Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Getting Reaquainted with Space

One of my clients was clearing out clutter from her closet. When the space was cleared, she began to feel anxious. It was uncomfortable for her.

I told her that it was a normal reaction and that she would be okay. I said that clutter is very distracting. When it's around, we lose touch with our feelings. Clutter acts as a numbing device. Over time we can get used to being disconnected from our feelings and emotions.

When the clutter goes, we become much more aware. Our clarity returns. Our senses are clear. We are open.

This can be a surprising experience at first. We could get temporarily overwhelmed from our feelings. Things we weren't aware we were feeling can rise to the surface.

It helps to know that nothing is wrong. You're actually right on track. You're waking up. Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly.

Watch what you're feeling. It may be loud, but bring in some curiosity about what's going on. The curiosity is about yourself. You're getting reacquainted with you. It's good to know what's going on inside of you.

Without the resistance, it becomes easier to listen, be aware of, and be okay with you and your inner life.

What you're experiencing is aliveness. The purpose of life is to be alive. To feel alive.

When this happens with clients, I tell them avoid the impulse to fill the space up with new things. The space is a valuable thing. As you get used to the open space, you like and want to protect it. You want to stay awake to you.

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There are ten days left for the fall clutter busting sale. Between now and October 31st, you can get four 50-minute Skype, facetime, or phone clutter busting sessions for the price of three. That's only $285, a savings of $95 dollars! The sessions must be paid for by October 31st, but they can be scheduled for anytime before or after. Contact me at clutterbusting123@gmail.com.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Growing Back Up

My client told me she didn't like her business webpage. But she didn't want to do the work needed to make it a webpage she liked. She complained that it would be too hard. She sulked and felt badly about the situation.

In a kind and sweet way, I told her, she sounded like a little kid in a tantrum. I said she wasn't alone. This comes up sometimes for clients. They feel overwhelmed by what's happening and a child part of them takes over and refuses to move forward. In some ways, being in this state feels safe from the daunting outside world.

At times there's a part of all of us that doesn't want to be a grown up. I know I've felt it. Not the childlike wonder part, but the part of us that in the overwhelming moment doesn't want to be an adult and make decisions to take care of ourselves.

I told my client that sometimes things become too much and we go into an emotional shut down state and give up. But it helps to notice that the not doing something actually makes us feel worse. We grow back up into ourselves when we see that taking the action will make our lives a much better place to be.

These words sank in and my client decided to revamp her website into something that she felt good about.

She sent me her website a few days later and it looked amazing. She was very happy with the changes.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Clutter Busting the Linen Closet

The linen closet is a funny place. Old sheets, towels, blankets, pillow cases and comforters have a way of retiring in this space. I remember one client being astounded at the layers of old linens she kept finding under the new stuff.

What I'll need you to do is take everything out of the linen closet and put it on the floor. Take a few seconds to gaze at the open space in the closet. There's a peacefulness about open space. It can make your breath relax.

Pick up the first item and ask yourself, "Do I love this sheet?" "Is this towel comfortable?" "Does this blanket feel old?" "Am I holding onto this quilt because my grandmother made it even though I don't like or use it?" "Am I actually using this pillow case?" You're looking for the first feeling that comes to you. "Does this make me feel good, or can I let it go?"

I had one client who had brand new sheets and pillowcases that were still in their plastic container. She was hesitant to make a decision about them. Then she admitted that she didn't like the sheet set and she felt badly that she'd spent the money. I said that hanging onto the sheets would be a constant reminder of the situation. There would be more relief in giving the sheet set to charity. She liked that idea and went with it.

I worked with another client who discovered that all her towels were old and tattered and didn't feel good on her body. She got rid of them and went shopping later that day for new towels.

Non-linen stuff often gets discovered in the linen closet. Sometimes long forgotten extraneous items show up. Don't put anything that doesn't fit the linen, towel, sheet grouping (or associated items) back in the closet. It helps to keep similar items together. It's easier on the heart and mind.

You can donate sheets, towels, pillow cases, blankets and comforters. It will be a relief to get them out of your house, and it will feel good to give them to a charity.

You're learning to take an honest inventory of your home. You're home has a profound effect on how you feel. Finding and letting go of the things that are no longer a part of your life will make you feel good.

If you need some help with this work, you can contact me to set up an Skype or facetime clutter bust. It goes quicker than you imagined. I'm at brooks@clutterbusting.com

(This has been a revamped clutter busting blog post blast from the past!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Recording Clutter Busting

 
Here's a picture of me in the studio recording the audio version of my book, Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What's Holding You Back. Believe it or not, that microphone was once used by Frank Sinatra!

It was exciting to re-discover my book by hearing it out loud. I forgot how powerful it is.

I finished the recording a few days ago. I'm guessing it will be available for download in about three weeks. I'll let you know!

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I added to the side bar a clutter busting talk I'm giving at East-West bookstore in Mountain View on the 26th of this month. I also added a clutter busting workshop I'll be doing in Evanston, IL at Urban Yoga on January 18th, 2015.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Clutter Busting the Bathroom

The bathroom is pretty small compared to the other rooms in your home, but it has lots of hiding places. Clients are often amazed at the things uncovered in this archaeological clutter dig.

Start by opening up the area under your sink. Take out every item and put them on the floor of your bathroom. Make sure nothing is on top of anything else. You want every little thing in full view. I've seen these items take up every possible space on the floor. One client joked, "I could open my own drug store." It's easier to make clutter busting decisions when you see things out of their usual environment.

Pick up one item and ask yourself, "Do I use this?" "Does this make me feel good?" "Does this make me feel pretty or handsome?" Maybe you don't like a particular skin cream, but you spent a lot of money on it and regret the loss. Perhaps you've got six shampoos and can't decide which one you like the best.  Whatever the situation, ask yourself of each item separately, "Do I love and use this now, or can I let it go?"

I had a client who had a vast amount of tiny containers of different kinds of skin cream. She shut down at the sight of them. I had her hold one at a time and then apply it to her skin and smell it. I wanted her to get out of her overwhelmed thinking mind and focus with her discriminating working mind. My client picked up the first cream and opened the lid and took in the scent. She winced. She said, "Nope", and put it in the trash bag. She found another cream and applied it to her skin. She liked how it felt on her skin and decided to keep it. She got rid of about 90% of the skin creams. She realized she had gotten into the habit of getting many free samples and buying creams on sale and then tossing them all in the cosmetics warehouse under her sink.

Sometimes clients will find unused makeup that's been there longer than they can remember. Makeup has expiration dates. It's important to be aware of this for health reasons. Click this to watch an informative video.

Please repeat this process for every drawer, shelf, and counter space in your bathroom. Also the items in the shower area. It's going to make you feel good. With each piece of clutter that goes, you get back some more of your peace of mind. When you're done, put the things you're keeping back in a way that feels good to you. And then toss the bag(s) of stuff you're not keeping. Charities won't take beauty products. But they will take brushes, hair dryers, mirrors and other similar kinds of items.

Check out your shower curtain. Sometimes they get moldy and go unnoticed. If you discover your shower curtain is moldy, toss it out and get a new one. Your health is one of your greatest assets.

Clutter bust any pictures or prints on the walls. Ask yourself if you enjoy looking at it. Sometimes we assume that just because something is hanging up that we're okay with it. But you might be surprised at your reaction when you ask if you enjoying looking at it today or not. 

Also consider your towels and bath mat. Do you like to use them? Do they feel good on your skin? Are they getting ragged? Do they make you feel good when you see them? Remember, the purpose of your things is to support and uplift you. You feel better when you remove what's no longer a part of your life.

Let me know if you want some help via Skype clutter busting your bathroom. I can make it quick and easy. You can reach me at brooks@clutterbusting.com

(This has been an amended clutter busting blog post blast from the past.)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Making Decisions

I like to keep the clutter bustings matter-of-fact. There's no blaming or should haves. There's clutter, and it's bothering the person, and let's see what we can do to let it go!

This helps because it keeps my clients open to what's in front of them. It keeps them in the present moment where they can actually do something about the situation.

I was working with a client recently who felt shut down in the midst of piles of various things in her bedroom. She saw all the stuff, blamed herself for getting in the situation, and felt there was nothing she could do to fix her predicament.

I said that the piles were just decisions waiting to be made, and let's go ahead and start making them. I sidestepped the reason they were there, or how long they'd been there, or how she was feeling. I knew she'd feel better once she started making decisions.

After a few minutes of asking about each thing, "Do I like and use this, or can I let it go?" she was out of her thinking mind and in the midst of her doing mind. She was making decisions, and the piles were going down.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Taking a Stand

My client was feeling intimidated by the clothes that had taken over the living room in her home. They were in piles throughout the room. She couldn't have visitors because of the clothing takeover.

I had her stand quietly in the room amidst the clothes. I told her that it's her home. Not the clothes home. It was her space to enjoy and live her life. I said that we were going to go through each piece of clothing and ask if it made her feel good about herself, or not.

I began asking her questions about each item of clothing. "Do you like wearing this? Does it make you feel pretty? Would you buy this if you were out shopping today?"

My client was surprised that she was able to think clearly enough to make decisions. She had a letting go flow happening and said, "This might actually be easy."

That's how powerful we are when considering ourselves first. 

At one point, she began feeling overwhelmed, and didn't know what to do.

I had her stop. Close her eyes. Put her hand on her heart. Take a deep breath. That's a way to get back your peace of mind when you feel anxious.

I reminded my client, "It's your space. It's your home. You get to decide what stays and what goes. All we care about now is what makes you feel good, and letting go of what doesn't."

She was renewed and went back into the clutter busting with vigor.