Monthly Archives: March 2011

Eight Clutter Clearing Tips You Can Start Today

Use the vibrancy of Spring as motivation for cleaning, organizing, and de-cluttering your home or office. If you’re like me, you may put off de-cluttering your desk or organizing an over-stuffed junk drawer for as long as possible. Then, when I finally do it, I feel energized and happy.  I wonder why I waited so long.  Every client I’ve worked with has reported feeling more energetic after decluttering, and happier with the way things look and feel.

Here are Eight Tips to Help You Get Started:

1. Decluttering Your Closet.  If your bedroom closet is packed with stuff and you can’t see much of the floor, it’s time to declutter. According to Feng Shui, having too much stuff in your closet keeps you blocked from opportunities. And it just feels better when look at an organized closet.  Saves you time and stress getting dressed too!

First, make three piles of things – Yes!’s, No’s and Maybe’s. The Yes!’s will be things that you can eliminate today.  The Maybe’s will be things that you think you’ll eventually give away.  And the No’s will be things that you want to keep.  Revisit the Maybe’s every so often or until you get tired of  looking at the items. Gradually move the Maybes to the Yes!’s  Whenever you feel that you can give away something, do it immediately. The goal is to have a closet full of things that you want and will use regularly and not full of things that you haven’t worn in years.  Make it a tradition to do this at least once a year.

2. Kitchen Pantry. If every time you open the pantry you think “I really need to organize this” it’s draining your energy.  Instead, schedule a block of time and clean it out – or start simply with just one small area in the pantry and do another part tomorrow.

3. Desk Drawers. It’s easy to build clutter here.  Remember that if you can’t find what you need easily, it negatively affects your peace of mind. Try to discard unneeded items consistently throughout the year.  If you’ve got junk drawer, shedule thirty minutes for the initial clean-out, and extend the time if you need to.

4. Computer Clutter. Don’t forget to clear out the clutter in your computer…emails, old documents, old applications.  Again, start in small increments of time like 15 or 30 minutes. You may be surprised at how much you can discard in just a few minutes.

5. Refrigerator. Clean out your fridge regularly and it won’t turn into a big project when you don’t clean it for a while. I recommend setting a specific day each month like the 1st or the 6th and take just a few minutes to clean it.

6. Kid’s Rooms.  Model conscious stewardship for your children.  You can give your kids the gift of loving themselves for who they are and not what they have. Don’t allow toys to take over your home. Every few months, ask your kids to find things that they can give away to children that don’t as much.  Guide  them in the experience that giving feels good.

7. Break projects into manageable pieces. Simply say work for 30 or 50 minutes on whatever project most inspires you then stop until the next time.

8. At the beginning of each month, find at least three things in your home that you can give to friends, donate, or throw away. Then do it!  Make it a game. For motivation remember that as you create space in your home new opportunities will be drawn to you.  Remember the adage, “Nature abhors a vacuum.”

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Are You a Clutter-Clinger?

Are you clinging on to too much stuff in your home or work environment Is it difficult to begin eliminating your clutter?  The vibrancy of spring makes it the natural time of year to revitalize the energy in your environment. According to Feng Shui, clearing clutter allows energy to flow easily which can restore your energy and well-being.

Having a lot of stuff naturally develops into clutter.  Some people have so much stuff that they use any space they have to store it – frequently keeping their cars outside so they can use their garage to hold their stuff. The storage  industry is booming.  Isn’t it amazing that we actually pay people to keep our stuff for us! 

When stuff fills up your home you’ll spend energy trying to live around it. Clutter keeps you unfocused and anxious.  From an energy perspective, clutter creates stagnation in your life.  And seeing clutter in your home each day creates negativity in your mind – either because you’re not happy with yourself for having the clutter or you don’t like looking at the clutter.   

The truth is that you are not your stuff.  But it’s hard to hear that message over the clamour of advertising messages which tell you that buying things is the key to happiness. We’re bombarded with messages that tell us we are our stuff.  So it’s easy to be hypnotized into believing that our stuff is part of who we are. Don’t judge yourself harshly if you’re a clutter-clinger. You can change with one small step at a time.  Simply realize that when you think of your stuff as part of your identity it’s not the truth.

Clutter clearing necessitates a change in consciousness. In order to make a change in your home you have to make a change in your thinking.  It’s not simply about cleaning out your closet, it’s about letting go of who you think you are.  You have to wrap your mind around the concept that you are the same person without those boots you love or that sweater from Neiman’s that you haven’t worn in decades.

The process can be uncomfortable. The truth is that your authentic self is perfect and doesn’t need any thing to be happy.  Using things to be happy is fleeting and you’ll find that there’s never enough. Instead, when you connect with your inner self and not the outer environment you’ll find true contentment.

Next time…Tips for Clearing Your Clutter.

Home Staging 101 – Fresh Staging Ideas that Work

If you’re selling your home you need tools to present the best product possible. Attention to every detail is crucial if you want to sell your home quickly and for potentially higher profit.  You need home staging that goes beyond cleaning windows and putting out a welcome mat.

Home Staging is marketing. It’s about detaching from your home so that buyers can see themselves living there. In order to appeal to the most home buyers, you’ve got to de-personalize your home and present it in an appealing manner.

Picture this: You need to buy an automobile. You found the model you liked but when you went to see the car it had bumper stickers on it that you didn’t agree with, baby’s toys in the backseat, and fast food wrappers (from a restaurant you disliked) on the floorboard. Would you be drawn to that auto? The same principle applies in selling a home. 

Ten Fresh Staging Ideas that Work

1 – Make sure there are no visible nicks on your furniture, especially in the living room, master bedroom, and entryway. Paint or replace it if so.

2 – Outdoor furniture should be as appealing as indoor furniture. Repaint, clean and/or replace worn-out cushions as needed.

3 – Remove all family photos except two or three. Buyers like to see who they’re buying the home from and if they see a happy photo of your family, they’ll feel more confident that they’ll be happy in the home.  But too many photos will make the home feel like “your” home and buyers won’t see themselves in it.

4 – Ensure the first thing a buyer sees when they open the front door is high-quality, in good repair, and colorful. Fresh flowers are good -droopy plants with brown edges aren’t.  Place your most appealing artwork, rug(s), and/or furniture here.

5 – A few potted plants around the house is good as long as they are trimmed – no unruly ivy! Plants must be healthy.  No plastic pots either – transplant them to ceramic pots.

6 – Remove all outdoor flags. Many of my clients have resistance to doing this. “It’s the American flag after all!”  Remember, you don’t want to cause a negative reaction in buyers. Some home buyers may have judgment about home owners that fly a flag outside. And some buyers may have a judgment about flying a particular flag outside.  Why risk it?

7 – Don’t display too much of one thing. If you love cats and have a lot of cat memorabilia remember that not all buyers will have a positive reaction when they look at cats. Limit memorabilia to one item in each room, three items total throughout the house.

8 – Ensure every bed in the house has lots of pillows on it. Ideally, each bed should have two rows of pillows and a decorative pillow in the middle.

9 – If your garage is the messiest area of the home, warn buyers by placing an attractive note card on the garage door saying “Please overlook the mess, we’re getting ready to move!” or something similar. Prepare them.  Avoid giving buyers any negative surprises.

10 – Place candy or sweet treats for buyers in large bowls and make sure to refill before buyers arrive. You want to create a feeling of abundance and comfort.

Need personalize help? I offer Long Distance Staging Consults which are remarkably effective!  Check my website at Feel Good Home Design.

Feng Shui 101 – Creating A Comfortable Kitchen

A kitchen is the heart of the home and often the place where memories are made.  It’s important to feel comfortable in your kitchen in order to be inspired to create nourishing meals for both your body and soul. The two most common kitchen issues that usually need correction are lighting features and organizing the space so that it flows.

A Dozen Ideas for Creating a comfortable kitcheN 

1- Keep counter-tops free of clutter, pick a wall color that you love, use area rugs for extra leg support, and ensure you have lots of light.
2- Allow as much natural light in as the space allows.  Overhead lighting is essential to have even if you aren’t going to use it every day. It’s important to have when you need it.
3- Install under-counter halogen lighting to create atmosphere and task lighting.
4- If your sink faces a wall, affix a mirror on the wall to create openness. 
5- Granite, quartz and marble counter-tops in warm colors create a more soulful and cozy feeling than cement and stainless steel countertops.
6- Installing a large wood cutting board as part of a counter-top adds warmth and practicality.
7– If your kitchen is small create space vertically. Hang pots and cooking utensils on wall racks or from the ceiling. 
8- Use the top of your refrigerator for extra storage but make sure you use attractive containers for your stuff.
 9- To instantly update your kitchen, paint the cabinets warm white and add silver-plated cabinet pulls.
10- Stop using counter-tops for a general catch-all. Designate an area for miscellaneous things.
11- It’s best not to have a bathroom adjoining the kitchen but if you do, minimize any negative effects by keeping the bathroom door closed.  
12- Silk plants placed on cabinet-tops create an outdated and impersonal feeling. Instead, place personal items that you love like ceramics and cookbooks.