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

Taming the Clothing Monster

If your closet or drawers are so packed with clothes it’s hard to get anything in or out, the underlying problem could be you don’t want to get rid of anything. Or you love to buy new things. Or both. And it’s possible you don’t have enough space – but you’ll only know that after you pare down some of what you have.

Here’s a cool exercise to help you purge, inspired by the book One Thing at a Time by Cindy Glovinsky.

Set your phone or a timer for 10 minutes and do a deep contemplation about the image you’d like to put forward with how you dress. When the timer goes off, jot down ideas about your ideal:

  • PJs or nightgown
  • Underwear
  • Work clothes
  • Play clothes
  • Formal wear
  • Colors
  • Fabrics
  • Solids or prints
  • Skirt or pant styles and lengths

Continue reading

Getting grounded

Our forefathers and foremothers – even one generation back – didn’t have nearly as much digital ease as we have. But what they had was a simpler life. When I work at one thing around the house – laundry, weeding, painting – I’m reminded that simpler is sometimes what you need to help clear your mind.

If you want to test the power of a “single focus,” try picturing a column of letters A-E. Now picture a column of numbers 1-5. And finally, picture a column of letters, E-A. No problem, right? Continue reading

Ideas for a 30-day challenge

I’m teaching a class this winter and have been toying with the idea of making it a 30-day challenge. When I found this graphic on the web last week, I thought, “This is it! I’ll do a 30-day declutter challenge.”

I gave this a little more thought and decided no one could declutter for 30 days straight without losing their mind. I mean, I like decluttering and this chart looks daunting.

That got me thinking about other 30-day challenges. Continue reading