When tough times hit it’s very tempting to stop doing all the maintenance
Stay organized to stay afloat when you hit rough waters in life.
behaviors that keep you organized and relatively clutter-free. The emotions that come up during an extended illness, the decline or loss of a special person or pet in your life, a divorce or period of financial challenge can derail motivation to do those boring tasks that keep you organized and moving.
What happens when you stop doing those important maintenance behaviors (putting things away, hanging up your clothes, doing laundry, processing mail, paying bills, filing, daily cleaning up, deleting junk emails) is that you create pockets of negative energy in your space and on your computer. Those energies produce stress that will keep you feeling bad and stressed and prevent clear thinking. Plus the chaos you create by not staying organized makes it very hard to get back on track once you move through the difficult period.
The truth is that if done regularly those maintenance tasks don’t take a lot of time. Plus, if you can make yourself do tasks that don’t seem very important during periods of crisis, you will keep yourself grounded so you can think clearly and make good decisions.
Doing maintenance tasks in a time of crisis is not optional. It’s an important investment of time to assure that you can effectively navigate rough waters. Make doing it a priority during tough times.
You’ve been clearing clutter! Yay! You are lightening your load. But, are
Dam the flow of incoming things to make progress with your clutter clearing.
you? Last night while in conversation with some former ADHD group coaching participants one woman shared that she had gotten about 25 bags/boxes out of her house. We thought that was great progress! However, another astute woman piped up with a great question, “Great! But, but how much is coming in?” The first woman looked slightly uncomfortable and admitted that she was still bringing in stuff. In fact, she enjoyed retail therapy.
Upon further questioning the woman revealed that she was buying things to display after she had cleared her clutter. They were not even things she could enjoy immediately. They became clutter because there was no place for them to go. How ironic that the things she was purchasing to enjoy once her house was clutter-free were creating more clutter.
I suggested that this woman stop buying items in advance of clearing out a room. Rather, that she first clear out the room. Then when the room was clear, she could reward herself with a few new items that could be displayed and enjoyed immediately.
The above incident made me realize that much of my writing has been about how to get rid of clutter. I have never spent much time discussing an important aspect of clutter clearing: stopping the flow of unnecessary items coming into your home.
You can’t make clutter clearing progress if you don’t reduce or stop bringing more things into your home, or at least have a system for eliminating a number of things equal to or greater than the number of things you are bringing in. It’s akin to trying to empty a pool while still adding water to it!
To get the full benefit from clutter clearing, plug the incoming channel. Then focus on eliminating things you no longer love or use.
Feng shui can be done in small steps. Throw away a dead plant. Clear clutter from a drawer. Add a lamp to a dark area in your home. Add fresh flowers to your kitchen. When you eliminate negative energy (dead things, clutter) and increase positive energy (adding light, add color and plants), you are doing feng shui.
I had the chance to appreciate the power of feng shui when I made a simple change in my kitchen. What started as trimming an overgrown plant ended up being a significant enhancement to the energies in my kitchen.
I trimmed a pothos, a hardy type of philodendron that grows in long vines. Instead of tossing the vines I’d cut off the plant into the trash, I stuffed them in a jar and put the jar on my kitchen counter. That little pop of color and positive energy totally transformed the feel of my kitchen! It’s amazing what a little pop of bright green can do to energize a room. I also added a photo of my beloved Harry and a special rock from my dear friend, Margaret Norman.
Adding three sources of positive energy really changed the look and feel of my counter. My spirits lift every time my eyes light on the little green plant. The arrangement looked and felt so good that I was motivated to reduce our paper piles on that counter from two to one. Less clutter = good feng shui! Plus, now I work really hard to keep that counter clear. Who knew that sticking green cuttings in a jar could lead not only a daily mood shift but also motivate me to clear clutter and keep it clear!
What small step can you take today to eliminate a source of negative energy and/or add positive energy to your home or office? Clear and enhance! Small steps add up to big changes over time!