of being calm and fully present with her.

Clear clutter prior to surgery was a win/win for both Mom and me!