How to Ditch the New Year's Resolutions and Still Make Lasting Changes

At the end of every year I always find that I don't focus on resolutions for the New Year, that would just be too much pressure. We're celebrating the end of a year and the beginning of a new one. To list out resolutions that might include a strict exercise routine,  a no carb diet or less time on the internet may in fact help someone's health or well being but creates pressure to follow through. Last time I checked in none of us need more pressure. Instead I reflect on the past year and zone in on the things that I felt I did well, or not so well, the things that worked or didn't quite work well. Then I make a decision to tweak things based on what feels right. I always make choices from a place of what feels good. This is where I find the best follow through, because when you tune into your feelings and what you truly want the pressure is gone. I like to call it my New Years Feel Good List, rather than New Years Resolutions. I start my list by writing down anything I think worked well for me throughout the year, as well add my achievements and use some pretty descriptive words centered around how those actions made me feel. Then on the flip side I think about anything I felt I could have done better and think about the way those choices made me feel. I'm pretty confident none of us want to feel crappy about any decisions we make. I ask myself the question, how can I turn this around? Never aiming for perfection, just tweaking. For instance, the last 4 months my time management skills could have been better. In the New Year I'm committing to having less on my plate and focusing on specific tasks without overloading my calendar, and that feels better.

I'm organized by nature so making lists comes pretty easy to me, but when I am approaching a list based on feelings it's even easier. That is the reason I love approaching goals this way, because it works for everyone. Just spill it. Let it all out, the good the bad and the ugly. One of the things I have learned over the last 3 years working with clients is that once you become clear about how something is making you feel there is an immediate shift in energy. If the clutter in your home is making you stressed, tired or anxious then decide how you'd rather feel and that will motivate you to take the next steps. If you aren't feeling so great about your diet choices think about ways you can have fun making new recipes that are healthier, and still taste great. Whatever you want to change, tweak or eliminate it must be replaced with a feel good solution rather than deprivation or fear about the change.

2015 is just about here. Let's all make a commitment to ditch the resolutions and instead make our New Year all about feeling great. Wherever you start you're already halfway there.

 

Organized for Life- Bringing the Magic and Spirit of Christmas into a Home

Over the last year Organized for Life has had the pleasure of organizing and simplifying spaces so that others can truly embrace their homes and enjoy them from the moment they walk in the door. In addition to creating streamlined and clutter free homes, OFL has also incorporated elements of design into the spaces. Through furniture placement, color and size choices for organizational items as well as home staging services OFL has become a business that helps others achieve organization, design and simplicity. The slogan "Embrace your Space, Live Clutter Free" has truly become Organized for Life's mission statement.

Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of the year, and being asked to decorate a home for the holidays was an absolute dream come true for me. Bringing the magic and spirit of Christmas into any home instantly adds a feeling of joy, love and reminds us of what the holidays are truly about. Below are photos of how everything came together. My goal was for others to feel the spirit of Christmas from the moment they walk in the door, and for the owners to fall in love with their home all over again.

Entrance

Top of stairs

Side view entrance

tree

 

 

 

 

 

Mantle

 

table

scones

10850430_10203702727472646_1492192250_n

 

Green tree

bowls and vase

 

 

 

 

 

Think You Know What an Organizer is Really Thinking About All Your Stuff? Think Again

I have heard the phrase many times, "please don't get nervous when you see my home". I'm here to tell you that I will not be nervous. I will never feel a sense of overwhelm or judgment. There are times when I think to myself when walking into a home that the disorganization is actually a beautiful thing. Yes every bit of it. Absolutely beautiful. Why? Every opportunity for transformation is beautiful. I know what waits on the other side and that once I complete the project it will feel like a new space. Every time I meet a client and walk into their home I have been given the opportunity to take a space that is not functioning well and breathe new life into in. The space to me is so much more than just disorganized or messy. It's lived in, it's loved, it's full of memories old and new. The first thought that crosses my mind is how I'm going to take everything in this space and create some clarity and breathing room. How I can help remove what is no longer working or useful, and I'm going to make sure every bit of it looks peaceful and calming. The truth is our spaces are meant to be lived in and there will never be enough hours in our day to allow for perfection. What we can do is embrace the imperfections, remove what is no longer serving us in the space and decide to create function and clarity.

If you are ever struggling with the idea to hire a professional organizer but hesitate because you feel it may be difficult to let go of things or you may think they will never understand the mess, think again. I welcome the mess and the confusion of it all. It's why I do what I do.

Why I Became a Light Worker

12165838_10153353131506137_203977504_n"Why did you become an organizer, what's so great about helping people deal with all their stuff"? This was asked by a woman recently in the parking lot at the market. I was loading up my car with groceries and she saw my business info which is in plain sight on my car magnet. I've been asked this question before. From clients, family, friends and in this case strangers. It's an honest question. The job is not glamorous. It involves work, standing for hours and can feel like a game of tetris. Figuring out what will fit where, how it all makes sense in the space. It also involves patience. Not everyone sees my simplified view on things, they aren't always as interested in just letting go. But I don't focus on those aspects of the business. They aren't important. So I make it about what is important. I make is about how it makes me feel, and in turn how others feel. Since I was 18 I've always worked in the retail and the consumer goods industry. It's about more. More sales, more customers, more numbers. At one point I had no idea that this concept of more was not meant for me. When you're young you're searching for where you belong, how you fit in the world. When you're feeling lost you tend to look outside of yourself for the answers. The external things become a fix for you. So I went along with the more mentality and shopping became my external fix. The thing about "fixes" is that they are temporary and meaningless. My closet was filled up with so much but in actuality it was really filled with emptiness. Eventually I started searching inside instead and focusing on what makes me feel good and that's when everything changed.

I knew how I felt when walking into a room and seeing things perfectly placed, in order but still filled with personality and life. I love that perfect balance between organization and inviting in the unexpected. For me simplicity is never about perfection but rather about your possessions consisting of only what you love. Finding that clutter free balance and feeling at ease in a space. I can't explain why. I just know that I feel a sense of calm, happiness and excitement in any space that is truly embraced and simplified. I knew 2.5 years ago that I wanted to help people feel that way in their space. I also know that stuff does not define us, dictate who we are inside as human beings and that life as a slave to your possessions is a heavy existence. I believe in living light. I believe in this because once I let go of the person I was pretending to be and stepped into who I truly was my energy, focus and life began to shift. Spreading that to others truly became my mission.

I consider myself a light worker. Someone who is here to help people move past their belongings that have begun to weigh them down. It does not matter how many clients I have, or how many speaking gigs I have booked on the calendar. If I can reach a few at at time, make a difference in a few lives I am happy with that. I started my business because everyone deserves to experience living light.

Feeling a Little Lighter- Highlights From My Workshop Series

10346273_715774418488837_6972642400788471929_n After leading a workshop over the weekend and walking away feeling so in alignment with my message and the importance of spreading it, I knew it was as equally important to share some of the content here on the blog.  The more I share in my message the better I feel!

I started Organized for Life not only to help others become organized but more importantly to re-frame their relationship to stuff. Why does it accumulate? Why do we struggle with letting go of things? How can we adopt new habits to invite in a more simplistic and meaningful life? The answers to these questions require patience, truth and the willingness to embrace a new way of being. What is on the other side of your stuff can be the answer to making room for so many of the things you want to transpire in your life. Below is a recap of what clutter is and what it isn't and how you can begin to clear space within your life.

What is Clutter?

"Clutter is not just the stuff on your floor- it's anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living" Organizational expert, Peter Walsh

What Clutter Isn't

Clutter isn't anything you truly love or use regularly. Clutter is not the items you cherish that make you come alive.

There is a distinct difference between the items that we invite into our home that we know and love and the items that begin to accumulate that do not serve any other purpose than taking up space. Clutter IS the junk mail piled up on the counter, the clothing sitting in the closet you haven't worn in over a year. Clutter IS NOT your favorite books, your child's favorite artwork from school. You can feel the difference when you see it and touch it. But how do we ensure the items that we do not consider clutter don't end up being displayed in a way that feels cluttered and unmanageable? This is where clearing space is an important tool to begin to let go of the items we do not want, and invite in the objects we know and love so that they are surrounding us. It's about embracing your space.

Ways to clear space

  • Start with a vision for the space and audit your home accordingly.
  • Remember that everything in our home is there with our permission.
  • Use the 1 in 2 out rule.
  • Zone in on furniture placement and eliminate anything that blocks flow in the space.
  • Honor the memory and let go of the object for items that stir up nostalgia.
  • If you are going to have less things they have to be great things.

Once you begin decluttering, you may find yourself unburdened by heavy emotions and will begin to feel lighter, more at ease and have a greater sense of happiness and personal well-being. This will carry into your day and also bring a happiness into your home.

Letting go- the essentials and the non-essentials that live in our space

The difference between the essentials and the non-essentials in our lives that we can let go of all depend on how much we value certain things. For instance you may see your iPad as an essential and the shoes in your closet that you don't wear as a non essential. If you struggle with what to let go of and what to keep here's a little exercise you can do to get started.

  • List 5 essentials in your life that are things that you can let go of because you feel they no longer serve you.
  • List 5 "non essentials" in your life that are things you can let go of because they are taking up space.
  • List 5 “essentials” that you can keep.

Asking yourself these questions gives you the opportunity to dive into your relationship to your stuff and become honest with yourself about the process of decluttering.

Freeing ourselves of emotional clutter, physical clutter and what no longer serves us is one of the most freeing journeys we can take in our lives. Start with a simple step. Here's to making the spaces we live and work in a little brighter, a little lighter and full of love.

xo

Lauren

 

 

 

 

 

Home Staging Made Simple, Loving it While Listing It

If you are selling your home, fall in love with the space one last time. Think of your home listing as a property where prospective buyers are going to decide from the doorway whether or not they love the space, so decide that you love it to. They are going to mentally begin to move in as they start the tour or feel as though they can't imagine themselves living there. Remember what you loved about the home and accentuate those details beginning with the front yard. Trim the hedges, clean the deck and plant some flowers should the season call for it. Invite them in and allow them to feel at home. Once inside read on for tips on creating balance, flow and simplicity that potential buyers will not forget. First impressions are everything. Create a calm environment that is free of clutter from the moment they walk in. This entryway has a simple but elegant table and a few decorative pieces to add some interest. Arranging items in ones and threes is rule of thumb as it builds progression and flow in any space.

CYMERA_20140428_212702

Be mindful of not having any personal items such as family pictures and heirlooms covering the walls and shelving. Remember clutter eats equity! It also will make rooms appear smaller. Declutter, simplify and bring in accent pieces that accentuate the homes color scheme. Rearrange furniture to create open walkways as well. Take a test drive through your home and see if there are any awkward furniture pieces in the way. Removing them is an opportunity to pair down before your move.

Fresh flowers and inviting seating add warmth and a sense of calm to this living room space below. The seating is arranged in front of the window which overlooks the backyard, but it does not obstruct the beautiful view. If you have hard wood floors it's a great idea to show them off but having area rugs as well will balance the room and bring in color. For focal points in a room such as a fireplace, make it the focal point! Declutter the mantle, keep it clean and add in some interest with accent pieces of varying heights. This will make for a great design and draw the buyer's attention to it. If the focal point is a window keep the window sill clutter free and open the blinds or window treatments to allow natural light to flow. Lightning is important in any room of the home.

plants and paint

CYMERA_20140428_215318

fireplace

Furniture and lighting placed evenly on either side of a larger piece balances the space and actually creates feelings of harmony, stability and wellness. Those are feelings you want potential buyers in your home to experience and remember when they leave. The room below is a great example of creating balance and simplicity. Hard and soft lines in a room should compliment each other similar to the couch and round chair below. Squared off tables and end tables balance the lines well.

upstairs room

Setting your kitchen table as if you were ready for a dinner party will allow the buyer to envision entertaining within the space, however going overboard may deter them from looking at the rest of the kitchen. Keep it simple and light. Stick to a color scheme that works within the space. Leave some breathing room on the table as well, as with most flat surfaces in the home less is more! Key words for table staging- entertain, relax and enjoy.

table with flowers 2 table with flowers 3 table with flowers 4Clear those kitchen counters and leave one or two essentials. A bowl of fruit or lemons and some flowers are just the right touch. Clear counter tops will give buyers the opportunity to see how much prep space they have and will allow the kitchen to appear larger.

Less is best when staging your home and getting it ready to sell. The time you put into the details and finishing touches will certainly go a long way, and is so important to consider for a quick sell!

For inquiries on how Lauren can help you become Organized for Life head to the contact page!

All photos courtesy of Organized for Life clients and permission is needed for use. All Rights are Reserved.

Be the Change. 3 Ways Change Will Set You Free

When too many changes are happening at once I have a tendency to feel as though I'm spinning around on a carousel and get the urge to jump off and run for the hills. There is a peace and comfort in things when they are slow going. Then there are the times when things are moving a little too slow, and I can get itchy to shake things up a bit, looking for change to come to the rescue. So where's the happy medium? When is change nothing but a good thing? There are 2 types of changes that can occur. Those which we welcome and those that we do not. A sudden job lay off that we weren't expecting, clearly an unwelcome change. A much needed new haircut, consider a welcome change. Life is full of the expected and the unexpected, the welcome changes and the ones that sneak up on us out of thin air. We learn to roll with the punches or fight it till we forget why we even started to fight. It's the resistance to change, and on the flip side the idea that sometimes we need it, that makes it oh so difficult for some of us. What if we decided to be the change? Rather than always be anticipating what's to come instead decide to embrace it as it comes? Being the change can mean moving with it and understanding that there is purpose for the unexpected, and when we are seeking it we can silence our minds a bit and ask ourselves why. Dance with it, walk with it and even have a chat with it. Taking positive active to embrace our own lives and embrace the things that we want to create, as well as those that appear unexpectedly, will only create one outcome- a calm spirit amidst a world that is constantly changing. There will be always be changes that we cannot anticipate, but by being the change in our lives we can learn to roll with those punches and truly embrace what we are seeking. Here's my top 3 reasons why change can set you free.

1. You will stop resisting. Maybe you can't let go of certain items in your home and struggling with feelings of loss if you do . By going with the flow and being open to the possibility of opening the space and letting go you will feel free of resistance.

2. You will grow from change. We cannot learn in life unless we are inviting in experiences that allow us to learn from them. Changes almost always follows an amazing growth period. You may be stronger, smarter and happier to "being" the change that presented itself to you.

3. You will be open to the possibilities of life. As they say when one door closes, another one opens. Very cliche but also very true. Allow that door to close, slam it if you have to. There is going to be something beautiful behind that door that is waiting to be opened. The door where letting go of resisting change is waiting.

Allow change to remind us of how amazing life can be. By being the change we can focus on what we want out of life and always remember there are amazing things to come.