Learning how to live clutter-free with three simple steps will open the door to the calm, rewarding lifestyle we so deserve. Keeping things simple fosters a calm peace of mind. If we aspire to cleanse our life of nonsensical possessions that are weighing us down, we have to experience some short-term pain to receive long-term pleasure.
We live in a world where instant gratification and hyper-consumerism run amuck. There’s obviously nothing wrong with wanting nice things; it’s continually attempting to fill an emotional hole with far too many things that create the problem.
If you have negative feelings associated with your cluttered space, you can absolutely break free of it with three simple steps.
Step One • Ask Yourself 3 Questions
Scan your home. Pay close attention to where your eyes hesitate. This hesitation is telling you how you truly feel about that particular space and the objects in it.
Internal conflict might arise: ‘Should I keep this because it was expensive …because it was a gift …because my child made it?’
Ignore your anxiety and ask yourself three simpler questions:
Do I love this?
Do I use this?
If I were shopping right now, would I buy this?
These three questions will help you resurface from the drowning depths of clutter a whole lot lighter and brighter.
Step Two • Donate
Worn-out clothes, broken electronics, containers with missing lids, books you’ve already read — it’s all clogged chi (negative energy). If it’s not adding value, it doesn’t belong in your life.
Create a donation box. Tackle one room at a time. Schedule your donations pick-up.
There are tons of charitable organizations willing to salvage and repurpose your well-loved items. My personal favorite is Vietnam Veterans of America.
Step Three • Scan + Shred
Do you have piles of files? If your home was ravaged by a natural disaster would you need those files?
Meet your new best friend, Dropbox.
Spend a weekend scanning your files and receipts into your secured virtual file cabinet. It’s so much easier to find electronic receipts than digging through stacks of papers. And you’ll be able to access your files on the go via the Dropbox app!
The Big Takeaway
The big takeaway from living clutter-free? If you don’t love it or use it, let it go. You’ll be amazed how a little decluttering will manifest positivity in your health, relationships, and career.
Learning how to create Feng shui in your home is about balancing yin and yang energy. If the energy of your space needs some refreshing, read on to discover five uber-easy tips to get your abode’s good juju flowing.
Step One • Your Entry is Everything
The easiest way to create a welcoming entry is to place a clean welcome mat flanked by live potted plants on each side of the door. Additionally, the direction your front door faces will determine which color it should be painted.
South: Red, Orange
North: Black, Blue, Grey
East: Black, Brown, Blue, Green
West: Grey, Yellow
Step Two • Bring Nature Inside
The flow of energy inside your home can be optimized with air-purifying plants. I know, it’s tough enough keeping your children alive, however, adding a few low maintenance succulents will eliminate stagnant energy.
Remember, live plants help clean the air, but faux plants and dried flowers collect dust and stunt the flow of positive energy. If you do nothing else today, kick those fake plants to the curb.
Step Three • Cha-Ching the Kitchen
Feng shui teaches that displaying fresh fruit in your kitchen recharges your wealth + health. Keeping a bowl of fresh clementines/lemons as your centerpiece will not only look great, it will keep you on top of your health game.
Step Four • Your Bedroom is a Sanctuary
Your sanctuary should include a bed, nightstands, lamps, a dresser, and zero clutter. Storing items beneath your bed is a no-no because it creates stagnant energy. It’s also a breeding ground for dust mites — yuck. The biggest feng shui mistake in the bedroom? Exercise equipment. Maybe you could think of a better form of exercise for this particular space. Can I get a bow-chicka-wow-wow?
Step Five • Honor Your Family
The best way to tell your family’s story is to display photos of them. Rather than purchasing expensive art, spend a Sunday with the fam’ thumbing through photos. Select your favorites to frame and create a gallery wall.
Your living and dining rooms are perfect venues to feature your offspring and generational black and whites. And they make the perfect conversation pieces during social gatherings.
Feng shui isn’t all about crystals and woo-woo. It’s about honoring your space and the precious people and pieces within it. By refreshing the spaces within your home, you’ll be thrilled to see how balanced and harmonious your life will become. It will create a much calmer environment for you, your partner, and your children, one that opens the door to an abundantly thriving lifestyle.
Some believe the comforting meaning behind finding feathers is that our loved ones who have passed on are reaching out to us. Could they be offering love, guidance, and support in our moments of need? The saying goes, “When angels are near, feathers appear.” Are you a believer? After losing my grandmother and finding a plethora of feathers, I certainly am.
On February 3, 2012, I lost my mentor, my muse, and the closest thing to a mother I’ve ever known. We were together until the end, just the two of us.
I was desperate for a sign she had crossed over. Months later, during a painful moment when I needed her most, a feather fell onto my path.
While at the grocery store, I’d forgotten my list of ingredients to make her infamous banana nut bread and was desperately trying to recall the recipe. I thought, “NaNa, I could sure use some help here.”
As I placed a bottle of vanilla extract into the cart, I glimpsed down to find a white feather gently resting on the gridded basket. Suddenly, the ingredients came rushing into my mind. I arrived home with all in tow, thanks to NaNa.
While unpacking after our move, I came across NaNa’s mink hat. I smelled it and then opened it to place it on my head. Out fell a feather.
There are far too many feather encounters to mention, but suffice to say, my grandmother who loved me more than anyone in this world, has made her presence known.
Goodbye, Kind Of
The connection my grandmother and I have is irrefutable. During her final days with us, she maintained her unwavering selflessness as she gradually and gracefully began her ascent. We said our goodbyes, I told her she’ll always be a part of me, I’ll miss her like crazy, and that she can go when she’s ready.
…And so she stayed a while longer.
Our last days together were full of heart-hugging mini miracles.
My sixteen-month-old baby was used to receiving a big “Hello, Darlin!” from his NaNa. When he arrived and her welcome was absent, he leaned in at different angles so she could see him better. When still her reaction was void, he took his little hand and rhythmically stroked her arm, as if he knew she needed his touch.
After a mostly unresponsive day, I was combing her hair and telling her she looked beautiful when suddenly she arose and asked for her lipstick. –She always made me laugh at inappropriate times.
Then, there was that rainy night when I exhaustingly slipped into my car. Bellowing a desperate, barbaric shrill, I begged for a sign she’d be all right.
After composing myself enough to drive home, I cranked the ignition… and froze. I had been listening to AM talk radio when I arrived that day. But it was Elton John’s Circle of Life piping from the FM speakers as I left. It was the sign my heart needed.
The next day, her kidneys shut down and her breathing became frightening laborious, but that generous heart kept beating. Her breathing would calm when I spoke — so I never shut up. It reminded me of the numerous times she flew in for a visit and we stayed up all night gossiping like good Christian girls.
We shared everything. We even bought two identical gifts for birthdays and holidays. We’d see each other wearing the gift we’d given and want it back. Hence our motto: Indian givers buy two.
Margaritas + Triple Sex
I was beside her bed that Friday night and still talking. Sharing stories with her gave me the connection I needed. More importantly, repeating the stories was assurance I wouldn’t forget them, including…
All the times she made coconut icing cupcakes adorned with jelly beans when my birthday landed on Easter.
Bathing me in a minnow-ridden horse trough when, as a toddler, I fell face first into a cow patty.
Awakening on Christmas to a smoke-filled house, we’d forgotten about the turkey and then giggled all the way to Honey Baked Ham.
Her begging me to drive from Los Angeles to Oklahoma to spend the millennium with her and her closest friends, sipping margaritas concocted with their favorite ingredient, ‘triple sex’.
I cried and giggled for both of us. I thanked her for keeping me alive as my circumstances should have landed me in a gutter. And I asked her to commit yet one more selfless act. I asked her to accept comfort and peace and to let go… for me.
Thirty seconds later, as I held her hand and kissed her forehead, she removed her ever-so-stylish foot from the door and crossed to the other side. Besides having my children, it was the most special experience of my life.
Be Generous, NaNa
There are few people who infinitely impress and alter your life for the better. How fortunate I was to have someone love me just because I was born. Someone who adored me more each day no matter my faults. Someone who formed my moral compass shaping the woman I am today.
I never knew life without her infectious laughter, comforting wisdom, nor gentle touch. Thankfully, my boys will always know her joy, insight, and embrace because she instilled them in me.
I love and miss you every day, NaNa. I rest easy knowing you’ll have everything and everyone accessorized and amused by the time we get there. Please remember to be generous with the feathers. …Oh, and don’t forget to buy two.