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One Catastrophe’s Silver Lining 

One Catastrophe’s Silver Lining 

Finding The Silver Lining

When a catastrophe strikes, like a devastating hurricane, we might need to look at our lives and possessions differently—for example, letting things go if a catastrophe ruins items. Also, the situation may require moving on with less due to reduced space in temporary living arrangements.

If this happens, we might start seeing what we own in a different light – we may even discover that we can let go of our attachment to things as we start a new life with less. Owning less means less to take care of, less to store, and a deeper appreciation for what we now own.

Within days after a significant hurricane, community volunteers rushed in and helped declutter homes in preparation for the much-needed repairs. However, there were many random, untouched items left in these homes. Those items were different from what these families wanted or needed to keep. However, the rushed volunteer-led effort was spontaneous and disorganized. Everything went into boxes. Homeowners had no idea what they had or lost and didn’t have immediate, organized access to the saved items. 

A Different Point of View

As families prepared to re-enter their repaired homes later that year, they surveyed what was left of their possessions and, instead of holding on to those few things as representatives of what they lost, these families expressed the need for further decluttering. Why was that? Because what was left in the houses made no sense to them anymore. Their perspective had changed. The stuff that remained was now clutter to them.

After experiencing the life-changing revelation that often occurs after a catastrophe, many have embraced living with less and now enjoy a different relationship with their stuff. They realize living with less in their homes means less to care for. As a result, they are willing and able to live a life of connection with friends and family. Embracing the essentials in their homes helps them find serenity. 

These people have opened up to change and have looked forward to a future with no clutter, a deeper appreciation for their possessions, and an energetic space for all the better things to come. They found the silver lining of a catastrophe.

Lived-In Design

Lived-In Design

Lived-In Design

A client once asked me how some people can have “cute things and display them.” She wanted to know how some live in such a way they have space to display décor items and make them look good. From her perspective, this was impossible.

The question does not surprise me, given that some people engage a Professional Organizer because they no longer want to live in a chaotic environment. That means they call an Organizer because they live in chaos.

But I have thought about this question for a long time and realized the answer lies in that inverse relationship between clutter and design.

What A Stylish House Doesn’t Need

Look at this picture (@flamingos.home). What do you notice? Or rather, what do you not see?Minimalist Home | Minimalist Living

You can appreciate this design due to the absence of elements that pull your attention somewhere else, like clutter. 

And clutter happens for two main reasons: 

(1) Owning excessive stuff – Renders even the best storage space incapable of containing and concealing all the stuff.

(2) The lack of decision-making about things at any given moment – Causes stuff to land (and stay) anywhere in the home.

Although most people would not consider their homes magazine-worthy, as long as we have four walls and a roof, we can make the space as beautiful and incredible as we wish.

Elegance, style, and luxury have less to do with money and the size of your home and more with taste, simplicity, and attention to detail.

But it seems challenging for many to envision the possibilities in their homes. Could this be because their homes’ clutter prevents the imagination from visualizing what they desire?

What Happens To That Magic?

Clutter prevents us from seeing the beauty of the home’s potential. But clutter also physically occupies the space that should be left available for new and better things to come into our lives. 

I have extensively discussed the model home magic Vs. the nightmare of moving day. We fall in love with a beautifully designed, perfectly appointed model home, but the magic disappears on that moving day as quickly as it came.

Why does it feel so different even when we selected the same model home, building choices, and décor? This probably happens because:

(1) It is our stuff there now. And our stuff seems less than exciting in contrast to our new home.

(2) We see all our stuff together while moving in. It makes a big difference. But, unfortunately, this remarkable space now seems overcrowded and will be for a while until we get it under control. 

 (3) With the moving process as messy and disjointed as usual, stuff seems even messier and uglier than ever.

 Puff! Magic gone.

Where The Stuff Is

Add to this scenario the prospect of living out of boxes for a while (there’s no time to put things away, and life is hectic anyway). 

At some level, we also recognize that wherever and however things land in the home on that moving day, they will remain for the next three years or so.

Things might quickly improve if we engage some help, like a professional organizer, designer services, cleaning personnel, and such. The new home will probably thrill us again soon. And this better happens soon. A home is one of the most important investments we will ever make. So, we should care how we feel about it.

Life After Moving In

Everyone gets into model homes, HGTV shows (the reveal is grand, right?), Architectural Digest magazine, and all those fantastic home designs on Instagram and Pinterest. However, only a few make the connection between a marvelous design they love and the reality of the day-to-day living in that space. 

No one talks about what happens after people move into a new home or back in with their belongings after a renovation. Having this conversation requires people to confront their mess demons and out-of-control buying. But, of course, nobody wants to go there.

Enjoying the beauty and style of a new home does not happen automatically. After moving in, we must work on it. Even the best design might get drowned in clutter. Clutter is the noise that distracts our senses from the beauty of the space and interrupts how we experience our home. 

The Role of Empty Space

And aside from speaking of design, it is essential to honor space in the home. So many have issues with unoccupied space and try to stuff things in best-left-empty areas (“because I have some space there”). 

However, a house should be a living space, not a storage. Space is our friend, and it is best to make peace with it. Space is to the home like a white mat is to a piece of art – it enhances its beauty by isolating it.

It is possible to have a lived-in design. Clutter has to go.

The Grass Is Greener?

The Grass Is Greener?

We can all agree we like this picture. (I think that would be a fair assessment) 

But what would this place look like with dirty dishes on the counter, some lights burned out or mixed colors, plastic wraps, carton boxes on chairs, an overflown trashcan, and cleaning products on counters?

Then we can also agree the magic is gone!

I usually feature beautiful interiors and exciting buildings on my feed to get you in touch with that part of your soul that craves beauty and order. I always aim to demonstrate that great design can only shine in clean, uncluttered spaces. That type of space allows the mind to see the beauty of the design without the distraction of clutter.

Who doesn’t like a hotel room? Of course, we all want the novelty of experiencing something unusual. But the neatness and simplicity of a hotel room have a lot to do with how we experience that space. That neatness and simplicity are no accident — it is by design.

Think about the magic that a staged model home delivers. Yet, even if you were to buy that same model home, furnished and all, as soon as the disjointed moving boxes and bags arrived on moving day, the magic would be gone instantly.

So, what happened?

No matter where you live or what you own, you can have a place that excites you to gasp. You can be in love with your own home! But it takes attention and intention. Unfortunately, these two things are pretty much neglected regarding where we live. 

But why?

Many take their home for granted and stop paying attention to details, neglect to repair broken items, and use their home as storage spaces (instead of living spaces). Clutter creeps up when we stop paying attention to our environment and what we keep.

And we stop paying attention to our surroundings when we live mindlessly.

The level of clutter directly correlated to the level of disinterest shown in a home. It is easy to get to that point when we have so much stuff that we can no longer pay attention to anything. Nothing seems unique anymore. Consequently, we turn blind to mess and beauty alike. It’s a vicious cycle.

That makes me think of family relationships; after some years of marriage, some people start taking their partners for granted, stop trying, get bored, and don’t care. What if we tried to keep the magic alive?

So, is the grass greener elsewhere? Not necessarily. It is not always the case, and it largely depends on you.

So, keep your grass green; fertilize and water it, and enjoy it.

Contact My Space Reclaimed, LLC, for inspiration. We can’t wait to show you that home you never knew you had!

The True Power of Essential Oils

The True Power of Essential Oils

Aromatherapy

When we think of ways to alleviate the negative chatter in our heads, counseling, and therapy, probably come to mind. However, Aromatherapy might not be one of those options. Instead, we think of Aromatherapy as a way to relax and perhaps uplift. We might not regard Aromatherapy as an effective, permanent way to remove trauma or emotional blockage. I learned about the Aroma Freedom Technique and how the true power of essential oils redefines Aromatherapy. With the AFT Technique and the use of pure essential oils, Aromatherapy can be a powerful therapy to address trauma and emotional blockages.  

The AFT Technique

The Aroma Freedom Technique  (AFT for short) is an entirely new approach to Aromatherapy that uses the power of pure essential oils to shift a person’s mental state, mood, and ability to take positive action. 

This technique was developed in 2016 by Dr. Benjamin Perkus, a Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years of experience. He has studied many of the most progressive techniques for body, mind, and emotional wellness and traveled worldwide, teaching people how to use Essential Oils and lifestyle strategies to optimize brain function, let go of the past, and enhance happiness and well-being.

How It Works

The AFT technique is to be used only with Young Living Essential Oils because Young Living’s Seed-to-Seal Process ensures that their oils are purest. It should be pure and of the highest quality when inhaling essential oil. The brain is a susceptible organ, and we should not inhale oils with solvents, synthetic constituents, or pesticides. 

These oils can significantly affect the body, given how it absorbs its molecules. The chemical constituents of essential oils are tiny hydrocarbon molecules. A single drop of essential oil may contain 40 million trillion molecules (got that number?). The human body has roughly 100 trillion cells. If absorbed completely, a single drop of essential oil applied to the body potentially puts 40,000 oil molecules into each cell. Very little essential oil is needed to affect the body significantly. 

Since the sense of smell is the most associated with memories, this technique uses pure essential oils to trigger memories related to experiences we want to eradicate. The process evokes the memories and develops new associations related to those memories. 

We can’t change a memory, but we can change how we feel about a memory. And it is our feelings about specific memories determine how we react to them and how they impact our life from that point forward. So, through this process, you identify what blocks you and how to release those blockages. 

If we achieve a change of heart about a memory blocking our progress, we would have found a way around the blockage. That memory can no longer hold us back, and we can move forward.

Let’s Try It!

To know what these oils might help you achieve or discover what’s next for you, contact Beverly Chin-Day of The Essential Families, LLC. She can show you the magical world of authentic essential oils!

To experience the AFT technique, contact Dr. Elizabeth Naylor at Elizabeth@PURIFIMe.com. Dr. Naylor is a doctor in holistic nutrition and a certified AFT practitioner.

Senior Downsizing

Senior Downsizing

Downsizing Can Be Overwhelming

According to the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM), people aged 65 and up will account for 20% of the U.S. population by 2030. 

Families may no longer be the first line of contact in relocating seniors due to various everyday life challenges. On the other hand, downsizing and moving can be emotionally overwhelming and physically demanding for individuals who have not moved in 30, 40, or 50 years. In addition, many older adults who have not relocated from their current homes in over 30 years have many things to sort through. Families need help! A Professional Organizer can be a much-needed resource when relocating the seniors in your life. 

A Professional Organizer Can Help

The following is a list of services that a Professional Organizer might offer in helping their client downsize:

  • Developing an overall move plan
  • Organizing services
  • Move coordination/oversight – before, during, and after the move
  • House de-cluttering services
  • Professional packing
  • Junk removal
  • Shipping heirlooms to family members
  • Arranging for storage services
  • Unpacking and setting up the new home
  • Connecting the client with realtors who specialize in selling homes for seniors
  • Organizing and staging the property to be sold

SeniorAdvisor.com is a helpful resource for making confident decisions about senior care and services for your loved one.

My Space Reclaimed, LLC is your best choice for selecting a Professional Organizer to help you downsize.

 

That Buzz In Your Head

That Buzz In Your Head

Could that buzz in your head be clutter chatter?

Cheap Thoughts and Stuff

Making that noise disappear requires a commitment to living a simpler life with fewer (higher quality) things instead of hoarding cheap, unnecessary stuff.

Refrain from fooling yourself into thinking that you save money when you find something at a low cost and buy more than you need. You spend money when you buy stuff, not when you get rid of it.

When you buy cheap stuff by volume and refuse to discard or donate what you don’t need, you continually waste money and reject better possibilities in your life.

We All Know This Person

Here’s an example. Consider someone who finds no money to have some home repairs done but has bought all gadgets sold by infomercials between midnight and 5 am for the past year.

This person now has every possible iteration of cat litter boxes, 18 different lines of weight loss products and programs (because nothing works), seven different mops, laptop gadgets, several high-end electronic toys, four Roomba vacuum cleaners, and three other systems of oil diffusers, to name a few.

If added on a whole year, the amount spent on all those things could be enough to tackle significant repairs or upgrades in the home and buy the top-quality items in every category they genuinely need.

Yet, they continually spend their money on useless things (on sale), continue living in a house that is falling apart due to lack of maintenance, and continue hoarding cheap, low-quality versions of items they might or might not need. Does that make sense?

And remember that the more you have, the more you need to keep up with, more to clean, more to store, more effort to find what you are looking for, and so on.

Ah, let’s remember the cost of storage. You pay for every square inch of your home, which should be living space, not storage space. And what is the monthly fee for a storage unit? Do not even go there! Why do this to yourself and your family?

Turn Those Feelings Around

It seems very hard for people to let go of useless things accumulated in this manner. They might need to shift their emotions around stuff and money if they wish to break this spending cycle and upgrade the quality of their life.

Shifting how they feel about money and themselves would be a fundamental change if they aspire to live a simpler, stylish life that makes them proud.

Please understand that an elevated lifestyle has less to do with your financial situation or the size of your home. Instead, it is about your mindset, priorities, how deserving you feel to receive the best of life, and where you direct your attention to and your intention from now on.