Reflections

Your Guide to Designing Your Best Summer Ever

Your Guide to Designing Your Best Summer Ever

What would it take for you to have your best summer ever? Follow this process to help you plan.

The Life-Changing Magic of Planning Your Week

The Life-Changing Magic of Planning Your Week

One way to squeeze more joy out of life is to plan more joy into it. Implementing Laura Vanderkam’s time management strategies of time tracking, planning your week, and building in open space can help you design and live a more fulfilling life.

Common Organizing Mistakes to Avoid

Common Organizing Mistakes to Avoid

Check out the recent Redfin article we were featured in: Organizing Mistakes: 27 Slip-Ups to Avoid During Your Next Project | Redfin

Learn common organizing mistakes to avoid
We got all the clothes out so we could see how much we have (good… though getting everything out all at once may not be right for everyone). But it’s not organized or categorized, which makes the next step (choosing what to keep) more difficult.

Organizing is difficult and can be a stressful, time-consuming project. It’s also an essential skill that can increase your physical and emotional health. Chances are, though, that during an organizing project, you made a few mistakes. While it’s natural to feel disappointed or frustrated when mistakes occur, it’s important to recognize them as valuable learning opportunities rather than failures.

So, whether you live in a house in Brentwood, CA, or a Greenville, SC, apartment, these expert-backed tips are sure to make your life easier. Read on for 27 organizing mistakes to avoid during your next decluttering project.

Read the full article here: Organizing Mistakes: 27 Slip-Ups to Avoid During Your Next Project | Redfin

Pay special attention to #21 to take in our contribution. And truly, don’t forget to celebrate your successes (not just when it comes to organizing but in life as well). Celebration helps you build the healthy habits you need to keep your home tidy. If you want to know more about this topic, I encourage you to check out the book Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg.

One of the common organizing mistakes (#14) is forgetting to address emotions. Clutter impacts your stress level. When you reduce clutter, you also reduce stress. Do yourself a favor and tidy up today! As I like to say, tidying is self care.

Review all 27 common organizing mistakes here to ensure success in your next organizing project. If you’re uncertain about how to best approach getting tidy, set up a Complimentary Cut-The-Clutter Consult with us today. You’ll get specific suggestions, customized to you and your individual organizing needs.

Top Tips for Renovating Your Kitchen

Top Tips for Renovating Your Kitchen

We were named a top decluttering and renovation expert by Redfin. Check out the article we were featured in: 21 DIY Kitchen Renovation Tips for a Makeover On a Budget

Take Action to Tidy

Take Action to Tidy

I once saw a client who had read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up years ago.  She loved the book, and believed in the Method.  She joined KonMari®-themed groups on Facebook and told her friends about the book.  Then, she tidied her home… in her head.  Thoughts without action got her nowhere. Years went by.  And she never got started.

The Best Advice for Donating Items that Don’t Spark Joy

The Best Advice for Donating Items that Don’t Spark Joy

Spring is finally here, and with spring comes Spring Cleaning, or as I prefer “Spring Clearing.”  I hope you are inspired clear space for joy and tidy your whole home this spring.  An intensive tidying marathon is sure to generate a large volume of discarded items.

An older friend recently came to me for decluttering advice, about how to get rid of unwanted items in her home.  The advice I shared with her is the same I will share with you:

Get unwanted items out of your home as quickly as possible.

It’s understandable that you want to find a good home for your items. Believe me, I feel this way as well, but I urge you not to hold on to something because of your desire to pass it to a worthy individual or organization. Please do not allow your discards to sit in a pile on the floor of your home, not being used, and not sparking any joy.  I have been guilty of this, and I have had clients guilty of this.  Wisely learn from our mistakes, and let go as quickly as possible, releasing the burden of unwanted stuff from your shoulders.

The easiest way to get rid of your unwanted items is to find a charity or thrift store in your area that accepts a wide variety of donations.  Do it as soon as possible!  I love St. Vincent de Paul as a place to take donations.  They accept many different kinds of items, you can drop off most of your discards here in one fell swoop, and they are one of many non-profit organizations who do a lot of good in our community. Woo hoo!!

Believe it or not, even though my tidying marathon is complete, I frequent find more things to donate.  My children keep growing and I keep honing what brings me joy. In our home, we have a designated place for storing discards that is out of the way.  I get regular emails from Charity Clothing Pickup telling me they will have a truck in my area, and I sign up for a pickup whenever I need one.  Then, I put the items on my porch the night before they arrive.  It’s super easy!

Here’s a list of places to call to pick up your donations in St. Louis. As always, when you discard items, let them go with gratitude. The recipients of your donations feel grateful for your generosity.

Happy Tidying!

Seven Simple Steps to Purify Your Space

Seven Simple Steps to Purify Your Space

Here I share with you some simple steps to cleanse your home so you can purify your own home with mindful intention.  Home Cleansing is especially relevant before moving out, but after completing your tidying event or at year-end are other great times to cleanse your space.  I was surprised how fitting this ritual felt to perform and witness!  It truly did leave a clear and refreshed feeling, similar to the feeling of tidying your space.

Sharing Her “Love” of a Tidy Home…

Sharing Her “Love” of a Tidy Home…

This morning when I opened my e-mail, I was greeted by this heartwarming testimonial. “Lisa… We are so grateful for your help over here especially now that we are spending so much time here! [due to the coronavirus] …” Read to find out how she signed her letter.

It’s Time to “Stretch” – 5 Ideas to Make the Most of What You Have

It’s Time to “Stretch” – 5 Ideas to Make the Most of What You Have

Support and cooperation are what we need, now more than ever. I’m showing up for you here. The last several days have been a series of one shock after another for many of us as the coronavirus, COVID-19, spreads through Europe and the United States. Almost every event has been canceled to curtail the spread of the virus, from mass school closings to Catholic Mass. One day I had never heard of #socialdistancing. The next day, I was practicing it. 

Before our local library closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, I checked out the book Stretch by Scott Sonenshein, who is the co-author of Marie Kondo’s upcoming publication, Joy at Work. Sonenshein writes, “The foundation of stretching is to focus on what we already have. A stretching mind-set releases us from the anxiety of never having enough and teaches us that we can make more than enough with what’s right here.”

Right now, if we focus on what we have and how we can use our resources to the best of our ability, we will see that we can get through this and we can make it work with what we already have. That’s how the KonMari™ Method works, too! We don’t need to go out and buy all the fanciest organizers and containers and matching kitchen containers – what we already have usually works just fine. You just have to look at it in a different way.

Most of us right now are experiencing some (or a lot of) trauma. I expect this trauma and loss will grow as the virus spreads. No one is immune. Not to this disease, and not to the effects of this disease on our economy, our loved ones, our medical system, and our way of life as we know it. We are all suffering from the effects of the coronavirus, whether or not we are infected.

I recently read the book Flourish by Martin Seligman. Yes, I’m a self-help book nerd! Seligman spent a chapter of the book discussing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and I learned something new: PTSD is not the normal response to trauma and grief – the most common response to suffering is actually growth! After an initial period of heightened anxiety and depression and a dip in well-being, people emerge from traumatic events stronger and better than before. Research showed that people who experienced two traumatic events had well-being superior to those with one, and those with three traumas emerged stronger than those with two. 

This resonated with me. After the death of my daughter Cecelia in 2017, I experienced the “post-traumatic growth” that Seligman described in his book. I learned to stretch, and focus on what I do have. I showed gratitude. I emphasized what I could control and found comfort in daily duties like washing dishes and doing laundry. Sonenshein writes, “Doing nothing while the world around us changes makes us an inevitable victim to outside forces.”

The world is changing fast. Doing nothing is not an option. Even staying home is doing something, and helping prevent the spread of the virus. Let’s do our part. 

Here are some ways you can stretch:

  1. Get creative with the use of your resources. The KonMari™ Method embraces the idea that you already have what you need. Fewer resources means more expansive thinking. How can you use what you have to keep your kids educated and entertained? How can you stretch if you run out of toilet paper? 

    “Family cloth” at the ready; a few years ago, I made this eco-friendly, machine-washable toilet paper substitute from a flannel sheet.
  2. Create routines. Sonenshein suggests shifting your thinking about routines to something positive, reframing them as “dynamic,” “creative,” and “individualized.” Use routines to help automate daily tasks. I have never been good at following a schedule, but I am thus far finding it tremendously helpful as I stay home with four kids for the coming weeks and months. 
  3. Organize the essentials. Sonenshein points out that “Satisfaction doesn’t come from accumulating lots of things, but rather from organizing the most essential stuff in our lives.” What is essential to you right now?
  4. Ask “What went well?”. By asking this question, we stretch to recognize what we can be grateful for. Training ourselves to look for and share positive points each day will create greater well-being, even when times are sparse. Alternatively, you can write three things you’re grateful for in a gratitude journal. In Stretch, Sonenshein writes of the results of a study by Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough noting, “The gratitude group [in the study] reported higher levels of well-being and fewer symptoms of physical illness.” Gratitude is a top priority in my home right now.
  5. Focus on what you can control. For some of us, focusing on what we can control will mean tidying up. Detoxing your environment is one way to spark joy, even in a time when joy seems sparse. For others, the generous amount of decision-making that comes with tidying may be too much. That’s ok! Do what you can handle. Maybe clear just one small area and savor just one peaceful moment.

In Stretch, Sonenshein writes, “People can accomplish incredible, unimagined things by being resourceful in times of need.” Here we are. What will you accomplish by being resourceful during this time of great need? How will you stretch? It may be hard to see this now, but science tells us that most of us will grow during this time and emerge from this trauma stronger than before.

If you find yourself ready to declutter, you have come to the right place. I’m available to support you virtually, with a plan, accountability, and answers. Contact me here to get started. 

My prayers are with you, reader, and the world. 

Top 5 Tips for Tidying Up Your Space

Top 5 Tips for Tidying Up Your Space

Did you know that National Closet Clean Out Week begins the third Sunday of March?  It is always a great time to clean out your closet, so don’t wait to give yourself the joy of a tidy closet and a tidy home.  Let’s jump into