Monday
Aug272018

I Swedish Death Cleaned My Life At Age 48

 

Swedish death cleaning is the hot decluttering trend of late. Followed by last year’s trend of Hygge and the year before that of Marie Kondo’s magic tiding book. The book that explores the intricacies of Swedish Death Cleaning is by Margareta Magnusson.


Hygge has us keep items that bring us a sense of comfort. Kondo has us ask “Does this spark Joy?” While Magnusson has us ask ourselves, “Will anyone be happier if I saved this?” So, I needed to dig deeper than comfort and joy.


Because of two major life events in my life in August 2017, I was forced to begin the process of death cleaning. First, my youngest son was leaving for college and second, my husband’s job was eliminated causing a job search to begin that did not include our current home town. We listed our house of 16 years for sale and I began decluttering in earnest. To read more click here

Monday
Aug272018

Conscious Uncoupling of a Life

 

I remember hearing the phrase “conscious uncoupling” when Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin decided to go their separate ways. They were ridiculed, and I may have poked some fun at them myself, being the former family law lawyer that I am. 


Conscious uncoupling means that we will create this separation process as something meaningful in our life and that there will be growth in it for both of us.


But now I get it. I am downsizing my life from a four-bedroom home in the Midwest with plenty of storage to a two-bedroom apartment across country with little storage. My husband and I are not divorcing nor separating, just moving without all the “stuff” coming with us. We are separating our stuff from us.  But the emotions are just as bizarre. I feel like I am getting divorced from our stuff, but without the anger. Just the sadness and feeling of being overwhelmed. To read more click here

Monday
Aug272018

Deciding to Live a Millennial Lifestyle in My Forties

 

I have been slowly downsizing my life for the last ten years. It began almost out of necessity from a financial perspective. I couldn’t keep up with the Jones’s and realized I really didn’t want to. I began to focus on what came in my home and to stop the thoughtless accumulation of things. I then began a career of helping others focus on what they find essential or brings them joy. It is easy to help other people get rid of their stuff, it is not always easy when it is my own.


Then life happened. Our decision of living a smaller life was forced on us sooner than I was ready for. My husband’s job was eliminated and nine days later we took our youngest son to college. My husband and I made the decision to put the house on the market and downsize from a four bedroom two and a half bath house in the Midwest to a one-bedroom apartment on the west coast.


The more I thought, the more I realized that the millennials are on to something. They are focusing on experiences and not things. Something I have been doing, yet I still had my things. To test my theory, I will ask my kids in their twenties if they want any of our possessions and their answer is almost always no. They don’t want our stuff and I am trying not to pressure them. To read more click here

Monday
Aug272018

Supporting a Spouse Through a Job Loss

 

Hi, I am Melissa and I like to be in control. Heck I even created a profession around it, being a productivity consultant. I go into homes and businesses and help the occupants regain control of their chaos, and I am good at it. Some may even call me a control freak, not in a bad way of course (sarcasm.) I have even been called bossy, not in a bad way of course (sarcasm.) But then life threw me an event that reminded me that I truly am not in control.


For me, that happened six weeks ago when my husband called me with a tremor in his voice and said his position, along with over twenty others, was eliminated. You see, we had been through this before, when his job was eliminated from a company that he had worked with since he left college. This isn't new to us. The timing was unique this time around, as our youngest son was set to leave for college in a little over a week.

Each time one of my children left to go to college, a part of my heart went with them. I always said when my baby left, it would be our time to leave Fargo as well. So, the fact that my husband’s job was eliminated 9 days before our youngest left for college could not have been a coincidence. I just was surprised that it happened without my being in control. Click here to read more. 

Monday
Aug272018

Organizing with Purpose

 

 

My favorite moment when I work with a client is when I walk in their house for the first time. I have them give me a tour of their home and their trouble areas. I watch their body language as we walk and talk. I will ask a few questions as they talk, and most importantly, I listen. And then we get down to business.

 When we work on an area, I want to get to the bottom of what that area is used for. For example, a kitchen is not just a kitchen, they serve multiple functions. Kitchens are often where bills are paid, where kids do homework, where card games are played and where company is entertained. When people organize, they focus just on the kitchen as a place to cook and don’t look at the broader purposes of the area.

 When I am taken into a spare bedroom full of clutter, the homeowner has a tough time defining what the space is used for. In that case the room has become a catch all, or what I like to call it, a junk room. Yes, some people have junk rooms or junk garages or junk closets.

 So today I want you to focus on the purpose of your space. Click here to read more.