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They almost seem anachronistic these days, but many of us are still clinging to our collection of dusty old business cards. Perhaps the intention is to go through them, to enter the information into our address books or phone contacts. To start networking with all those nice people you met at that local business get together three years ago.

Whatever the reason you’re holding onto them, this Saturday I’m going to ask you to consider whether any of those cards might be out of date by now, whether if you were going to use them by now you would have, whether phone numbers may have changed, and whether you can trust the Internet to help you out if you need to find a business’s contact information?

Some people (like journalists) hold onto every business card they’ve ever had as a shortcut reminder of all the interesting people they’ve talked to over the years. These collections are arranged so you can easily have a stroll down memory lane, in a box or a scrapbook.

Most of us find them tucked into books as bookmarks, stuffed way in the back of the junk drawer or scattered throughout the office in nooks and crannies. Making the decision not to keep any such card you come across from now on would be a practical way to start letting them go.

And if you hesitate to toss a card because of the information on it, it’s time to take action. Put them in your contacts, reach out and call them and then let the card go.

What if the old business cards you keep running across are yours? Keep three for old times sake and let the rest go. You don’t need the proof of what you did.

© 2013 – 2019 Joyful Surroundings LLC. All rights reserved.


Joyful Surroundings LLC

lucy@joyfulsurroundingsllc.com

Everything feels better with an organized home!

 

This Saturday, I’m laying down a gentle challenge: can you let go of just one of the stack of beautiful journals you couldn’t resist but never, ever use?

I wouldn’t ask you to let them all go, that would be too drastic, but is there one that could go? The paper isn’t quite right, the lines are too heavily printed, the pages never stayed open when you tried to use it? The beautiful cover is lovely but not quite lovely enough?

I don’t know why we don’t use these journals. Perhaps it’s their very beauty that intimidates us. Or perhaps we use the notes function on our phone to create reminders, and we journal on our blog. But technology isn’t really to blame. As long as they’ve been making journals with pretty covers, we’ve been buying them and not using them. They’re too good to use, we don’t have a use for them, it’s time to set them free.

© 2013 – 2019 Joyful Surroundings LLC. All rights reserved.


Joyful Surroundings LLC

lucy@joyfulsurroundingsllc.com

Everything feels better with an organized home!

 

I’ve suggested before that therapy is a more than useful adjunct for decluttering, and many of you have already read my interview with local therapist and Rapid Resolution practitioner Dr. Sonja Hellman. I asked her to speak a little more about how hypnotherapy in particular can help you get unstuck.

“Any therapist should be able to tell you what they think causes the problem you are dealing with and what they think will fix it,” she told me.

How then does Rapid Resolution Therapy think of what causes hoarding?

“You have tried to get it under control. You have tried to manage the mess. What is going on? There are two parts of your mind/brain- the smart part, that can see that the stuff you have collected is causing problems, and the primitive part, which is all about your survival. If you have more stuff than you have space for, the primitive part believes that keeping and or collecting stuff is vital for your survival. That’s why there is so much anxiety when you think about clearing it out.”

So how does Rapid Resolution Therapy help me get rid of the clutter?

“You may know what happened in your past that caused you to start collecting stuff, or it may be something you’ve done for as long as you can remember. It doesn’t matter. Together we come to understand why your subconscious mind has you collecting and keeping things. The conversation is gentle, non-judgmental or blaming, and usually leaves people feeling lighter and able to do things they couldn’t before. Once your primitive mind understands that you are safe and that you don’t need the stuff to keep you safe, it gets on board with what YOU want, and it is easier to work with your organizer to let some of the things go that had seemed so vital.”

Sonja Hellman, PhD (720) 470-1094 sonja.f.hellman@gmail.com

While I would highly recommend contacting Dr. Hellman if you feel there’s a stumbling block at the root of why you hold onto so much stuff, I’ve also come across another potential resource if one-on-one therapy isn’t an option for you right now. In amongst the online purveyors of cheesy hypnosis recordings, I’ve come across an absolute gem.

The first thing you have to do is get rid of that “Look into my eyes…you are getting sleepy” thing that comes to mind for most of us when we think of hypnosis. Or embarrassing stage performances that have people walking around like chickens and making fools of themselves. Apparently there’s a new generation of hypnotherapists who work in a much more subtle way to reach the unconscious mind, and the company I discovered, Uncommon Knowledge, has been busy. They have hundreds and hundreds of titles, and the pricing is pretty accessible. While you could spend hours browsing their titles, from ‘Nervous Cough‘ to ‘Stop Hating Exercise‘ to ‘Be More Playful‘, what struck my eye was that they have several topics which seem very relevant to what we’re doing here.

Although there’s no way these downloads could possibly be as effective as individual therapy since by nature they’re going to be generic, I’ve found that the one I tried was remarkably effective. Thanks to listening to ‘Stop nail biting‘ for a week, a 49-year-old habit I didn’t think would ever go away has simply disappeared. It helped that the voice on the download was a mellow ever-so-slightly Scottish accent, which was charming and very relaxing. And at no point was I asked to quack like a duck or sleepwalk, in fact I remained drowsily conscious throughout repeated listenings. I tried it for a week and several months later, my nails remain happily unbitten.

If you try one of these, let me know how you find it, won’t you? As ever, I am NOT an affiliate. I make NO money at all if you decide to purchase anything on their site. While I wait for your feedback, I’ll be over here eating roast vegetables and listening to ‘Beach relaxation‘, ignoring the fact that today’s blizzard toppled the tree in our back yard.

fallen tree

© 2013 – 2019 Joyful Surroundings LLC. All rights reserved.


Joyful Surroundings LLC

lucy@joyfulsurroundingsllc.com

Everything feels better with an organized home!

Are you still getting regular incoming clutter in the form of densely typed multipage investment prospectuses? Perhaps you have every intention of reading them one day, but somehow the moment when you want to grab a mug of coffee and curl up with a guide to your retirement fund prospectuses never seems to arrive.

This Saturday would be a good day to send away at least one of them. Most likely all the information is online. You could probably stop them coming all together if you call or email, but in the meantime, when they come in the mail, hit ‘recycle’ and prevent some paper clutter from coming in the door.

© 2013 – 2019 Joyful Surroundings LLC. All rights reserved.


Joyful Surroundings LLC

lucy@joyfulsurroundingsllc.com

Everything feels better with an organized home!

There’s an idea going around that decluttering is just for the middle and upper class set who can afford to let something go that they might need to replace one day. Which begs the question, in what situation, rich or poor, will any of us need a single flip-flop, its mate left at the beach? Or a stack of newspapers from the 1990’s?

I’d argue that decluttering is an equal opportunity task, useful to all. Sure, the ultra-rich may be decluttering things they simply don’t like but if I’m living in dire straits, the last thing I need is a bunch of clutter everywhere, making it impossible for me to find the things I need. You could even argue that I’d need to declutter even more than the affluent packrat, since it may cause me hardship to have to buy a duplicate of something I already have but simply cannot find in amongst the clutter. If there’s stuff in there I could sell, I’m losing that opportunity by not being able to find it in my clutter-strewn abode.

The truth is, much of what leaves the house when you declutter is garbage. Old grocery flyers, lidless Tupperware, and torn, stained clothes.  Tons and tons of ancient, unopened mail. We all must deal with the fact that stuff wears out, stuff comes in that we don’t end up using, stuff needs to keep moving so you can use your space. Decluttering on the regular helps you do that.

Whether you’re well-off and have accumulated a bunch of unused stuff through recreational shopping, or you’re going through hard times and you’ve picked up lots of free furniture from ‘free’ signs along the road, it’s still clutter if you don’t use it. Poverty mentality tells us we really need to hold onto that broken chair with the missing leg, but if we don’t fix the chair, if we don’t use it, if our dreams of selling the chair never quite materialize, it’s just clutter. If we stock up on scores of tins of beans because we fear not having enough to eat but we never actually eat those beans, then they’re clutter. They’re ineffectively papering over our fears. Decluttering isn’t the province of the idle rich and moneyed classes, it’s something that makes everyone’s lives better.

I’ve worked with people from all walks of life who’ve told me that decluttering was changing their lives in a way that meant the money they were spending to get it done was worth it to them. Just as you find the money for car repairs when you need them, getting help with a skill you don’t have can be a life-changing investment of resources. Decluttering is a necessary life-skill and if you don’t have the skill set yourself, getting help is going to change everything.

Undoubtedly, organizing has become decluttering’s shinier sister, with an emphasis on expensive containers, Pinterest-inspired fiddly labels, and the inevitable Marie Kondo fussy folding techniques. When people talk about decluttering as something for the middle and upper class, perhaps they’re thinking of all that stuff. The outer trappings of arranging your stuff so it’s pretty. But that Google millionaire who wants four custom-designed closets will still enjoy the results so much more if they declutter first, so they can find things at a glance.

And yes, most people can’t afford to pay for that and would consider it a luxury. But being able to find your stuff? Not having to wade through mountains of crap you never use? Saving money by being able to find the things you need when you need them? Priceless. Available to all. You can do all that without dropping a fortune at The Container Store. And it all starts with decluttering.

© 2013 – 2019 Joyful Surroundings LLC. All rights reserved.


Joyful Surroundings LLC

lucy@joyfulsurroundingsllc.com

Everything feels better with an organized home!