home organizing

Celebrate Your Home!

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When was the last time you really celebrated your home? For some of us that was last week and for others last year or a few years ago.

Something amazing that I learned while in Japan this summer as that they believe that spirit can be in any object or anything in nature. Because of this the Japanese people treat nature and their homes with lots of care and attention to detail. We noticed that people didn’t leave trash around, and although it’s a very populated area they left a lot of forest and green spaces to be enjoyed.

This can teach us all a powerful lesson. If spirit is in everything, if there is too much clutter covering everything in your home is the spirit trapped? Does it long to come out free, to celebrate? This is a very different concept here in the Western world, but it is a great though experiment to keep in mind. I do believe it helps me take great care in how I view my things and my home now.

This is the journey that I love to take my clients on and I plan to add more celebration to the process with upcoming projects this month. I have noticed that I look forward to holding parties and celebrations in my home. It is something that I grew up with- dinner parties, birthday parties, holidays. We always took great care with the china, silver, glassware, tablecloths and preparing special dishes. I think that there is a lost art in taking care when entertaining others in our homes. So many dining tables are turned into cluttered offices or dining rooms are turned into abandoned places for a hodgepodge of items. I want to change the home landscape and bring back the spirit of the dining room and the living room for sharing our lives with others, for celebrating and bringing out the spirit of your prized possessions.

I began to think of this concept this past Friday because on my calendar I mark each Friday with the word “Celebration.” I feel that it’s important to honor and celebrate each week and the awesome things that happened that week. The more that we focus on the positive in our lives and celebrate it, the more positive things will come about- I truly believe this in my whole heart.

From now on as I work to clear, organize and design rooms for clients and also continue to refine my own home I am focusing on helping myself and others truly celebrate the spirit of everything in our homes and how we can celebrate that and share it with others in our lives.

I will keep sharing more ideas with celebration in the coming weeks as the concepts come into my mind. Make sure to celebrate this week! Mark it on your calendar! If you used your dining table, celebrate! If you cleared a space on the counter, celebrate! It’s the small things and the big things, it’s everything!

With lots of love,

Trista

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


My Zero Waste Journey So Far

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My zero waste journey began on New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2019. That day my husband and I spent quite a bit of time cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer. We were shocked at how much we ended up throwing away in the clean out. It really opened our eyes to how much waste was going on in our own kitchen. There were too many things in the fridge, so we would forget we had them, so they would go to waste. We would buy too many condiments that we didn’t use on a regular basis and so they would be outdated as well. In the freezer similar things happened. We overbought, stocked too much and as a consequence ended up having to throw too many things out. Have you had a fridge/pantry clean out like this? I also ended up going through the spices/dry goods in a similar fashion.

We are on a journey towards zero waste since this day. After that clean out I knew that I needed to really stick towards menus of dishes that I knew we would all eat, and only cook enough for us to use up that week. We also like to go out to eat on the weekends, so I mainly plan to make 3-4 meals a week at home and we usually have 1-2 leftover nights where we eat up leftovers. We are not perfect, but now I clean up the fridge on a more regular basis and yesterday there were only 2 outdated jars. That’s great progress & it was wonderful that they were glass with metal lids so it was easy to recycle them.

I also began to think about the packaging we were bringing home as we shopped both at the grocery store and for other items. I have cut way back on buying things online and try to find more local alternatives. This really saves on boxes/ packaging that ends up in our home. Some of it is recyclable and some is not. With materials that are not recyclable, I try to reuse those as much as possible.

We have started to shop every week at the farmer’s market on Saturdays. This really cuts down on packaging, bringing our own bags to the market and to the grocery store really helps.
The market also has minimal packaging for fruits and veggies. I have found one store- New Seasons Market who will allow you to bring in your own containers to buy items in bulk like: olive oil, coffee, dry goods like rice, flour, nuts, dried fruits, spices and more.

I am happy to say that last week our recycling was not overflowing and our garbage can was only about 1/8 full. Amazing! Every day and every week we learn more and I will be sharing more details in further posts. How have you reduced waste in your home and lifestyle?

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