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Time for Slow. Time for Simple.

This blog was written by Kate Fehr of the Clear & Simple family. It’s well worth a read as the summer flies by too quickly.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. It also bring me to reflect on what has become my focus and to step back a little and slow down. We all get caught in the hustle and bustle of life and demands of work. A little reminder to slow down is always a good thing. So sit back, slow down a few minutes and read this lovely blog.

We could all use a little big dose of slow and simple.

I was sitting outside my son’s basketball practice reading and enjoying a new book. I overheard two parents reconnecting after being away for the summer. “How was your summer?” The woman asked politely. “It was great, but went by so fast! How was yours?” The man inquired. “Oh my gosh, so fast. I think it was the fastest summer ever and I was not ready for school to start.” She replied.

I sighed deeply in empathy for I have also experienced just how fast life goes by. On the other hand I also felt grateful for Our Simple Summer that rolled by at a sweet pace; something I know was very intentional on my part.

As I lamented over the “too fast” culture we live in, I continued to notice scenarios before me as parents zipped in and out of the parking lot, some dropping kids off and some picking kids up.

  • One mom talked aggressively on her phone as her son climbed in the car and they drove away. Been there.
  • A father was urging his son to hurry up and tie his shoes to get into practice. Been there.
  • Another woman pulled into a spot, tapped her fingers impatiently while watching the school door. After about 15 seconds she jumped out and ran into the school to retrieve her son. Been there too.

After many layers of simplifying our stuff, our time and our lives, my family’s approach looks very different than what I witnessed. We leave the house with more than enough time to get there. Our phones are put away so that we can be present with each other to talk, sing and laugh all the way. We arrive early giving us a bit more time to connect. As my son hops joyfully out of the car and saunters into the gym, I push the driver’s seat back, kick my feet out the window and dive into a book.

This particular day I was reading a fantastic book called In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed and was on chapter 8, Work: The Benefits of Working Less Hard. Over the last 6 months my soul has been begging me to bring my work life into alignment with our minimalist energy. The combination of this book, a couple of months of summer sweetness and experiencing the fast-paced madness of my fellow humans, has created a great urgency in me to make this happen right away.

Barely making it through the day over-stressed, overly disconnected, under-nourished and under-inspired is certainly NOT the kind of life I want to live. How about you?

With lots of love,
Kate

Get Organized for the Holidays

The Holidays are a favorite time of year! We love them and can also get stressed by them.

I am sharing my top organizing tips for the holiday season. These tips may seem simple but they help.  Have fun watching my segment on Fresh Living! Also, get our Top Ten Tips for Home & Holidays eBook FREE – see below.

Clear & SIMPLE, Marla Dee, Get Organized for Holidays

Marla Dee on KUTV Fresh Living

Here are my top tips for decreasing stress and adding JOY.

1.     Choose one theme for your decorations and gift-wrap to make it easier. You can really simplify by having one color gift wrap for all your holidays.

2.     Make Memories! Have fun making gifts along with favorite family traditions. Sit down together as a family and choose what would be the most meaningful time.

3.     Keep all your lists handy either in a small notebook or an app on your phone. I love the free app Wunderlist for all my lists.

4.     Get a fabulous container for the kitchen counter to handle the incoming paper and stuff.  Get one with a top so you can cover it up when company is coming over.

During November and December, get our FREE GIFT – TOP TEN TIPS for Home & Holidays eBook.

My team can come help you create a beautiful & organized home for the holidays as a GIFT to yourself. You deserve a joyful and stress-free holiday season!

I love my life and want you to love yours, Marla Dee

Home & Holiday Tip #3: Containers for Beauty & Order

During the Holidays we want our homes to be organized and also beautiful.  This is our favorite tip for bringing both of those together!

The secret to success is CONTAINERS! Containers provide a home for all the loose stuff so it is easier to find, use and return.

1 – Containers inside: Use containers within drawers, closets, and cupboards and on shelves to add clarity and beauty. When it comes to the kitchen and pantry, containers make a huge difference. Our favorite resource is The Container Store.

2 – Consistent: Then be consistent (all white, wicker, etc) to add that clean feeling and functionality. You can also add one color for fun!

3 – Label: Lastly, label all containers for instant ease in returning to their home and zone.  There are many ways to label now so you can get really creative. Check out this erasable duct tape. See The Container Store’s other fabulous labels.

Have FUN getting Holiday Container for your wrapping paper, gifts, and decorations.

Our FREE GIFT for this holiday season is our Ebook – Top Ten Tips for Home & Holidays.  You can get it on our Shop Page.

The ART of Letting Go ~ Inspiration

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.

Clear & SIMPLE, Marla Dee, The ART of Letting Go

The ART of Letting Go ~ Trust

Trust is the most important part of letting go.

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.