3 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Struggle with Decluttering

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If you want to improve your life immediately, clean out your closet. It’s often what we hold onto that holds us back

During most of my time spent working with clients, they have already confirmed in their hearts and minds that they are ready to toss items with hurricane force wind. They are willing to take a long hard look at their homes and see clearly that the clutter is holding them back, and zapping their precious time and energy. In the case where they are not fully convinced, we do a bit of a deep dive into what might be holding them back and suddenly it clicks as to why they were hesitant. That is a magic moment, and one of freedom.

If you are reading this and don’t feel any connection or belief that you can reach this level of clarity within your own space, I have a few suggestions.

Ask yourself what you feel is the worst that can happen.

What if you finally decided to donate that set of dishes that were handed down to you? Or donate all of those books you had plans of someday reading but you have 0 interest in? I have some news for you- there is no declutter monster that is going to show up at your front door asking you to reconsider. There is no committee of people that will judge you for honoring your space. If you happen to come across anyone who does however, politely let them know that your home requires you to be joyful, present and happy. That by removing whatever is holding you back is your choice, and yours alone.

When you share a space with someone honor their choices to hold on or let go. Do not judge their decisions around their choice. You can gently remind them however to always choose peace of mind over their stuff.

Does the clutter represent the person you are in this moment or who you strive to be?

This question can be a bit of an emotional one because it asks us to take a look at what isn’t working in our lives, or if we are where we truly want to be. There is a deep connection to what is happening within our space and how we feel emotionally. Clutter can at times be a firm representation of how we are feeling internally.

If you strive for feelings of calm and better organization, take a minute to walk around your home and see if the space mirrors those feelings back to you.

If you are looking to feel more joy and ease at home, look closely at what type of clutter is piling up. It could be right by the entryway, which is the last thing we see before we leave our homes and the first thing we see when we return. Taking a moment to identify the areas of our home that are not representing what we want called into our lives, will shift the energy in favor of what we do want.

Does your closet represent who you are in this moment? Does the clothing and accessories speak to you and the life you are creating for yourself? It is so imperative to show up as ourselves. To feel confident and comfortable and joy by the items we are holding onto.

Ask yourself if this is the vision you had for your living space.

Think back to when you first began cultivating your space, and the hopes you had for that space. If you never felt connected to the space in a way that you hope for, now could be the time to tap into those feelings.

Make a list of feelings, words and phrases that represent all those ideals of what your space represents within your life, and then begin from there. Make choices on what will stay and what will go from that place of knowing. This conscious exercise is meant to focus your attention on intentional feelings that will translate to a physical space mirroring your highest self.

Our lives are shaped by so much. Give yourself room to breathe in the space that you are living, sleeping and making memories in.

Always living light,

Lauren

8 Mantras That Will Leave You Simplifying Your Life Fast

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Have you ever noticed the way you feel after you’re done cleaning your home? How about after you just cleared your closet out of all those clothes you have’t worn in decades? Even cleaning out one drawer is enough to put you under a magical spell of lightness, feeling as though your mind is completely clear.

What you’re experiencing is an actual rewiring of your brain in response to the space now being free and clear. This is when you need to keep going.

Clutter has a sneaky way of making us feel distracted, tired and unproductive. Simplified spaces that allow movement, flow and clarity have an energetic life force that transforms the space, but more importantly, our insides.

The next time you walk into your home and feel as though your energy is being zapped, or you are feeling restless, you can decide to reframe it. Here are some simplicity mantras meant to motivate. Tack them up on the fridge, the bathroom mirror or wherever you need a reminder to choose you over your stuff.

Lightness over Heaviness

Clarity over Clutter

Space over Confinement

Gratitude over Unappreciation

Flow over Stagnant

Freedom over Difficulty

Inspired over Unmotivated

Growth over Regression

May you always choose light over heavy,

Lauren

The Easy Guide to Saging Your Space

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Whenever anyone shares in my love of running around their home with a bundle of sage, white smoke circling around their heads, while reciting powerful affirmations about releasing negative vibes- my heart skips a beat. The practice of burning sage is powerful and important, but unless you have done some research around what it is, and how it actually does all those magical things you have heard, you could be left confused by its positive transformative qualities.

It can seem a bit bizarre at first to picture yourself even attempting to use it. However fear no more, you don’t have to be a shaman or the most spiritual being in all the land to reap its benefits or understand how to use it.

What is Sage Made of?

Sage (salvia officinalis), is an herb that falls within the mint family, and stems from the word heal. It has its roots in the Mediterranean region and is sometimes used to flavor foods. For today’s purposes though we won’t be discussing how to use sage to make a fabulous pork roast.

On a scientific level, which totally drives home my belief in it, it has been proven to clear up to 94% of airborne bacteria and purify the air. It releases negative ions, which is linked to putting people in a positive mood. Yeah, it pretty much rocks.

When Do you Need to Use it?

I have a laundry list of reasons but I’m going with my top 3 to begin saging your space.

  • Moving into a new home or office space.

    All space holds energy, good and bad. We are all energetic beings and at times we may not realize the energy we are consuming within a space, but our bodies will let us know if we tune in. If you feel as though something is off within a room, or an entire home, listen to your instincts. Sage is a powerful tool in the space clearing process.

  • When you need a mood boost.

    Long day? Have a “people hangover?” Maybe you are carrying around some emotions that you know would serve your highest good if they were released. Burn that sage.

  • To reduce allergens.

    Sage does help to clear the air of bugs and bacteria. It can reduce the allergens in the air that stem from pollution, dust and mold. If you using sage to breathe easier, you will feel that air quality change.

The Basics of How to Use Sage

I recommend purchasing a bundle of white sage, you can find some great options on Shamans Market, one of my top picks.

  • Set an intention as to why you are wanting to cleanse the space.

    Whether it be in your home or a space you work in, focus on that intention and hold that intention in your heart, it will be the most powerful piece of clearing the energy within that space.

  • Create your affirmation.

    It can be anything you want it to be that is heart centered around releasing any energy you feel you want removed from your space, and your body. This is energetic healing. One of my favorite examples below~

    “Into this smoke I release all energy that doesn’t serve me, all negativity that surrounds me and all fear that limits me. Please leave through all open doors and windows”

    (P.S. Get the F—- OUT is an ok affirmation)

Now you are ready to begin.

  • Open all doors and windows. All of the energetic release needs a way out.

    Grab the sage as far from the end you are burning as possible. Hold it at a 45 degree angle and light it up. *Important- let it burn for about 20 seconds as you do not want the sage bundle to go up in flames, yikes…and then gently blow out the flame so that you can see embers.

  • Start at the lowest level within the space, move from room to room if you are saging an entire home.

    Use your hand to waft the smoke into all four corners where the ceiling and floors meet. Direct the smoke out through the windows and doorways. Repeat your affirmation (intention) as you go.

  • When you are done, extinguish it by rubbing it in dirt or sand or stamping it out in a ceramic bowl. Do not run water over it. Your precious sage will be down for the count if you do.

Now that the energy in your space is freed from negativity, stagnant energies and pollutants its best to approach it with love. Clearing clutter can be done prior, but also after. Removing anything that no longer serves us opens up room for possibility. Playing music you love, inviting people in that you know have aligned positive energy to share with you is important. This is a process you can repeat as often as needed.

Happy saging!

Always living light,

Lauren

A Look Inside Brittanny and Kyle's Loft Space at Rising Sun Mills

Your home should be a collection of what you love, and tell the story of who you are
— Nate Berkus
Image credit  Brittanny Taylor

Image credit Brittanny Taylor

Natural light eases its way into this bright and open home, where Brittanny a Providence native and Kyle who grew up in Wales, have showcased their individual styles in a truly unique way. The rules should always become your own when designing and decorating your home. This space exemplifies that.

The loft, in the heart of Providence’s historic textile valley at Rising Sun Mills, has all the cozy elements of home, mixed with vintage pieces and pop culture collections displayed throughout the space. The mills were once home to the largest worsted wool producer in the country, dating back to 1887.

The perfect combination that tells the story of who they are, with just the right pops of color and an eclectic mix make this space interesting, wildly creative and inviting.

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The perfect open space for entertaining or relaxing. Vintage bar cart from  White Star Antiques  and coffee table found on  Amazon  . TV stand also found on  Amazon.

The perfect open space for entertaining or relaxing. Vintage bar cart from White Star Antiques and coffee table found on Amazon . TV stand also found on Amazon.

Background

Brittanny: I am born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island.

Kyle: I grew up in a small village called Pontyclun, about 13 miles from the capital of Wales, Cardiff.

What they love most about living in Rising Sun Mills

Brittanny: I’ve only lived in one other place (NYC for a brief stint), so Providence is all I know. I love that it’s close to both Boston and NYC and has its own unique personality.

I always wanted to live in Rising Sun Mills so when the opportunity arose, I moved in, and I’ve been here for over three years.

Kyle: I love the open space and lighting, but I especially adore how someone can easily make the space their own.

How their individual styles have come together in the space 

Brittanny: Kyle and I have very different styles so when deciding to move in together, I planned ahead how to style our collections, such as my vintage cameras and vinyls and Kyle’s robots.

Kyle: Brittanny’s keen eye for space and decoration mixes nicely with my love of pop culture collectibles and gaming tech as well as our shared love of cooking and a well-stocked kitchen.

Perfectly styled shelving from  Ikea  .

Perfectly styled shelving from Ikea .

Books, crystals and a vinyl collection in the couple’s living room.

Books, crystals and a vinyl collection in the couple’s living room.

The orange accent wall in the kitchen area stands out and adds an unexpected element of color. Chairs from  Amazon  and table from  Ikea .

The orange accent wall in the kitchen area stands out and adds an unexpected element of color. Chairs from Amazon and table from Ikea.

Brittanny’s desk from  Ikea  allows her enough space to comfortably work from home.

Brittanny’s desk from Ikea allows her enough space to comfortably work from home.

The couple found the perfect way to organize and display Kyle’s collection of transformers using simple white shelves.

The couple found the perfect way to organize and display Kyle’s collection of transformers using simple white shelves.

Favorite sites for home decor

Brittanny: I didn’t do much online shopping for our move aside from stalking Amazon. You can get some really cool pieces on Amazon. I also found myself on IKEA’s website every day.

Pro tip: download the IKEA app on your phone. It was extremely helpful in keeping track of what I wanted to buy and where it was located in the store (as well as if it was in stock).

Kyle: Don’t really have a favorite site but we love going looking for good deals that suit our place at Homegoods.

Herringbone queen bedroom set from  Raymour & Flanigan .

Herringbone queen bedroom set from Raymour & Flanigan.

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Bright copper poof found at  HomeGoods  and the chair was purchased from a neighbor.

Bright copper poof found at HomeGoods and the chair was purchased from a neighbor.

Black frames stand out against the white walls in the bathroom, and add a fun and colorful twist on bathroom decor.

Black frames stand out against the white walls in the bathroom, and add a fun and colorful twist on bathroom decor.

Best organizing tips

Brittanny: The biggest thing that helped us stay organized was the lockers I bought from my friend Patsy. We have a ton of stuff that wouldn’t have had a home if it wasn’t for the lockers. 

Put like things with each other and store them together. I purchased acrylic trays from the dollar store near me to help keep all my bits and bobs together.

Kyle: When not sure whether or not it’s time to get rid of something try this: store it in the closet for a few weeks. If you miss it, you will find a place for it that fits. If you don’t miss it, sell or donate it because you no longer need it.

Lockers purchased from a friend help make organization an easy task with multiple cubbies for storage, and make for a unique piece on display in the entryway.

Lockers purchased from a friend help make organization an easy task with multiple cubbies for storage, and make for a unique piece on display in the entryway.

All images courtesy of Brittanny Taylor

Organized for Life’s home series is meant to showcase and celebrate the lives of Rhode Islanders from their unique perspective, inside their homes, telling the stories of who they are through their space. The series paints an intimate view of the smallest state with one of the biggest hearts. Home is truly where the heart is.

If you are interested in telling your story of home, contact OFL.