Decluttering: the Key to Getting Everything You Want – The Great Canadian Woman

September 14, 2020

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Jackie VanderLinden

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Decluttering: the Key to Getting Everything You Want

Picture your dream house. I bet it’s not filled with clutter.

Do you ever find yourself ‘wishing’ for more? And then you finally get that thing, you start wishing for the next? Yes?  Me too. We all have. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with dreaming and growing, and reaching for the stars but these material things sometimes come at a bigger cost than we realize.

I did this wishing and wanting for years. I kept saying, ‘Once I get this project done’ I’ll rest, ‘once we get that piece of furniture’ the house will feel complete, once I have A, B, C, go on X, Y, Z vacations – THEN things will feel right, THEN I’ll be happy, THEN I’ll have time, space, etc to do what I really want to do. But that time never came. . . 

I always liked a tidy house but my idea of it all shifted when I read the Magic Art of Tidying up by Marie Kondo, and while her version of super minimalism and extreme tidiness is a nice thought, for me it wasn’t 100% practical. But the ‘art’ of the tidying up definitely stuck with me.  The idea of sparking joy in the items we possess profoundly hit me, and the ‘art’ of tidying… became more about healing.

You see, when you release the attachment to physical items, you are truly free. Again – I still like to have nice things, and I decorate my home to be beautiful AND functional. But mostly – I aim for the items and flow of my house to create EASE.

Ask yourself – when you walk into your home at the end of the day, does it feel like a place you can rest?

When you prepare your food, and sit down to eat, does your space support health and nourishment?

And when you tuck your kids into bed, or finally lay yourself to sleep, is your bedroom a place that instantly supports you to rest and recharge?

Our home is our sanctuary, and we need to treat it as such.  You see – with less stuff, there is LESS to tidy, and MORE time for the things I really want to do – like snuggle up with my daughter on a rainy Saturday and binge some series on Netflix. I know I’m not alone here. But in a world where the idea of success is a BIGGER house, MORE stuff and BUSY is a badge of honour – we have to tune out the noise and tune into our own needs and desires.

But how?

Step 1: GET INTENTIONAL

Close your eyes, and breath. Yup. You need to calm yourself down because simplifying isn’t always easy work, but I promise, it’s work that makes this easier. Begin to walk through your house in your mind. How do you feel about your home space? If there is a specific area of your house that ‘drives you crazy’?  *Ding Ding Ding* Start there. Now ask yourself, what do you want this space to FEEL like?  And what FUNCTION does it need to provide? Once you know that, it’s time to get your hands dirty. 

Step 2: DECLUTTER

Challenge yourself then to physically declutter the space. Ask yourself these two questions with each item? Does it serve a need/function? *Notice I did not say a want 😉 Do you LOVE it? If it’s a yes to both – then keep it. If not, you need to seriously question getting rid of it. And if everything you keep doesn’t fit into that area, then you need to choose the BEST of the BEST, and get rid of the rest. 

Step 3: CREATE PURPOSE

When reorganizing, remember – it’s easier to declutter than to keep reorganizing. Even as you put things back, question them again. Yes. Question yourself over and over. Challenge your initial thoughts of what this space would look like with LESS. 

You cannot overestimate unimportance of practically everything – G. McKeown

Creating purpose is about a space that functions for you and with you, not against you. Ever struggle to find that ‘thing’ that you put in that ‘super practical spot’ where you won’t forget it? ….. and then you can’t remember where?  This is because your mind is heavily affected by our environment.  And those who struggle to let go of items, often there are a lot of emotions weighing them down.   The ‘stuff’ is simply a physical manifestation of what’s going on inside. 

Through my years of assisting women declutter their homes, the comments I have before we begin are often that they feel overwhelmed or that they are drowning in their own ‘stuff’.   Even those who appear to keep a tidy house can feel overwhelmed with the upkeep of it all.   This is where I come in. Teaching these simple steps of intuition, decluttering and creation purpose, we walk through step-by-step, room-by-room to create ease. When we are done, the women not only have a ‘tidy’ home but they themselves often feel happier, hopeful and lighter themselves.   Because in the end, the aesthetic of having a tidy house is really nice, but it’s the FEELING of ease that wins every time. 

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