We all deserve a space that fully supports us and makes us feel good to be in and as the research is now showing, this isn’t just a nice to have, it vitally important for our emotional, creative and physical well being. So, if you feel that your space isn’t supporting you; that it’s full of “stuff” or that it lacks organisation, then please read on. Hopefully I can help you know what you want; why you want it; how to get it and how to keep it that way.
As busy mums or women in general the tighter the ship we run the smoother the day can flow, especially if we have children. If we have the offer of some help then it’s lovely if we can accept and make the most of it by being able to point to exactly where everything “lives”. So things can be easily found and easily put away again by anybody.
Bliss when we can delegate a little. Clutter is the enemy of our time, our organisation and quite possibly our sanity! 😊😊
So, firstly, let’s take a look at what clutter is....
Clutter and disorganisation is also wherever we feel it.... sorry to break it to you ladies, but don’t think that if it’s out of sight....ie in a cupboard or loft space.... it’s out of mind and won’t be affecting you. Our body knows it’s there and will be reacting to it whether we realise it or not.
When I do a talk or a workshop I often get people to close their eyes and think about an area in their home or office that they know could be a lot tidier. Without fail their shoulders always begin to rise and the effect of the stress that this area is causing can be seen easily in their body’s response. I then ask them to imagine that space clear and organised and just as they would love it to be. Without fail their body relaxes. They are not aware what has been going on until I describe it out to them.
The stress is there whether we acknowledge it or not. The carrying of this stress saps our focus and our energy and we are also showing ourselves that we’re not really giving ourselves the level of self love and self care that we all deserve and need, to not just survive but thrive! And if we don’t do that, who will?
Decluttering in all it’s glory is about letting go , both mentally and physically and stepping out of the old into the new.
So, come on, let’s step up and step into doing what we truly deserve and desire.
If we’re going to really tackle the clutter and be able to organise our space it helps to recognise some of the reasons why we keep things. When I work with women I always hear at least one, but usually several, of the following explanations as to why they have kept things....
“Just in case it comes in handy and I need it at some future point;
My auntie Ethel/ mum/dad/ Grandma etc left it to me and although I don’t really like it I’d feel guilty if I didn’t keep it;
I paid a lot for it and even though I no longer like it/use it I don’t feel as though I’ve had my money’s worth from it;
Just looking at it takes me back to a specific time and place in my life, happy or otherwise;
I’m afraid how I will feel if I start to sort it out and emotions come up;
I know it needs done but I haven’t got the time to do it.”
Do any of these sound familiar? I’ve been heard to use most of them in my time 😊😊
The reality is that it is more important than anything and more constructive to a happier, lighter life, to change the way we’ve been thinking about things and to start to actually do what brings us joy and peace and fulfilment.
A great way to tackle the above reasons when we’re starting to clear the clutter is to ask ourselves three questions.....
I’d love to go into each of the above reasons in detail but I’m afraid I haven’t the time in this article, but to put them all into perspective, I truly believe that we have an emotional attachment to every single thing that we own and it is this that causes us to feel “weighed down” as we start our decluttering and organising journey. But on the plus side, once we’ve taken the steps needed and have severed some of these ties and let things go, we automatically and without fail feel “lighter” again 😊. Great news and something to keep us moving in the right direction as we begin to experience it.
Obviously not all of our stuff will cause us enough emotional conflict when we think of parting with it, for us to need to ask ourselves these three questions. Always start with the easy, grow in confidence and positivity and then move on to challenge ourselves with the ‘harder” items is a good general approach.
So, where do we start in creating this new, user friendly, calmer, lighter space?
Well, the first thing to do is to see our vision of how wewould like it all to really be.
Then we hold on tight to that vision!
We decide which area is causing us the most stress at this particular moment....this is what I call our Red Zone and will make the biggest difference to us when we get it sorted. It might be our lounge....kitchen...playroom....bedroom......
Choose one point, it doesn’t really matter where, we just need a place to begin, in that Red Zone and start to clear and sort.
I always start by clearing cupboards and shelves, rather than surfaces, so that we are creating space for things to be put away. If something has a home then you always know where to find it and where to put it away again.
Unless we have a professional helping us, always start with a small area...a shelf, a drawer, a cupboard, and never pull out more than we can deal with in the time slot we’ve allocated.
The last thing we want to do is pull everything out, create an overwhelming pile and feel unable to, or run out of time to, carry on!
Move around our space in a methodical, clockwise direction until it’s all done.
Congratulate ourselves and enjoy! 😊😊
Don’t let a perceived lack of time stop you from starting......if you can put a whole day aside, or half a day, then great, but even ten minute slots build up and make a difference. So set that timer and challenge yourself to see what you can achieve before it goes off.
Get help if you can......although choose carefully. Sometimes those closest to you don’t make the best declutter companions 😊😊
Always be proud of whatever you manage to achieve and enjoy the feeling and the result!
Keep your vision at the front of your mind.
Remove any unwanted items from the house as you sort them...they don’t count as having been dealt with if they sit in your hall for the next six months 😊😊.
Then keep your space as you’ve organised it by.....
Always putting things back in their “home” when you’ve finished with them
Deal with paperwork straight away....action; file; shred; recycle as soon as it comes through the door.
Let others know what your systems are so they can use them too...delegation!
Think before you buy....do you need it, do you love it will you use it?
Get rid of the thought “I’ll keep it for now”.
And finally, stop procrastinating and just get what needs to be done done! 😊 you’ll be so glad you did!
Lesley Beattie Your Organisational Angel
How often do you ‘spring clean’ or de-clutter your ‘things’? It’s something we all do from time to time, if you’re like me it doesn’t happen too often but once you get started it actually becomes quite adictive and where I may have started out simply clearing a cupboard it has been known to grow into continue sorting the whole room and even the garage or loft space. I find it very therapeutic sorting things in to piles – charity shop, rubbish bin, eBay and even ooh I could use this somewhere else…. once finished I sit back and think ‘I wish I had done that sooner , I feel so much better because the clutter has gone’ .
Let me ask you another question (well two actually); how often do you do the above with your personal affairs and paperwork? Who would know how and where to find all the important ‘stuff’ they would need to know if you were no longer here?
A recent survey carried out for ‘The Dying Matters Coalition’ revealed that although 64% of people questioned said they were comfortable talking about death only 35% had actually made a Will or put plans in place. That’s quite a shortfall between saying and doing. So what are you going to do about it? Sadly, dying is not just the domain of the sick and elderly, none of us know what is around the corner as the recent terrorist attacks have painfully shown us. No matter what your age if anything was to happen to you would your loved ones know what to do with you, your business, your children, your pets? Something parents of a young family should definitely consider.
There is never a better time than the present to start getting organised. The most simplest way to do so is gather all your important documents together; insurance, pensions, bank statements, details of your Will etc, safely disposing of out of date paperwork then pop the remainder in a box file together with a list of main contacts your family may need then TELL them where they can find it. Job done you may think, but have you really sorted everything or is your head still cluttered with information you should be sharing?
If you have ever been in the situation of having to have dealt with the death of a parent or close relative, unless they themselves were super-efficient and organised chances are you found yourself having to hunt (sometimes fruitlessly) for information and second guess what they would have liked you to do. Wouldn’t it make you feel so much happier if you could avoid your own family going through that same stressful experience. So, what’s stopping you? Maybe your family aren’t happy talking about death, no problem, make a plan and write it down*. Imagine you are just stepping away from your life – taking a break away for a while, somewhere remote with no telephone or internet connection. What details about your house, your work, your affairs would someone need to know in order to take over the smooth running of your life – this is exactly the information you should be detailing. Have you thought about your funeral,? What on-line presence do you have? What memberships do you hold and where? Who holds spare keys to your house? How do they access your contacts on your phone?
It will take a while to work through but just like clearing out your ‘things’ once its done you can relax and get on with living and enjoying your life knowing that your affairs are in order and you are leaving your family well equipped to tackle that inevitable ‘to do’ list they will have after you have gone.
*In addition to working with bereaved families helping with the practical tasks that need to be done Lin also helps people think about and document detailed information they should leave behind to complement their Will using the workbook ‘Planning For Life After You’ available from www.worthyconclusions.co.uk For more information contact email@example.com
While January is the beginning of a brand new year for us all, for those of us who run our own businesses it's also the deadline for our tax return.
Now, if like me, you have an accountant who does this for you, then it's not so much of a pain, but whether you are a "do it yourselfer" or a number avoider, like me, you still have to have all the relevant information available for that all important form to be filled in.
I guess it's a bit late to get super organised for this year, but it's the perfect time to sort out your system for next year.
If you're a do it “yoursefer” this will make life so much easier and if you a pass the problem over to a book keeper or accountant, then it will save you money. As your accountant won't then have to wade through the proverbial carrier bag of receipts and try to make sense of it all.
My advice would be to get a system in place now and stick to it.
I have a ring bind folder that contains twelve clear plastic wallets...each is labelled with a month of the year, in order.
Each month I put together my outgoing receipts in date order and fasten them together with a paper clip so the accountant can easily work through them. I then do the same for my incoming receipts, again in date order. These are then put into the correct months wallet alongside that month's bank statement. And so it goes on for each month of the year.
This is the techno phone method and so far it works for me. I know there are lots of far more tech savvy methods out there and one of these days I'll probably adopt one of them, but for now I'm sticking to what I'm comfortable with 😊
Lots of us do this and sometimes we stick to them and sometimes we don’t. But they are always made with the best of intentions to take us closer to our dreams.
And this is how it should be.
The new year ahead of us can be one of transformation for us all if we choose it to be. It can be one where we can step into our own power and live authentically. Choosing to show up as we really are and not as somebody we think others want or expect us to be. Not always easy, especially after a life time of feeling as though we should please others.
So what has this got to do with us sorting our clutter?
Well let’s start at the beginning and take a look at exactly what clutter is…..
It’s things we don’t use or love.
It’s things that are untidy or disorganised.
It’s too many things in too small a space.
It’s anything that’s unfinished.
It’s stuck energy.
It can hold us in the past.
It can hold us tight in the present.
At times it doesn’t allow us to move forwards.
It can make us feel tired and weighed down.
It can change the way we carry ourselves.
It can make us feel stressed and embarrassed.
This clutter and disorganisation is wherever we feel it too…it doesn’t have to be in plain sight, it can be hidden away in cupboards, drawers, lofts and basements, we still know it’s there and our bodies still react to it.
Let’s just try something…..
Close your eyes for a moment…………think about an area in your home or office that isn’t working for you quite as it should. Perhaps it’s a cupboard where you put everything “ just for now” and then never get round to sorting it, or your garage that is too full to fit the car in. It will be different for each and every one of us.
As you have your eyes closed and are thinking of this space just notice how your body is feeling. Have your shoulders become tense? Are you frowning? Is there a knot in your stomach?
Now think of that space as you’d like it to be. Picture it sorted, organised, clear and working well for you. Feel yourself smile at the sight of it.
Now check in with your body again….has the tension gone? Do you feel lighter?
The answer will invariably be yes.
This is the kind of tension we carry around with us that we don’t even know about until we really notice how our body responds to our excess or disorganised belongings.
A perfect example of how we respond without being conscious of it is the story of a lovely lady that I network with.
This lovely lady is registered blind and she has the guide dog to prove it. She has founded a charity to bring to the world an understanding of childhood eye cancer and how to recognise it in its early stages. For this she needs to work at a desk in an office. She told me how, despite being blind, she can “feel” when the desk next to hear is becoming cluttered and that if this desk continues to be this way then eventually her concentration and creativity is compromised to such an extent that she can no longer work until it is cleared!
What an amazing story which vividly shows us it is not only our sense of sight that recognises and registers the state of our environment.
So lets move on to look at how clutter can effect our lives, both at home and at work…
Well at home it can……….
Make us embarrassed and not want to let visitors into our home.
It can make us resentful towards others and this can cause friction and arguments.
It can make us want to keep the world at bay and cause us to become insular and cut off.
It can make us feel stressed and overwhelmed.
It can leave our wardrobes cluttered so it’s hard for us to get dressed in the mornings.
It can make us late paying our bills because we can’t find the correct paperwork.
It can make us feel out of control and with our homes not feeling like a true reflection of who we really, genuinely are inside.
It can lead to a lack of organisation which effects how well we can do our job.
It can cause us to lose leads which are vital to the building our businesses.
It can rob us of structure.
It can stifle our creativity and cause us to struggle with moving towards our goals.
I worked with a fabulous lady who was part of a multi-level marketing company and she was so ambitious and great at what she did. She had a real passion for the business, the products and what together they could give her family. However she had very little structure and organisation and she knew that this was holding her back. So we worked together to get this in place when she next had the opportunity to achieve an incentive position with the company and she flew! She met her targets achieved her goal and never looked back!
So de-cluttering is about letting go……letting go both mentally and physically.
Letting go of the fear……….being willing to move from the old to the new………being happy to step into who we are in the here and now!
It’s about waking the beautiful inner us. …..that vibrant person who is inside of us all but who can become worn down and hidden from sight.
We now understand the effect clutter can have on us but before we can truly let go it helps to understand why we collect and keep our clutter.
The reasons are many and varied but here are just a few. See if you recognise any of these in yourself…..
Some people keep things “just incase” they might come in useful one, as yet, unspecified date in the future.
Some people keep things that they have inherited. Not because they love and cherish them and the objects fill them with happy memories and make them smile ( this wouldn’t be clutter), but because they feel they should keep them. No matter how that makes them feel.
Some people keep certain objects because they fear the emotions attached to them that could potentially arise if they part with them.
Some people allow certain items to hold them in a place and a time that has little to do with where or who they are now. They might even be unhappy times and places.
A great favourite for keeping something we don’t even like anymore is because we feel as though we haven’t yet got our money’s worth out of it.
Sometimes we believe our very identity is caught up with certain objects and that if we part with them we will somehow be parting with some of ourselves.
Others feel as though they just haven’t got the time to sort things out.
All of these reasons, however real they feel to us, cause us to hold ourselves back, to limit ourselves and to stop us from accepting who and where we are now and flourishing in that time and space.
When we allow ourselves to let go we find that we begin to live authentically, with our homes or offices reflecting who we really are. Our creativity has the emotional and physical space to expand and influence us. We love being in our space, we are happy to invite others in too it to and we begin to smile!
How good does that sound!
That is a life that we all deserve and it is ours for the creating.
We need to tackle our clutter……put time slots into our diary and make sure we stick to them; get help, either professional or from friends and family; “kiss your frog” and make sure that you tackle something even if at first it feels you with trepidation: Reclaim your life and your space on your own terms.
And then enjoy!!!!!
Wishing you a happy and authentic 2017 where you let go, move on and reclaim your hopes and dreams and aspirations.
With much love Lesley xxx
Well, here in England it's officially Autumn and by the end of this month the clocks will've changed and we will have an hour less daylight each day. Not a pleasant thought on the surface of it, but you only have to look around at this time of year to see the beauty of the changing of the seasons and the natural cycle of life and it all feels ok again :-).
Ghouls, Ghosts and things that go bump in the night......
October is, of course, the time for all things spooky and the supermarkets are full of outfits to be worn for trick or treating. My children used to love the 31st of October and the collection of sweets they managed to accumulate on their rounds!
But while these particular demons are a figment of our imagination and a product of old sheets and face paint, some of the demons we encounter in our lives can feel very real.
Our Personal Demons......
These little nasties are of our own making and worm their way into our heads and our lives. Affecting the way we can feel joy, self love and that vital connection to all around us.
We all have our own personal favourites and the trick is in the taming of them.
Easier said than done sometimes, but the answers are always out there. There is always somebody who holds the key and can help us to unlock our barriers.
If one of your particular little meanies is holding you back from reclaiming your space and feeling that lightness and freedom and joy that comes from knowing control is possible, then help really is at hand.
Perhaps you've felt like this for a long time, perhaps only for a few months, but you can see the piles of "stuff" growing and the backlog building.
Perhaps you have your own business and the mess in your office is stopping you from being as productive as you know you can be and really want to be.
Perhaps it's the pressure of everyday family life and all of its responsibilities that make you feel as though there just aren't enough hours in the day for you to fit it all in.
Or the weight of memories holding you in one place and the fear of moving forwards....
Whatever the particular way you know you are being held back, I want you to know that you are not the only one who has that particular nagging little imp on their shoulder and you are not alone :-).
If you were to start to talk to others about what you were struggling with, you would find that everybody has something they get stressed about, no matter how much of a "swan" they seem on the surface!
When people attend my workshops the first thing that strikes them is that they are not the only one in the room who feels the way they do. They are not alone in the difficulties they feel and the habits they form and this is so liberating!
So, talk to others....share what is troubling you and the very support that you feel you need might end up being right in front of you.
Now is the time, don't wait "for Christmas", " the New Year" or any other artificial starting point. Grasp life now and move towards where you want to be :-).
Enjoy the darker nights and the shorter days and all of the beauty and time to reflect they bring with them.
With love and light to you and all of those you love at this very special and beautiful time of year.
If you would like to contact me to talk through how I might be able to help you move forwards and dispel the demons, email me now at firstname.lastname@example.org and book your free, no obligation half hour discovery call. We'll look at where you are now, where you would like to be and the possibility of us working together to get you there.
A Testimonial from somebody who realised she wasn't alone in the way she was thinking and the challenges she was facing:-
"Thanks again for a brilliant session.......the lovely group of ladies you brought together have helped me to see a few different perspectives" H from Oxfordshire.
Letting go can hurt....
A couple of times a year we probably find that we change our wardrobes over, so that what’s in them and available for us to wear suites the season we’re in.
This is a great opportunity to part with things that we find we haven’t worn from the season we’re leaving or that we no longer like from the season we’re moving in to……
However....this is not always as easy to do as it sounds…….
I had a beautiful dress in my wardrobe that I spent ages trying to buy last year...
I had seen it...
tried it on...
and then when I went back for it had gone! ( sound familiar? )
I then spent several weeks trying to re-find it. Which I eventually did, but the lace was pulled on this one so I took it to my lovely dressmaker friend...
(yes, she is still a friend!)
She fixed it for me but also decided to "fit" my beautiful shift dress at the same time!!!
AAAGGGHHH...just what I didn't want.
I then LOVED the dress but hated the way it fitted.....
I had tried it on so many times, but each time ended up wearing something else.....so, I knew it was finally time to let it go
and it hurt!!
I had invested so much time, effort and yes, money into getting this dress, how could I now possibly think about just giving it away???
Well, the truth was simple....
I didn’t like the way I felt when I looked at it....
I didn’t like the way it fitted....
I didn’t like the way it looked on me...
I didn’t feel good in it.
So really what was the point?
Each time I opened my wardrobe, and saw that dress, it made my heart sink with disappointment and regret...
Regret that I hadn’t bought the first one I tried on which was perfect....
Regret that my friend the dressmaker had done what she’d done....(though in her defence she had thought she was doing me a favour)...
Disappointment that it didn’t look amazing on me...
So although there was part of me that didn’t want to accept the truth of this and even seemed to keep hoping that something would magically change......
(yes, I know, it sounds so silly when you say it out loud!)
I knew that the time was right to face up to the reality of the situation and let it go.
I feel better now that I've taken it to the charity shop,....
I don't keep looking longingly at it when I open my wardrobe, wishing it was still something it wasn't...
Parting with that dress, even though I would never've worn it, was a wrench
but so worth it....
As I now have a space in my wardrobe for a little something that will...
make me smile...
will fit beautifully...
that I will feel fab in...
Because, as the advert say, “I’m worth it!” and so are you!
Big hugs and happy letting go
I recently sat looking at my wardrobe......I seemed to have plenty to wear and yet not a lot at the same time.
I was going to a meeting, I needed something smart, yet casual to wear. I needed to feel good and confident.
So far it had taken me twenty minutes of trying on and I now had a heap of clothes on my bed and was running out of time! (more…)