decluttering

Everything Comes with a Contract

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Just imagine that every time you brought anything into your home, it came with a detailed contract that you would need to review and sign, promising to take care of the item, find a place for it and look after it for as long as it remained useful to you. We don’t tend to think of it, but every item we own has an invisible contract attached to it. Contracts would be attached to everything from a toaster to a new bath towel.

Such a contract might read:

-You must promise to keep me clean, and in working order.

-You must promise to repair me immediately.

-You must find a proper storage space for me.

-You must make sure to replace me when I wear out, and give me away or dispose of me properly.

When we really think about it, the more items we own, the more contracts like these we are actually signing and agreeing to. When we decide to de-clutter and clear our homes of items that we can no longer hold contracts on, it frees us up so much and creates more peace in our lives.

Imagine if you could have a conversation with an item on a crowded garage shelf:

Fancy Tart Pan: You know, I have sat here for 5 years, all dusty and you haven’t made a single tart with me.

You: Yes, I understand. I just don’t bake much anymore, and when I do, it’s simple items. How about I give you away to a new home where you’ll be better cared for.

Fancy Tart Pan: That sounds much better. Maybe they can actually keep up with my contract.

Yes, that tart pan can be quite demanding, right? If we can imagine the contracts and the conversations our things would have with each other, this would be how it would go. When we let go of items and realize that they will find good homes with others who can use them, we can free up our space and free up our lives from the worry of upkeep and looking after so many things.

And yes, I will give away that tart pan today that is in my garage.

With lots of love,

Trista

Joyful Minimalism:

If you are ready to explore your things but need 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.

I have 2 consultations to choose from that help guide us to how I can best help you de-clutter your space. I also have an hourly rate after that for me to de-clutter and organize your space in a detailed manner.


Services:

http://expansive.me/services

Find out more on my website:

http://expansive.me


Letting Go of Annoyances

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I believe that annoyances or things that make us angry can be a form of clutter in our lives. Many times we carry around mental clutter that is blocking us from our best lives and it can be more of an obstacle than physical clutter at times.

I will give an example in my own life. Yesterday I got a call from someone who I thought wanted to meet up, get to know me and see if we could refer business to each other, or I thought that their office needed my help from the sound of the voicemail. The call started off in that direction, however in a short amount of time the call resulted in them wanting to sell me advertising in a guide they were putting together.

This created a huge annoyance in my mind. When we expect one thing and then another, less desirable thing happens, it can really annoy us and get on our nerves. It can create blockages to doing our best work the rest of the day, or even into the next day. This was the case with me. I am rarely annoyed, but this really got to me. I really love to develop real relationships with people both in personal friendships and business partnerships, so that tactic really doesn’t fit my values. I always want relationships to be a win-win situation and this did not seem so to me. I was not given the chance to get to know them and they were not getting to know me either.

The next day this call and interaction was still bothering me and really putting a cloud on a sunny day for me. I decided I needed to let go of this so that I could move on to much more important and meaningful work- writing these blog posts and reaching out to my audience to help them.

Here is what I did:

I wrote down the annoyance- just one paragraph. Then, I put at the bottom- I am letting go. I am surrendering. Goodbye!

After that I crumpled up the paper and put it in the fire pit and lit it on fire. I watched as it turned to ashes and the weight of the annoyance lifted. I was able to sit and enjoy the sunshine in the garden and watch the squirrels chase each other. Life was back to the light and I could move on.

Have you had an annoyance that weighed on you for more than a day? How did you handle it?

Please let me know in the comments below.

With lots of joy,

—Trista

Joyful Minimalism: 

If you are ready to explore your things but need  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. 

I have 3 home clearing packages to choose from: 

Services:

http://expansive.me/services

Find out more on my website:

http://expansive.me

Happy Failures

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The other day I sent a photo of my side garden to a long distance friend. I told her that this now successful side garden made up of mostly free plants that I got from my Aunt’s garden, some plants I got from the farmer’s market long ago and about 3-4 perennials that I bought and planted was a result of many “happy failures.” This story of the evolution of my side garden is one that can teach us a lot about failing and getting up again in life.

I remember at one time there were two large trees there. They were two close to the house and provided too much shade and roots for planting much in the side garden. We had them removed. Then, I tried some different plants there. First, I started with some annuals. They did ok, but required a lot of watering and much more fuss than what I have now. Later I planted most of the plants that I have now when my Aunt was thinning out her garden and she gave me lots of plants. I worked as quickly to plant those plants along with the large plants that I got from the farmer’s market. Part of the front of the garden was still bare. Over the years I tried different plants there. Some of them didn’t like the full sun, others grew too “leggy” and I didn’t like the way they looked with the rest of the plants and others were too small or short and got “lost.” in the other plants. A few days ago I bought one last perennial to fill in a gap for a plant that eventually died because that spot wasn’t right for it. Now, I feel that I have a fully lovely and functioning garden which will take little water and maintenance other than occasionally weeding in that area. Luckily the plants are now mostly so large that there aren’t many weeds that grow there. I’m so glad that I learned so much from this garden. I learned what plants grow best where, how much sunlight they need and also that it’s important to space plants of different heights in different spots.

This garden project reminds me also that even when we “get it right” there will be work to do. The garden must still be watered and weeded in order to flourish. So is our life. Even when we find the perfect mix of career/business/family/friends/free time we still need to stop and nourish ourselves along the way. We need to stop and see if we are truly thriving where we are currently rooted, or if we need to make a change to really grow and blossom in our lives.

How can we equate this garden project with life? Here are some ways:

  1. There are many things that we will try in life that may not survive or may not be a good fit for us. This can be relationships, careers and places we live. They simply may not agree with our true selves or how we want to live.

  2. Sometimes our projects don’t take root because we think we “ought” to do it, or it’s the next logical step, but our hearts aren’t in it.

  3. Sometimes we need a break. Our area of the garden is “too shady.” We need to take a moment to step out into the light to see our true potential. We need to stop what we are doing and look within for the answers.

  4. Sometimes we need to fail in order to learn a particular lesson. We need to look at difficult times and challenges as lessons that come to teach us something. Just like some of the plants that didn’t do well in that area were telling me- move me or compost me. Sometimes we need a different perspective or need to learn to quit and move on to another project, job, home or relationship.

What have your happy failures taught you? I’d love your comments below on this post with your stories!

Joyful Minimalism: 


If you are ready to explore your things but need  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. 


I have 3 home clearing packages to choose from:


Services:

http://expansive.me/services

How Much Clothing Do Kids Need?

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How many outfits do kids need compared to adults? It is a very interesting question. As adults of course since we are not growing anymore, we can keep our clothing and shoes longer as we are not outgrowing them. Kids are different since usually we need to buy clothes for them around 2 times a year or sometimes more often if they go through a sudden growth spurt.

How much is enough and how much is too much? I used to buy a lot more clothing for my son when we was younger. Of course his clothes got dirty faster when we was a little guy, and of course there were diaper explosion accidents. Fast forward to now when he is 10 going on 11 and now I’ve gotten much more minimal when it comes to his wardrobe. I also used to buy special outfits for Easter and for Christmas. Now, I just buy two “nice shirts” in the fall that can go for any winter/spring holiday and then one “nice shirt” in the spring/summer. Those are more than enough for any occasion we may be attending- and for picture day too! I am aware that girl’s clothing presents more of a challenge because there are more choices/accessories. However, I do believe that a similar effect can be achieved.

For fall/winter here is what I usually get for my son:

5 or so long sleeved shirts

2 collared shirts

5 pairs of pants

7+ pairs underwear

7+ pairs socks

1 pair of shoes (I only buy him 1 pair of shoes at a time. I never really buy formal shoes unless they are really needed)

3-4 pairs pajamas

1 coat

For summer:

5-7 pairs shorts

5-7 short sleeved shirts

1 collared short sleeve shirt

1 pair sandals/flip flops

1 pair swim trunks/swim shirt

underwear/socks/pajamas as needed

I think that this minimal wardrobe works really well. His closet is not stuffed with clothes and he can easily find what he needs. When he outgrows his clothes I can just pass it on to others. That’s great!

We are going on vacation this summer and I know that he has 7 days worth of clothing, then we will do laundry. This way we can pack light, but still have a very enjoyable trip.

I would love to hear from you on how much clothing you get for your kids each season and also how much you buy for yourself each season!

Joyful Minimalism: 

If you are ready to explore your things but need  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. 

I have 3 home clearing packages to choose from: 

Services:

http://expansive.me/services