Grouping items to create harmony

If you have a place in your house that feels scattered or drains your energy, try introducing a little harmony.

Think about how different a scattering of single leaves look compared to leaves grouped together on a tree. Or how loose petals of a flower look compared to the look of a full-headed flower. Or the look of singular flowers versus the look of a sweeping field of flowers.

You can create harmony by placing similar items together. By putting prints on a wall in matching frames. By grouping items together that are the same or complementary colors. Continue reading

Is clutter blocking your energy?

I challenge you this week to look around your house and clear one area that has gotten a little cluttered over the summer. We get busy and things pile up and stagnate. Putting things back in order takes a little time but you’ll feel calmer in your space. You can breathe. You can settle in. Your energy will lift just looking around.

Perhaps there’s a counter with supplies out at the ready. A table with this week’s mail. A nightstand with tissues, hand lotion, and a few unread books. An entryway filled with boots, coats, and umbrellas. A bookshelf packed to overflowing. A desk with open files, a coffee cup, and surplus pens. A closet filled to overflowing. Continue reading

All roads lead to decluttering

When I give talks on Organizational Zen and ask attendees why they’re there, the #1 thing I hear is that they have clutter problems. Yes, nearly everyone you know has a clutter problem! Just knowing that kind of helps, doesn’t it? ­čÖé

But here’s the thing. In class, I save my thoughts and tips about decluttering for last. Why? It’s not that I’m being mean. It’s just that decluttering to me is a symptom of so many other things and my wish is that at the end of our time together, folks will realize that simply tidying up isn’t going to solve their problem.

What will? Figuring out how to nip clutter in the bud. Or deciding that clutter is not actually that big of a deal. And let’s start with that. Continue reading

Organizing a smart move

If you’re planning a move for yourself, your kids, or your grandkids, here are a few ideas from Bellhops for making the┬ámove run smoother.

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The Feng Shui of Organizational Zen

Feng Shui is an ancient art of figuring out how to create and sustain energy within your environment. Like most practices, I don’t love the “naming” of parts – I just like the action. Here’s some Feng Shui action that ties in with my thoughts on creating and sustaining Organizational Zen in your life.

If your stuff is bugging you, fix it or pitch it!
If something’s bugging you, get it out of your head, into your planner, and take action. In Feng Shui, this might mean getting rid of a chipped bowl in the cupboard that you notice first thing every time you open the cabinet door. Or getting rid of stained coffee mugs. Or choosing to have all matching dishes – or not have all matching dishes!

There’s no “right” within this. It’s a matter of paying attention to yourself and figuring out what kind of stuff makes you feel happy. Continue reading

Keep things moving

My favorite advice from the list of 100 declutter ideas in the book One Thing at a Time by Cindy Glovinsky was to keep things moving. This can be applied to your house, to your work space, and to how you live your life.

(This gorgeous piece of art is from www.galleryreina.com.) Continue reading

Decluttering with a mission

I get more questions about decluttering than any other organizational issue. What to me is great fun is, apparently, quite a chore to most people. If you’ve got a drawer, closet, room, or HOUSE to declutter, it helps to have motivation and a deadline.

I had two brilliant motivators descend on me this week: a theater where I work is holding a garage sale and is looking for items to sell, including clothing items. And our library asked for art supply donations for an upcoming project.

My house is mostly decluttered but two areas where things seem to stick are my potential-costume rack, and my art closet. The potential-costume rack includes things I’ve worn in past shows, dress-ups for the kiddos, and clothes I “demote” until I’m ready to part with them. The art closet includes bits and pieces of recent and past craft and sewing projects. Continue reading