It is time to learn the simpler way to organize. Earlier we talked about the foundation system of SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT. You start with the SEE IT – take a look at where you’ve been. Then MAP IT – make a plan for where you want to go. Now it is time for the DO IT step. Now we are touching the STUFF and trouble starts. Because this step is so loaded it gets its own system called STACKS.
S – SORT
T – TOSS
A – ASSIGN
C – CONTAIN
K – KEEP IT UP
S – SIMPLIFY
Organizing can be overwhelming because we are trying to make many decisions at once. Should I keep it or let it go, where will it go, how did it get here, who will take care of it? It is exhausting and we typically give up after a couple of hours. STACKS breaks down the process into 5 distinguishable steps that you take one at a time. You ask one question at a time, make one decision at a time, and take one action at a time.
These steps make it possible to break down the process into bite sized pieces. And the steps build on each other. When sorting just sort! The toss is easier once you can see exactly what you have, then what’s left needs a place to go followed by what it will go in. Once everything is contained, it is time to ask how to maintain it and lastly, how to simplify? If you really give STACKS a try for a couple of small projects, you might get hooked.
I promise using STACKS will save you time, energy and money! And, by taking one step at a time, you will have more energy, think better, and get through the project faster.
Stay tuned for our next blog where I will take you through the C&S System visually and teach you even more. I have used this system on thousands of organizing jobs over the last 20 years and there is nothing like it.
Marla Dee – Your Guide to getting organized at last!
Yes, you can have less stress with all your travels!
Some of you have heard about our very humbling and eye-opening experience of traveling to London in 2014 with too much stuff and the sad comments we received regarding all of that stuff. We were so embarrassed to be representing organizers and Americans as a whole. Needless to say, our packing and travels were NOT Clear & SIMPLE…
Through conscious practice each time we travel, we now travel much more simply and LOVE to share about all that we have learned. We still experience the initial freak out when it is time to start getting ready., but then we remind ourselves to do the See It and Map It steps first. This helps us stay present with one thing at a time.
See it – Take a look at what the trip is about. Then you can gather all the details in one place (see the apps below for help).
What will you be doing?
Where are you going?
What is the purpose of the trip?
Who are you traveling with?
Map it – Make a plan for what you want. This relieves the stress in your body and brain.
Why not make a Mind Map for your trip? This makes it fun.
Create your spending plan ahead of time.
Make the lists for packing as soon as you can.
We have shared about our favorite travel planning apps, including Wunderlist and TripIt for making the planning stages so much easier. We pull our general trip list in Wunderlist and then customize it for each new trip. TripIt keeps all the important details together and on the phone.
If you have been to our Live Travel Workshop then you have experienced firsthand the goodness we have learned and we are excited to say that we will be sharing our best travel tips for the next 4 weeks so stay tuned for more.
We are also holding another live travel workshop on June 19th in Salt Lake City Utah – limited to 9 students so sign up now with your traveling buddy.
Inspiration – the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions!
As defined by the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, getting inspired means to get the intellect or emotion moving! We often hear people say, “I”m lazy so I don’t… clean out my purse, clean out the garage, clean off the kitchen counter, organize the linen closet…” We want to reframe this. We believe it’s because these things just aren’t inspiring in and of themselves. However, once they are done, the space and fresh flowing energy gets our brains, hearts and bodies fired up! This opens us up to spend time and energy where we really want to. Now that’s inspiring!
Encouragement comes in many forms:
creating a vision of what you most want
reframing negative thoughts to positive ones
the support of a trusted loved one
a picture in a magazine
hearing stories of others accomplishments
sitting with how it will feel when you reach a desired outcome
Find what really lights up your entire being! Here are 3 ideas to get you going:
1 – Look for affirmation of the feeling you want on the other side of clearing the clutter. One great resource is Clutterers Anonymous and here are a couple from their site. As I declutter my life, I open up space to receive the support and comfort that I need – or – As I let go of what is insignificant to me, I am better able to enjoy those things that are important to me.
2 – Find stories of people that have released clutter that you resonate with. One of our favorite story tellers is family man Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist. Not only does he share about his family’s journey on his website, but he regularly shares guest posts in his newsletter.
3 – Print a picture or create a Pinterest board that inspires you let go of the stuff that is not adding value to your life or your space. We are always inspired by visual.
The ART of Letting Go is Marla’s ebook about taking that inspiration and then following the steps within The Clear & SIMPLE Systems to clear the clutter. Download this sweet and simple, yet powerful little book today as our free gift for yourself and others. Please feel free to share with your loved ones.
After Acceptance and Release comes the last step on your journey of freedom from clutter…Trust! We know clearing clutter can be overwhelming. We hope these three steps have made it simpler. We want to help free you to be present in your life now.
Let me bring these together for you.
Clutter is transformed by clearing.
You can choose to hold on or let go.
Do you want to stay stuck or start moving?
Is your body in a state or panic or peace?
Are you coming from a place of fear or trust?
In reality, all your choices come down to choosing FEAR or TRUST. I encourage you to take this journey from a place of Trust, and when Fear comes up, acknowledge it and let it go. Just for now, be willing to explore your own story and step into change.
Wishing you sweet peace in your life. Marla Dee
**This is an excerpt from Marla’s book, The ART of Letting Go. Download it now as a free gift to read all of the wisdom, knowledge and support of releasing many kinds of stuff in life.
Start with the willingness to surrender. Take a deep breath and exhale. What are you ready to let go of right now?
The first step in ART was Acceptance. Now you are ready for the Release. When you have accepted where you are in present time, you are free to let go of what is stopping you from moving forward.
It is freeing to release the old, the block, and the struggle. Whereas the acceptance step is like breathing in and receiving air, new life, and oxygen, the release is a long exhale; a way to let go and give back to the Universe what your body no longer needs. It can be that simple. Sometimes life is about surrender. Most of the time, holding on, trying harder, pushing, or struggling are not the answers. How long can you hold your breath before you hurt yourself? In the same way, bodies and creative energies can be damaged after holding on to stuff for too long. Sometimes it is just time to let go.
I say, start with the willingness to surrender. Take a deep breath and exhale. What are you ready to let go of right now?
It is natural after the surrender to be ready for action. I can imagine you worrying and wondering: “But how do I do this? I’ve tried for years and it doesn’t work, I can’t get it right. It’s just too hard.” I realize that you have the desire to let go but you were never taught how. I can desire to play the piano, but without some level of teaching, all I can do is plop out notes, a long way from playing a beautiful melody.
Here are my top three tips for making the release simpler:
1 – You will want to start with a small project or area such as the top of your purse, your dresser, or your junk drawer. Take everything out and sort first, then toss what you don’t need, and them put it back together. If you want help download my eBook, The ART of Letting Go.
2 – You can also try our simple, yet powerful 30 Day Clutter Clear Out – Let go of one thing a day for 30 days. Get our guide and more support on our Clutter Clear Out page. This will start the energy of things leaving your space and you will be amazed how fun it can be.
The first step in letting go is accepting the story your clutter tells. All clutter tells a story and everyone has clutter in some area of his or her life. Accept that your environment is simply a reflection of your life up until now, a reflection of what’s happened to you and what’s going on inside you. There’s no shame or blame in looking at this picture; that would only keep you in the role of a victim. In order to step into the power of change and growth, you must be willing to open your eyes and see it. There is no healthy payoff in focusing on the clutter itself, on staying locked up in guilt—not for you or for others. However, great power is arises when you accept that you are the creator of your life and of your environment. Your old things, your old patterns, your old relationships reflect who you have been and what you have built or what you have avoided—it is YOUR PAST!
By accepting the full story in front of you, you can step into present time. There is a famous line in the Alcoholics Anonymous book that says “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.” I believe this is true. Acceptance is the beginning of any change. Acceptance brings peace. Acceptance opens the door for support to come in.
Here are some simple exercises to support you in coming to a place of acceptance:
Answer the following questions:
– What am I having a hard time accepting?
– Why am I having a hard time accepting where I am today?
– What am I telling myself about why I am stuck?
– What is the story I want to get out before I can move on?
– Am I willing to accept what is in front of me?
Acknowledge your feelings:
– I accept that I am scared.
– I accept that I feel hopeless.
– I accept that I have created this situation.
– What would acceptance feel like?
– Where can I begin my acceptance?
– If I accept what is in front of me, how will I be set free?
– By accepting my situation, what can I let go of that is dragging me down or holding me back?
– What would acceptance look like?
Another method for getting out and accepting your old story is to tell it out loud. The key is to find a person you trust who is willing to listen with heart and attention. I have found many people hold on to their stuff because they feel they need it in order to share their life story with another human being.
This is an excerpt from Marla’s book The ART of Letting Go, which you can download now as a gift from her.