style / mindset / simplicity
style / mindset / simplicity
I'm starting the New Year by coming clean. An 'improvement' project has been on my mind for ages, but except for complaining and wishing it was handled, I haven't really taken any action towards accomplishing it. I hope that sharing the details here will keep me accountable and maybe even inspire you to tackle a task you've been avoiding...
I teach women to declutter their lives, usually starting with their wardrobes. I guide my clients through a process that allows them to create the life they want, largely because they learn to let go of what no longer serves them. Together, we spend time excavating the simple, authentic, beautiful life that exists beneath the excess stuff.
When I finish helping a client transform her wardrobe, space, and mindset and it’s high fives all around. I absolutely LOVE what I do!
But lately, I’ve been feeling envious of my clients. My life isn’t as simple, authentic and beautiful as I’d like it to be. Sure I've toyed with the idea of minimalism and extreme decluttering, but I haven't made it happen.
I want to simplify my life enough so that I move can beyond OVERWHELM and into a place of FREEDOM.
Until now, I accepted that on the surface, my life is actually quite free of clutter. But... I’m not where I want to be. I can do better.
The mental clutter/noise? I’m committed to busting through that on a daily basis! I’m doing the slow, repetitive work of catching my negative thoughts, and then changing them so that I can create a different reality. I've made progress and that feels amazing!
But… then there’s the actual clutter. The excess stuff in my home that prevents me from feeling the freedom I know is available to me. I want that freedom in 2020!
For a while I’ve been actively trying to ignore the clutter. I’ve wondered if the problem is really with my thoughts and not with the stuff. I know that my thoughts create my reality… so if I think the stuff is the problem, then it is. If I think the clutter is bugging me, then it does.
Since I tend to over-research and over-analyze, I’ve carefully considered whether dealing with the ‘clutter’ would simply be a procrastination tactic. As I’m really skilled at the art of procrastination… “If I spend time decluttering all the things, then I won’t have to do the real work I’m avoiding.” :-)
But I believe the truth is this… I have a genetic/cultural/learned default system that makes it almost impossible for me to work in a mess (even if I can’t actually see the mess because it’s been carefully organized in coordinating bins;-). I want everything tidy and orderly before I start working. I find it difficult to be creative when the clutter looms. As a result, I'm stressing about clutter when I could be crushing important goals!
I’m finished trying to beat back or change my ‘I need to handle the stuff’ thoughts. I’ve decided begin the decade with a solid decluttering project of my own. I'm done waiting.
My best clutter-free life starts NOW!
I am fully aware that many areas of my home are orderly and organized and high-functioning. Those aren’t the areas I’m referring to here.
I’m talking about the stuff that’s not visible to guests or in my Instagram images. The unworn clothing that hangs in my closet, the piles that have taken root in random places, the contents of boxes waiting to be used someday...
There's a lot of carefully organized clutter that resides in my house but isn’t enhancing my life in any way. This stuff overwhelms me whenever I see it or even think about it. I've reached the tipping point. I'm taking deliberate action. This full-disclosure is a little embarassing for me since purging and organizing are part of my job. I'm a Style & Simplicity Coach, for goodness sake! I should have this handled already.
If you'd like to join me, here's how I'm going to create FREEDOM from the stuff...
Treat myself like a client. How do I help a client sort through the mental and physical clutter that’s holding her back?
Determine what areas of my home are causing anxiety. What are the actual problem areas?
How would I feel if these areas were clutter-free?
What would change for me if I handled those black holes and hot spots?
(Note: Jackie is a special human and a very dear friend. She's super inspiring. She's also that friend, the one with the uber-cool house. Jackie has cultivated a home that feels like freedom. It's a space where I'd love to sip coffee every morning or where I'd gladly house-sit for the rest of the year.)
Who’s your Jackie? How would she handle your clutter?
Here are my tips for a Clutter Revolution:
Ma’am, step away from the bins.
Don’t buy a single container until you’ve completed a heavy purge!! (I shared my thoughts in a YouTube video) It’s tempting to buy all the pretty bins. The displays are everywhere right now. Retailers know how you feel in January. You want order after a season of chaos. What’s easier than dumping all that stuff into a fancy box? I get it, but don’t do it. Purge first. Then, if there are things you truly need to store and organize… go grab some cool bins.
Be ruthless when purging.
An abundance mentality starts here. Saving things for ‘someday’ is often the same as saying “I'm worried that I won’t be able to acquire this again so I have to hold onto it forever”. I’ve done extensive work on my previous lack mentality. I know that I create more abundance when I’m willing to let go of the things that aren’t serving me, instead of holding onto them 'just in case’. I love the idea of keeping only what you find to be useful, beautiful or both.
Be patient and be kind.
Accept the fact that it will likely get worse before it gets better. That’s okay. The clutter didn’t appear overnight and it won’t disappear that fast either. Settle in and do it right… or you’ll likely be looking at similar clutter in a few months. And, give yourself grace. Don't beat yourself up for dragging your feet on delcuttering or for the piles of unnecessary stuff you've accumulated over the years. When you know better, you can do better. (I'm repeating this step to myself:-)
Celebrate the wins!
Find a way to reward yourself after you’ve finished decluttering, or even along the way. This is helpful when you feel like giving up. But, your reward shouldn’t be buying more stuff! Instead, take a long walk with a friend, or go on a lunch date with your husband. Treat yourself to a manicure after hauling a load to consignment, or plan a party to show off your newly decluttered home!
I'm excited to begin! I show up daily on Instagram. Follow me on IG for behind-the-scenes updates to my FREEDOM project!
If this resonates with you, please share! I'd love to know that I'm not alone as I head into 2020 seeking freedom from my stuff. :-) Thanks for being here.
Wishing you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year!