Remember when you went shopping as a kid and you wanted everything in the store? Especially when you got to the checkout and there was all that yummy candy and gum just tantalizing your taste buds? Perhaps your parents broke down and they allowed you to choose one thing. Remember how hard that was?
When we are presented with a multitude of options it's hard to make a decision because our minds are overloaded with data. Why? Because it is attempting to process multiple pieces of information and then having to prioritize each one to find the "best" option. Sweet or sour? Taffy or gum? Chocolate with or without nuts?
Our brains like order. Our brains identifies each item, groups like items together and then assesses each one based on previous experiences. "sour makes my face scrinch up, but I like it anyway). It's a mental process of elimination.
Your "stuff" creates the same sense of feeling overwhelmed. When you have to choose between too many items and when it is in disarray the mind has to go through the same extensive process. This is why - sometimes as painful as it is - editing things out helps us make quicker choices. We have to do less processing both analytically and emotionally. With less, you have already pared down your items to your favorites. So everything you choose is the "best" decision for you.
To your most organized and best self each and every day and finding Peace by Piece.
There's a theory that in keeping everything, you actually create a sense of scarcity instead of abundance? Sounds crazy, but it's true.
I was reading a book about financial independence written by Jerrold Mundis when I realized that the theories he presented about how we think of money absolutely correlate to how we think of our possessions.
One theory is that we .have nothing and that we had better keep what we own. This fear based thought process keeps us focused on the reality in our minds, and not analyzing what the true reality may be. For example, do you really have "nothing" to wear. In actuality, you probably have excess. But because you are analyzing from a fear perspective, or perhaps feeling that others will perceive you as having "less", you are unable to see the possibilities of what you already own and how you might "shop your wardrobe.".
Mundis also theorizes that some people create a sense of scarcity by fearing that nothing better is going to come to them. Again, it repeats the notion that one better hold onto whatever it is (food, clothes, furniture etc) because this is going to be as good as it gets and you better just be thankful for what you have. And to some extent this is true. A little humility is good. But when it interferes with moving forward and seeing possibilities, it can be isolating.
Editing our possessions IS hard. Each one came into our homes for a reason. Maybe we chose it, maybe we didn't. But what if we were to challenge the conversation from fear to freedom? I think we would have abundance beyond anything we previously (falsely) imagined.
To your most Organized self and finding Peace by Piece!
To see your possibilities and not the possessions, click here.
Sometimes the best way to decide on the best positive is to weed out the negative. It's a fabulous way to look at organizing because the essence of organizing is keeping those things that bring you pure joy. Things that tell the world hey, this is me and this is who I am right now.
A dear friend of mine Jane was going through some of her clothes and was trying to decide if she should keep some old tee-shirts for doing some messy housework or painting. And then the lightbulb went off and she said to herself "I am not a painter". It was an "ah-ha" moment. I still use that mantra for myself.
As you go through your clothes, yes, edit out what doesn't fit, what you don't feel comfortable in or all those items that you simply know you won't wear ever. And then ask yourself if you are:
A painter - do you really paint your house? How many work/cleaning tee-shirts and pants are necessary? Remember they are washable.
An employee - Do you have promotional tee's from a former employer? Think about it - if you don't work there, why are you advertising for them?
:"That" girl - you know, the crazy girl's weekend kind? Yes, the memories were great and you had a blast, but do you want those clothes to define you? Would you want to run into someone with that on?
Your boyfriend's shirt - Quit stealing! He probably will let you take one from his closet if you ask. But you only need one. Give the others back or get your own.
When you begin to see what you are not, you begin to see what no longer belongs in your closet and drawers. But those clothes that are no longer of use to you are incredibly useful to others.By donating, you can feel good about defining who you are while enhancing the lives of those in need. It's abut finding your Peace by Piece.
To your most Organized Self.
So often we are told not to talk about ourselves. When we were little we might have been told that we were to be seen and not heard; that listening was better than speaking; and we shouldn't question authority.
That's all fine and good - except when you are a patient or caregiver. The office visits of today look much different that in the past because you are in the power position.. It all comes down to what you want in your health journey. While this is not to say that all decisions have consequences. Some good, some bad, but it's up to you to make those choices.
Being self centered in your health journey is absolutely not a bad thing. Fortunately care providers are also moving in this direction. In an article by the Patient Empowerment Network, Dr Ronald Epstein, MD and Dr Richard Street, PhD characterize Patient Centered Care Approach as one in which “patients are known as persons in the context of their own social worlds, listened to, informed, respected, and involved in their care.”
Wouldn't it be great if everything were to flow smoothly? Never a hangup and never having to go back and correct something? We all know it doesn't happen that way, but how do you minimize those mix-ups?
You take command of your information. You keep it organized and ready for when you need it. It means knowing what is coming up and what information you need every day.
This week I went to my doctor's office and I noticed that there was a woman with a notebook verifying her sister's medications with her notes. Needless to say I was impressed. She came to her sister's appointment with her sister's medical records and personal notes. And because she did, she was able to provide information on the spot about blood pressure readings that had been done at home. That information proved to be valuable because the staff was better educated about her sister's medical history.
There are several ways to organize your health information. Just remember to keep it consistent, updated and accessible!
To Your Most Peaceful and Organized Self.
Yesterday I almost had a nervous breakdown. I had received a notice from the IRS that I owed $7,000 due to unreported income.
WHAT? My mind was spinning. How could this be possible? There was simply no way this could be true.
What saved me from going completely over the edge? Organized, accessible records. After a few clicks, I was able to retrieve the tax information and there it was; the income that we DID report. And the taxes. And everything we were supposed to have remitted.. Our ducks were absolutely in a row with this one. Unfortunately we now have to send in a special form with the documentation.
The lesson here? The burden of proof is always, ALWAYS on you. YOU are the guardian of your information and documentation and you need to keep it updated and accessible. It has to be there when you need it.
Decide if you are going to save hard copies or electronic copies of your documents. It doesn't matter which one you choose, just be consistent. As a Professional Organizer, I recommend electronic record keeping with the following caveats
Off to request that special IRS form.
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Living in my husband's childhood home, we not only have our stuff to eliminate, but lots from his parents as well. It's been said that it's not the "stuff" but the "Stuff. That is to say it's not the physical stuff, but the emotional stuff (guilt) that accompanies releasing those items.
In an article by Jennifer Ott, Houzz magazine, she suggests "instead of putting emotional energy into things, why not redirect it and instead cherish our thoughts and memories of those we’ve lost?" She also suggests keeping photographs of loved ones that reflect their true personality. For larger items, perhaps keep only one of the set or modify the piece to suit your design style.
And always remember "if someone gives or leaves an item to you, it’s yours to do with as you wish. If it’s something you can’t use or don’t want to keep, and it has monetary value, go ahead and sell it. Before selling it to the highest bidder, though, you may want to see if a friend or family member of the deceased wants to buy or trade for it."
To your Peace by Piece
If you are following me on Twitter or see updates on my Facebook page, you will notice some quick decluttering tips. It's a great way to get motivated to tackle bigger projects.
While those bigger projects can be intimidating, how do you know what to keep and what to get rid of? How do you get over the terrifying question of :but what if I need it someday"? Or "but it's still good"
The things we keep are with us because they bring us happiness. Maybe it's a memory of someone or it reminds us of a beautiful day. So we want to keep that memory alive. But the real question to ask yourself is this: are you keeping it because of a memory, or because it represents something memorable?
Memorable items evoke joy! They remind you of life events. They represent those things that are most important to you and are the closest things in your heart.
Your memories will always be there. But it's the memorable things that you want to surround yourself with.
To your most peaceful and memorable self!
Being your best health advocate starts with believing you are a top priority and putting that belief into action. Sounds simple enough but how do you start? You start by doing one thing that will move you forward. Start small but just keep going.
Drink (purified) water: Yes you have heard this before and it seems impossible, but let's break this down. According to the Mayo Clinic. "Everyone has heard the advice, "Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day...which should be re-framed as: "Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day," because all fluids count toward the daily total." (except coffee because that can actually dehydrate your body).
8 glasses sounds like a lot, but the 8x8 rule really translates into drinking eight measuring cups of fluids 8 times a day. Not so bad when you can imagine 8 measuring cups on your kitchen counter. My favorite trick to is to add Simply Lemon lemonade packets. Delicious. And speaking of lemons.
Rest: I schedule a nap at 2 pm every day. Even when I don't feel tired, I at least lie down. And guess what? I don't even feel guilty about it. I am worth that time and so are you.
Meditate/chant/pray/clear your mind: Whatever you choose to do that centers and calms you, do it. My absolute favorite? Meditation Oasis Clearing your mind of chatter is much like clearing off your table. It lets your brain rest. Ever notice that when your table is clear that you take a big relaxing breath at the end?
Get outside: No electronic devices. Just sit and listen. That noise you hear? Those are birds.
Eat mindfully: I am guilty of scarfing down double stuffed oreos, but I do try to actually taste at least one. Your mother's advice was right. You shouldn't swallow your food whole.
What ever your one thing is to be your best health care advocate is, do it. It's that one thing that continues your forward motion. In a world where you may have limited control over many things, always remember to focus on what you CAN do in your everyday life.
To your most worthy golden self!
This week we celebrated Memorial Day and honored those people that have protected our country. Thank you to every single person and their families! The sacrifices are more than most of us will ever know.
Sacrifice is a pretty hard word to swallow. It evokes some pretty strong emotions of loss, grief and pain. We feel helpless in being able to avoid the sacrifices that have been made.
But sacrifice can be a good thing! The reason people sacrifice something is because there is a higher goal. A step towards a vision of a greater good. A belief that there is something bigger than themselves. Something worth striving for. It's the action behind the question of "what do you want?".
It's hard to give something up. It's hard to do the work. And it's hard to see it through to fruition. But whether it's cleaning out your closet, getting rid of those tools you never use or giving up that bad habit, you have to make a change.
What is it that you want? And what are you willing to sacrifice for it?
To your most peaceful self.
Welcome to my blog. I am glad you are here to read the musings on organizing and finding balance in your life. I hope you find them inspiring and motivating.