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Quarterly Newletter         25th Edition             March, 2017
linda #2

Creating a Peaceful Place 

No matter your worldview, chances are you are feeling stressed in today's environment. Creating soothing spaces in our homes can help us relax, reframe and recharge. Here's how to create restful places, one room at a time, one step at a time!

Pick One Room to Focus On 
Choose the room you wish to use as your "haven" and start there. For example, I start each day in my living room, before anyone else in my household wakes up, to drink coffee, get centered and mentally prepare for my day. It's especially important to me that this is a peaceful place so I can start my day on a calm and positive note.  

Put "Stuff" Away
Take anything out of the area that doesn't belong and put it where it should go.  Next, find places and/or put away everything that you don't need or want in sight. Definitely remove items with negative associations.

Subtract - Experiment with Less 
Now, look around and note how you feel. Is there anything that's still bothering you or makes you feel unsettled? 
What is it and can you change it? Maybe there are too many decorative items in the room or ones that you don't like. Is there too much furniture? If so, can you stow or remove it? Experiment with putting more stuff away and notice how each change makes you feel about the space.

Or you may prefer to start with a clean slate by taking everything out of the space and then bringing back items one by one to better help you gauge your reaction.

Now, that you've removed everything that is not conducive to a feeling of peace, consider if there are items you can add to the room that will increase your comfort and joy.

For example, a candle or diffuser, a favorite decorative item, photo or collection, comfortable throw pillows, a plant or flowers. The rule of thumb is that whatever you add should make you smile and feel calm.
After you've created one area in your home that enhances your wellbeing, branch out from there. 

Just follow the same steps room by room and in time you'll have a retreat that is relaxing, refreshing and restorative for you and your family.

40 Bags in 40 Days

Last year, my friend Tami stood up in her church to announce for Lent that she would give up 40 bags of stuff in the 40 days before Easter.  Well, she proudly achieved her goal - plus so much more! And in the process,Tami discovered it felt so good to purge that she didn't want to stop! 

Tami starting by making a list of 40 areas in her home that she wanted to tackle. To make this daunting task workable, she modified the list to do just one thing every day. For example, a dresser drawer counted as one area.  Here's the list she came up with:
  • Bags (paper and plastic)
  • Christmas décor/ornaments
  • Easter décor
  • Halloween décor
  • Office software/disks
  • Office electronic/cords
  • Office supply closet
  • Books in office 
  • Shoe boxes of receipts
  • Her desk area and shelves
  • File cabinet 1
  • File cabinet 2
  • File cabinet 3
  • Games and puzzles
  • Family room armoire
  • Family room table drawers
  • Tablecloths
  • Library closet
  • Books in library
  • Piano music
  • Kitchen drawers
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Magazine clippings
  • Her son's closet
  • Her daughter's closet
  • Her daughter's college brochures
  • Her dressy clothes closet 
  • Her casual clothes closet
  • Out of season closet
  • Master bedroom dresser
  • Linen closet
  • Master bathroom cabinets and drawers
  • Powder room vanity cabinet
  • Framed pictures and mirrors in basement closet
  • Old Christmas Cards
  • Craft supplies
  • Ribbons and wrapping paper
  • Bags of decorating supplies
  • Attic - area 1
  • Attic - area 2
  • Garage
  • Tools and hardware
  • Car trunks - 1,2,3
  • Car glove compartments - 1,2,3
While Tami found that the project required discipline and perseverance, she discovered it to be "a nostalgic, liberating and exhilarating journey." And her announcement in church had a snowball effect, leading others to try to do the same. People started telling her how much fun they were having doing it and that they felt like they were really making progress in eliminating clutter from their homes.
Tami's purge went on longer than the committed 40 days because she didn't want to stop. In the two month period she worked on it she: 
  • Sent over 40 bags to her church rummage sale 
  • Filled up her recycling bin 5 times
  • Threw out multiple bags of trash  
This strategy worked so well for Tami and had such a positive outcome that she's decided to do it every year to help keep her home free of clutter.  

Are you inspired? Can you commit to 40 bags in 40 days?  Get started and let Altogether Organized know how its going- we can't wait to hear about your results!