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 calledIn 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?
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 (now Microsoft ToDo) 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.
In this episode of Wellness Wisdom Camille Kennard interviews Marla Dee, Professional Organizer at Clear & Simple Organizing. In today’s world we are bombarded with information & stuff! So there is clutter everywhere – on our phones & computers, desktops & countertops, bedrooms & basements, closets & cupboards… We crave being free of the clutter and fantasize about being organized, but it feels impossible. Marla Dee is here to change that. As a professional organizer for 18 years, Marla has seen the pain!
Living in chaos has an impact on our physical, mental, and emotional health, and our outside environment is often a reflection of what’s going on inside our minds and our lives.
Marla believes that as we clear the clutter in our lives we will be happier, alive, and connected. When we let go of the clutter, we FREE ourselves to possibilities and open space for something new to come in.
Marla will share with us Clear and Simple principles that are the foundation of her work including how to see it, map it, and do it. You can create a vision of how you want things to look, feel, and function. She will help us learn how to simplify and set up habits to be more organized and present. The habits piece includes the “keep it up” step in STACKS (sort, toss, assign, contain, keep it up and simplify). Tune into this episode to learn systems that can help you make shifts in how you care for yourself and your environment.
Marla believes that living organized and clutter free is a skill anyone can learn. What is your clutter costing you? Free yourself of clutter and be present in your life to what matters most! Listen to the podcast
Camille is passionate about supporting people in their health and wellness. Check out her other blogs for inspiration and support.
When spring energy hits we feel compelled to clean out & organize!
One of the most needed and popular areas to organize is the clothes closet. Today I will share my top tips for making this area fun & functional.
TIP 1– Hanger Hell or Hanger Heaven
The easiest and cheapest closest transformation is getting the same color and type of hanger. Our brains and bodies go to color first. If you have hangers in all the colors of the rainbow, your brain can’t focus on the clothes. Then, along with the same color, choose the same type – all plastic or all wood. The best place to get the hanger you love is The Container Store. They have the largest selection.
TIP 2– Sort by colors and types
To make it easy to find the piece of clothing you want, sort them first by color (refer to the tip above) and then by type.
TIP 3 – Clear the floor
The floor is not the place to store your shoes or homeless items. Get them all contained. Put the shoes on shoe shelves. Put the dirty laundry into a hamper. Do not store other stuff in the clothes closet.
TIP 4– Use cool containers for the small stuff
Containers make the difference between a cluttered closet and a gorgeous closet. Put accessories such as scarves, bags, jewelry and such into their own containers. Remember to label the containers and the shelves so it is easy to find what you need.
Invitation:Have fun clearing out your clothes closet and share before and after pictures with me at www.facebook.com/clearsimple/
I want you to get organized and have fun doing it! Marla Dee
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.
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.