cleaning up your home

Possibility Space

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Recently a client told me that de-cluttering and clearing her home was like seeing the sunshine come through the clouds. If you have a home that is covered in clutter in the form of piles of paper, boxes of things, overflowing bags and shelves your home feels like a dark, cloudy day. There is a beautiful, charming and lovely home underneath, you just have to take a few minutes a day to remove the clutter and begin to see the light shine. You begin to see the possibility of the home that was always there, of the space that you have been craving and searching for. You are peeling back the dark layers to reveal a sparkling space.

I have noticed through work with clients and through my own home clearing process and continual care of my home that layer after layer of clouds start to go away, and the light of new ways of life and new ways of being start to shine through. It is not just about our physical space, it is about the mental clutter that the physical items create as well. Here are a few examples I would like to share with you about my personal experience.

Play Space Possibilities:

One super fun result of our recent de-cluttering of our entire home has been that we have started to thin out a large collection of board games. This is a process that will take some time, but in the meantime we can actually see the games that remain on the shelves, pick them out and play 1-3 games a week. My 10 year old son has really taken a liking to some games that we hadn’t played in years. It’s been fun and such a great evening activity for the three of us! I look forward to playing more games together.

Time Possibilities:

Another thing that I have noticed as I have de-cluttered is that I have more time. As a result of going through my memory boxes and wondering why we may be afraid of the present moment and thus are spending too much time on our phones and other devices, I have decided to spend very little time on my phone. I was spending upwards of 4-5 hours on it every day. I have noticed in the days following the choice to be on my phone as little as possible, I have gained those 4-5 hours in my day back and then some. I have had more time to spend with my family relaxing, more time to read books, meditate, write in a journal, think about ideas, draw, explore art projects and more. This is a huge revelation to me. I think that I was losing so much time every day not only when I was on my phone but because of the after-effects of constantly checking email and social media. I felt like my brain was really scrambled from information overload. I felt like I was spinning around thinking that I had to do 10 things at a time when really I only needed to do a few things each day. I feel so at home now just in the present moment, just being. It is so amazingly refreshing.

Peace of Mind Possibilities:

Recently we finished getting all of our tax paperwork ready for our accountant. It was a relatively quick process and as a result of my de-cluttering I found an important document we needed for our taxes. Also, after we got our packet ready to drop off at the accountant’s office I was able to find exactly where to file the remaining papers since I only have 1 file drawer to keep papers in. I no longer wonder if the papers are in the office or garage. This is fantastic peace of mind!

Are you beginning to see the possibilities of clearing more space for play, creativity, peace of mind and being in your home? If you’d like some help and would like to work one on one with me, I’d love for you to reach out. comment below or email me at:

trista.signe.ainsworth@gmail.com

Joyful Minimalism: 

If you are ready to explore your things but need weekly/daily support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 

trista.signe.ainsworth@gmail.com

Nowhere for the Eye to Rest

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Random Items:

The other day I was working with a long distance client in the U.K. and commenting on the videos of her home that she sent me to help her on. Her main areas to work on were her kitchen and her living room. She wanted to spruce them up and learn what items to move, what to de-clutter and how to decorate her space using what she had.

As I looked around her kitchen I noticed that she had some items on top of her kitchen cabinets that she was storing there. Some of the items were in boxes. I couldn’t tell what all of the items were, but I know that they are items that she uses in the kitchen. I asked her if she could perhaps move them to a different area, like the pantry or inside a cabinet because “there is nowhere for the eye to rest.”

By seeing random items on top of cabinets as our eyes move around the room, it creates a bit of unrest, we are unable to find a focal point in the room and it leaves us feeling more stressed. Even though we can get used to items being in random places such as on top of cabinets, there is a hidden stress that is occurring in our environment on a daily basis. Because there is no one focal point for our eyes to rest on we may feel overwhelmed in the rooms in our homes. Our homes can begin to feel more like storage facilities rather than a cozy, peaceful space to live in.

Allowing our Eyes to Rest:

An alternative that allows our eyes to rest is to place a few choice items of a similar size, shape or color on top of the cabinets so that our eyes can rest on those and we find a place of peace and beauty there. Imagine a small collection of 3-5 vases of a similar color, or 3-5 potted plants that add greenery and aliveness to the room. This alternative allows us to take in the beauty of those few things that we have decided to keep and lovingly display instead of viewing our collection of stored items every day.

Action step:

Look around your home and see if your eyes are allowed to rest, or if there are too many items to look at and you feel overwhelmed. Try de-cluttering those items first. Which ones do you need to keep? Do you use them often? With the items you have chosen to keep, where can you store them so that they do get more use? What decorative items do you already have that you can display there instead, or just leave a blank space to enjoy as well. This is a great action step to take with bookshelves and china cabinets with glass doors.

Let me know how you progress with this action step and comment below!

Joyful Minimalism: 

If you are ready to explore your things but need weekly/daily support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 

trista.signe.ainsworth@gmail.com

Silent To Do List

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When we let go of our possessions, our ability to concentrate improves. Why might this be? Things don’t just sit there. They send us silent messages. And the more the item has been neglected, the stronger its message will be. Maybe there’s an English textbook that I gave up on before I even got halfway through it. It might be looking at me now and saying something like: “You look bored. Why don’t you try to study me again?”

Fumio Sasaki from his book “Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism.

I recently read Fumio’s book “Goodbye, Things.” and I thought it was a very interesting take on minimalism. I loved a lot of his viewpoints on our possessions and what they mean in our lives. I particularly think that the silent to-do list that our things give to us is worthy of mentioning.

How many times have you felt overwhelmed by your possessions? Are they silently telling you that you have more things to do, more things to add to your daily list?

I have kept many how-to books like the English book he mentioned in the past. They did call to me to study them, and I have since found that if it isn’t a reference I am either studying right now or one that I have continually come back to, I can let it go.

I think that also as we keep more and more things they silently tell us: “I need dusting" or “I need to be organized” or “Look at me, I’m interesting, aren’t I?” All of this can create so much more mental clutter than we are aware of.

I believe that if we use Joyful Minimalism and truly only keep things that we are using currently or we love to have around in our environment that they silent to do list will go away, or be a very short list.

What are your thoughts on the silent to do list? Are your things calling to you? What are they saying? How can you start to change your relationship to your things?

I would love your comments below or write to me at:

trista.signe.ainsworth@gmail.com

Joyful Minimalism: 

If you are ready to explore your things but need weekly/daily support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 

trista.signe.ainsworth@gmail.com

Junk Drawer

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“I think that a junk drawer is a thing that happens when we’re adults. We get a junk drawer. If you go home, we all have the same stuff in our junk drawer. We all have— for some reason we won’t throw a rubber band away. There are tons of rubber bands, like 24 rubber bands in there, like…a case a bunch of little girls come over for pigtails one day. I don’t know. There’s a red ink pen in there, just in case you have to grade papers or something. I don’t know, just like.. There’s a roll of scotch tape that’s out of the container, just the roll, and it’s , you can’t get it started because it’s halfway broken anyway, and you just keep it. There’ a AA battery. Does it work? I don’t know, I just don’t. I put it in there. There’s a key and you don’t know what it’s to. You won’t throw it away because what if someone finds it and opens something? What do they…like walk around opening. I heard from someone that a junk drawer is like a metaphor for life, like we’re holding on to things that we don’t need to hold on to.”

Ellen DeGeneres from her comedy special “Relatable”

A friend of mine sent me a clip of Ellen's new comedy special on Netflix the other day containing the quote above about junk drawers. How true is that? Wow! She is so right that all of us have a junk drawer of all of these items that for some reason we can’t let go of for fear of needing them someday. I have lots of rubber bands that I never use and plenty of old keys and batteries too. Why are we holding on to these things? It may be a fear of letting go, of some future time where we’ll have a need for these things, or a fear that we won’t be able to replace them. Whatever it is, this shows us how funny and ridiculous it is to hang on to so many things that are no longer serving us. I’m thinking of that small box of rubber bands in my junk drawer as I write this.

I believe that there is a new way of looking at our homes and the lives we live in them. I look at a home as an organic, living being. We bring things in and out of our homes on a daily basis, we live joyful moments and sad moments, our home sees us through it all. For this reason our home as a living being sometimes needs to be cared for in a unique way. We can all become explorers and caretakers in our own homes in our own unique ways.

I have found that with each big life transition comes a reevaluation of possessions and they way that they are stored in our homes. Now that I am making a major change in my life’s work I find a deep calling to look at what I am holding on to and why. I am now exploring my home for a few minutes each day in a process I call “clearing.” This is bringing me more peace each day as I transition to being of more service to others. With fewer physical and mental objects in my way I will be able to achieve my quest to help everyone find a path to joy in their lives.

Check out my Patreon page for ways you can sign up for monthly companion videos, workbooks and more to help you on your journey:

https://www.patreon.com/expansive

Feel free to share about your junk drawer or how you see your things in your home in the comments below. Thank you and with lots of love,

Trista