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

“Could” versus “Should” when it comes to clutter

Author Karen Kingston offers interesting advice in her book Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui around “should” versus “could.” If you’ve got clutter at your house that you’ve put off clearing, your procrastination may be because you don’t care! If you feel like this is something you should do but you don’t really have the heart for, then you’ll find a million things to do before you tackle that hot spot.

“Should” is someone else’s rules, someone else’s opinion.

“Could” means you have a choice.

When you choose to do something, your focus and energy change. Figuring out your priorities is a trick to getting anything done, whether it’s decluttering the basement, or solving the problems of the world! If you choose to solve something for a reason that resonates with you, you’ll get it done. Continue reading

What are you leaving at the door?

“We all want to belong and to love each other.”

The Rev. angel Kyodo williams was one of my favorite speakers at the Good Life Project camp a few weeks back. Thoughts from her talk continue to roll around in my head.

Most of us give up something in order to belong. We dress a certain way. We speak a certain way – and don’t speak a certain way. We don’t want to offend anyone and we don’t want to make anyone angry. It’s all really civilized but it isn’t always real.

What would it be like if when you entered a room, you brought in your whole self? What if you brought everything in with you? 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

The glass is already broken

When I’m feeling too attached to something – an object, a person, or an outcome – I meditate on the Buddhist saying, “The glass is already broken.”

When you start to sweat the small stuff, and remember that it’s all small stuff, you have to know that this will pass. We’re in a constant state of change with new beginnings and new endings every day.

And, like the glass, we’re here for a short time. Continue reading

Tiny bites

If you get overwhelmed thinking, “I’ve got to declutter this house.” Or “I need to get my life organized.” Or “I need to change a life-long habit.” It’s not a surprise. Taking giant leaps forward is daring and ambitious, but it can also make a project or change seem daunting. And it makes it hard to get started.

Here are two suggestions to help make change happen at a slower pace.

#1 – Break big projects into smaller parts – even tiny parts
One of my nieces has a son who is a really picky eater. Her son decided last week that he was finally going to try rice for dinner. “Yay!” my niece thought, then agonized as her son ate his rice one piece at a time. But there’s a beauty there that maybe kids know better than adults do. He wanted to try rice but he didn’t attempt to eat a whole bowl. He tried one piece. And then another. And then another. Continue reading