Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own
“The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.” – Joshua Becker
We could not agree with this sentiment more. As many of you know, the last few years Marla and Kate have been on their own downsizing journeys. It started as sacred accountability with each other to clear out the unsupportive “stuff” and ultimately became our own versions of minimalism. This can look and feel very personal. It is *not* about living with nothing, but living with what means the *most*. Personally, we are loving having less stuff and less stress!
We want to introduce you to one of our favorite messengers – Joshua Becker, the creator of Becoming Minimalist.com. This is why we follow him and want to share him with you –
- He is a family man who walks his talk.
- He knows what life is like here in America with all the temptations and distractions.
- He consciously chose to change his life and the life of his family.
- Joshua gives simple guidance that creates real change.
We are thrilled about his new printed book The More of Less.
“…this is a book about owning less—but it’s more than that. I have practiced and studied and written about owning less faithfully for the last 8 years. This book contains almost everything I have learned about it. It is both inspirational and practical. But this book is about more than owning less. It is about passion and generosity and learning to pursue happiness in more fulfilling places than the acquisition of money or possessions. It’s not just about owning less stuff, it’s about living a bigger life because of it.”
Read more from Joshua or go straight to pre-order it.
“Pre-order now and also get FREE access to Uncluttered. Uncluttered is a 12-week online course with videos, interviews, webinars, articles, weekly challenges, accountability, and community strategically packaged for one purpose: to help you declutter your home, own less stuff, and find space to live the life you want. The course sells for $89, but anyone who pre-orders my new book can register for the Spring Edition for free. It is my gift to you—a special thanks for being one of the first to buy the book!
To redeem your gift, pre-order The More of Less (print or ebook) before May 2 through your favorite online retailer. Your purchase is your registration. Visit the Uncluttered Registration page with your receipt and use the number to complete the registration form.”
We want YOU to experience the FREEDOM that comes from surrounding yourself with the stuff, the people and the actions that support you. This is your life and your choice.
We would love to hear from you – Marla, Kate & Team
Yes, Bankers Boxes can save your sanity, and even your marriage!
The Clear & SIMPLE Way is all about keeping organizing simple and joyful. That might seem laughable when it comes to actually handling the stuff, but that’s exactly why we LOVE banker’s boxes together with post-it-notes. When you pair them with the first step of S.T.AC.K.S. ©, which is SORT, you get this supportive blend of the right tool for the right step.
We have heard from our clients that Bankers Boxes completely transform the sorting process and even save marriages! Often the person who likes order and everything put away partners with the person who is attached to stuff and having everything out where they can see it. This can be a disaster when it comes to doing an organizing project together. Bankers Boxes satisfy both needs – the stuff is neatly contained but you can find what you need.
Here’s a little list of what we love about bankers boxes combined with the post-it-note labels:
- They make it easier to do the sort because the piles are now easy to identify
- They are the container for the piles and make it easy to move the piles as you go along
- They remove all the visual distraction of the piles and replace it with a calm energy
- They keep all of the stuff contained until you are ready to make decisions about it
- At the end of the working session you can put the lids on and stack them all nice and neat out of your way
- The lids are great for all the little “stuff”
So before you start into sorting the stuff we suggest – go get a minimum of 30 bankers boxes. They come in packs of 10. You will use them over and over again for multiple projects. See below for some places you can order them online and then pick them up. Also get a large pack of super sticky post-it-notes in a color you love along with a black sharpie.
Now you are ready to SORT! Remember you are just asking one question – What is it? Sort like with like into the BB and create a label with each new box. When you run out of time, just stack the boxes on top of each other and put against a wall. You can still find things if you need to until you can return to the job.
Bankers Boxes are sold at a variety of places like Office Depot and Walmart (best price is Walmart).
We hope you find true sanity in the SORT with this awesome new TOOL! Please share your stories with us.
Marla, Kate & Team
Breathe. You don’t have to decide *yet* what to do with the stuff.
You have gone through the SEE IT. © and MAP IT. © steps and are ready to begin the DO IT. ©. This means touching the stuff. This is loaded. When you are looking at the piles of paper everywhere or that spare room stuffed with boxes and bags, the mere thought of really starting brings up the urge to run away. You can get hung up before you even start because of the heaviness (mentally, emotionally and energetically) of all the decisions to be made; the heaviness of what to do with it all.
Most of the advice out there says pick up each thing and make a decision. If it were that easy the piles wouldn’t be there. So at C&S we break it down into bite size pieces. The DO IT. © Step now gets it’s own system called S.T.A.C.K.S. ©. It’s the ACTION system.
Part of the brilliance of The Clear & SIMPLE Systems © is the step-by-step approach, with each step building upon the previous. This helps us stay present in each moment and releases the weight of the project, by asking us to only answer one question at a time. When we finally dive into touching the stuff with S.T.A.C.K.S. ©, we start with SORT, and only sort!! You are asking one question and making only one decision – what is it?
- Question: What is it? Trust what comes into your brain.
- Action: Sort into piles of like with like. Keep it simple, general categories are good enough.
- Tip: Place items into bankers boxes. Label each box with a post-it note for steps ahead.
- Reward: You will know exactly what you have. You will be amazed at how freeing this is.
By asking one question and making only one decision at a time, you WILL be able to get through all of the stuff. When you can see how many months worth of electric bills you have, how many of the same black shirt, how many pens & pencils, the TOSS step is much easier.
One of your Sort piles can be Toss for the stuff that you know easily is give or throw away, shred or recycle.
Stay tuned in upcoming weeks as we continue through the S.T.A.C.K.S. © process.
With you each step of the way,
Marla, Kate & Team
Your Right & Left Brain can now work together!
“When sitting down to create a mind map all you need are two things; an idea and a brain. You put your idea in the centre and let your brain do the rest.” Andrea Leyden
Mind Mapping is our favorite tool for the MAP IT. © Step. Remember MAP IT. © stands for Make-a-plan. But often this is confusing and overwhelming. Mind mapping to the rescue!! “Whenever I get STUCK in my day or any project, I whip out paper and do a mind map. It has become an essential tool. I also go to this tool first when planning any new project or for my week and day.” Marla Dee
WHY – No matter what the project or the size, mind mapping makes it simple. And whether you are a left brain list maker or a right brain artist, mind mapping will work for you. You can use mind mapping for planning out:
- Your year, month, week or day
- Any size project, large or small
- A paper, report or any writing project
- A creative project such as a website
- Creating to do or task lists
- An upcoming trip or event
HOW – Here are some simple tips and resources for learning how so you can use this tool all the time.
- The ideal size paper is 11×17 but 8×11 works just fine – grab printer paper.
- You can use pictures, words or a combination of both.
- Draw or write your main image or project at the center of the page.
- Then ask what parts come to mind that are part of this project and draw them around your central theme.
- One by one as the thoughts come to you, expand on each element.
- Keep going until you have dumped out everything in your brain related to your theme.
- If there is one part that turned into a loaded area, you can do a separate mind map just on that.
- You can also do this joyfully and easily on the COMPUTER. There are all kinds of digital mind mapping software; both FREE and PAID. These are just examples. A quick internet search will bring up a lengthy list of options.
Make-a-Mind-Map click here for detailed step-by-step instructions that make it simple! You will also see some great TIPS.
Have fun with this. Make it a ritual that is supportive and rewarding to you. Please share your stories with us!
Marla, Kate & Team
How do I want my space to look, feel and function?
The second step in The Clear & SIMPLE Way is MAP IT.©, which stands for Make a Plan for what you want. When we are confronted with all the stuff in our space, it can feel impossible to know what we really want. Marla Dee defines clutter as “delayed decision and/or holding onto the past.” The stuff seems to pile up because there are just too many decisions to be made. So we need a simple place to start.
Here you go! Choose one room, area or project (like the living room, hall closet or kitchen counter).
The SEE IT. © Step question
How does my space currently look, feel and function? Let your answers be super simple. The point is to get it out of your body and your brain.
Then ask the Magic MAP IT. © question…
How do I want it to look, feel and function?
Here is an example for the living room.
SEE IT. © – Right now it looks ok but also cluttered. It feels like nobody takes care of it because there is stuff everywhere – on the couch, tables and now piles on the floor. It isn’t working because I can’t have anyone over – there is no place for people to sit and I would feel ashamed of the mess. And it is too dark (no wonder I don’t read in here).
MAP IT. © – I want it to look like I live here and everything has a place. I want it to feel warm and inviting. I want some new soft comfy blankets (scary how old mine are). I want there to be a clear area for sitting, reading & relaxing. And I want more light. Ok, now I am ready for the DO IT step.
Isn’t this easier to answer than “what am I going to do with the stuff?” So pick your project and let us know how it goes!
Marla, Kate & Team