Decluttering Your Space in 15 Minutes

2021-03-19T18:39:52+00:00By |Categories: Organized, Organizing Chicago|

“Owning less is far more beneficial than organizing more.” -Joshua Becker

Decluttering is all about the edit. The National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) found that 80% of items we keep are never used. This may sound like a daunting statistic, but use it as confirmation that it’s ok to let go!

It’s important to set realistic expectations when it comes to the editing process. If peace is what we want, we must remove the excess. If we’re seeking connection, balance and more free time, we must get clear on what serves us and what doesn’t.

While social media can be a source for inspiration, it’s important to keep proper perspective. A single image of perfection is not real life. I strive for ‘progress over perfection’ with my clients. Proper storage is important, but what really matters is what we’re storing and why we’re holding onto it.

Start the decluttering process with these 3 basic steps:

Set the intention by selecting an area. It can be as small or as large as you feel comfortable with. I find that starting small sets you up for more success down the road. You can tackle larger areas as you gain more confidence.

Set a timer for 15 minutes. Allotting a specific time helps you stay focused and boosts productivity. The goal is to continue repeating this process in small increments until the area is completed. A single step in the right direction has the power to transform.

Grab a box for items that belong in other areas. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy for things to get shuffled around, but by having a designated bin you stay contained and focused on the task at hand. This will save you time and limit distractions.

By implementing these practical processes, you’ll start to form healthier habits that will help you reduce and maintain a decluttered lifestyle.

Quick Tips
1. Set the intention within a designated area.
2. Start a timer to stay focused.
3. Progress over perfection.

Sarah Parisi — The Clutter Curator

Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

Reflect, and Maybe Forget 2020

2021-03-19T18:38:07+00:00By |Categories: Organized, Organizing Chicago|

New Year Resolution

At the end of every year I enjoy reflecting on the lessons I’ve learned. This year provided many, but here are the top five biggest takeaways I’ve encountered in 2020. 

  1. Redefine home

Our homes became everything this year — shelter, work, school, gym, play etc. It was intense, but it put a spotlight on our priorities and the importance of our homes. Understanding how influential this space can be to our mental and physical state is the first step to simplifying our lives. We can’t control everything, but we can make authentic changes to control clutter and open up space for what really matters. 

  1. Create boundaries

Regardless of the size of your home, we realized how versatile these spaces need to be & how difficult it is to create order when we’re suffocated by our possessions. The energy is stagnant and confines us in more ways than one. Living with less allows you to implement a key principle in life — adaptability. It helps minimize frustration when you have to maximize space to serve multiple functions. 

  1. Be vigilant

Accumulation can feel like it happens overnight. Stay intentional to keep material possessions within manageable levels. Consistently maintaining organization requires a personalized system that works with you. My role is to bring objectivity, insight and awareness to the “why” you hold onto things, give you a jump start on the process and equip you with the right tools that will bring you continued success.

  1. Begin anywhere

It doesn’t have to be picture perfect to create an impact. Decluttering is an ongoing process. Where you start is not important. Make realistic goals, set a timer, start small — but start somewhere, anywhere! Each small step you take will provide you with more energy to continue the process and remove the excess.

  1. Remove fear 

The fear that surrounds a pandemic is undeniable. It will forever leave a lasting impression on us all. Preparing for future emergencies is wise, but be realistic. Resist the urge to hoard. Life is too short to live in fear and be weighed down by “what if” purchases. Focus on creating safe, clear spaces that will aid in building resilience.

In these unprecedented times, it was beautiful to witness all the innovative ways that people stayed connected. I want to express my gratitude to each and every one of you for supporting my purpose and giving yourself (or gifting others) with the gift of less. I truly believe it’s one of the highest forms of self-care and achievable for all. Thank you. 

 

Sarah Parisi — The Clutter Curator

Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

Giving Thanks Not Gifts

2021-03-19T18:40:53+00:00By |Categories: Organized, Organizing Chicago|

 

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, you know this is traditionally a holiday intended to give thanks.

Seemingly, it presents an amazing opportunity to express our sincerest gratitude amongst our closest family and friends. Sounds great, right? 

Unfortunately, the holidays tend to spark up all kinds of emotional and physical clutter for many.

We are programmed to believe that in order to show our appreciation for one another, we must have something to show for it. However, this cultural conditioning and commercialism can lead to unnecessary stress, pressure and debt.

Giving a gift out of obligation will never carry the same heartfelt sentiment as a gift given freely. With that in mind, try to focus on expressing your love in more meaningful ways that don’t compromise your mental wellbeing or bank account. The most precious gift you could ever give someone is your undivided attention and time.

The things that bring us true joy simply aren’t for sale.

It is the value of our experiences, not our possessions, that increase over time. Even a holiday story gone wrong can stir up laughter for years to come. I guarantee you won’t remember all of the gifts. But you will remember the time ‘Uncle John’ dropped the entire turkey right before dinner! These are the moments that stay with us and enrich our lives. Innately, we know these statements to be true, but it’s easy to lose sight of. 

I realize challenging the gifting tradition may not receive a warm welcome by most. So, it’s important to note that you can accept the love and effort that went into a gift and still release it from your life if it does not serve you. Every item you allow into your life carries an energy with it. If the gift feels like a burden, it will carry that same negative energy. The intent of a gift is not to weigh you down. As the recipient, you have the power to say if it stays in your life or if it goes.

My core mission is to help you open up space for the things that truly feed your soul.

The things that money can’t buy — a hug from a loved one, laughing so hard you cry or receiving a handwritten note from a distant friend. When our material possessions carry guilt, fear or obligations they drain us of our time and energy to experience all the beauty and joy that life has to offer. Make the choice to live with less and I promise that you’ll have so much more in the long run. 

Quick Tips

  1. Remember that our most precious gift will always be our time.
  2. Our experiences hold more value than any material possession.
  3. Give thanks, but don’t be afraid to let go of a gift if it does not serve you.

Sarah Parisi — The Clutter Curator

Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

When Clutter Goes Too Far

2021-03-19T18:41:57+00:00By |Categories: Organized, Organizing Chicago|

Clutter is often the physical manifestation of an underlying problem within ourselves. 

Despite our best efforts, it’s unrealistic to assume that we’ll never buy anything new after we make the decision to declutter. This is why it’s so critical to establish healthy consumer habits. It’s easy to maintain order when we become intentional about purchases and create a concrete organizational system that works for our lifestyle.

Great changes take place when we prioritize self-care and self-reflection. It’s normal to have some attachment to the things we surround ourselves with, but it’s important to know the role they play in our lives. Our belongings are intended to serve us in positive ways. They may be a reflection of who we are, but they do not define our worth.

However, clutter may be more serious if you:

  1. Compulsively buy and keep an excessive amount of belongings in your home
  2. Incorrectly assign value to material possessions without properly caring for them
  3. Have extreme difficulty removing items due to sentimental reasons

The American Psychiatric Association classifies hoarding as an actual mental disorder. These people are typically paralyzed by perfectionism; consumed by their possessions where chaos reigns. Hoarding prohibits them from using their home in a functional manner. Unfortunately, this disorder can lead to unsafe living conditions and detrimental consequences that extend far beyond their physical space.

My consultancy tends to double as mini-therapy sessions. I carefully listen to the “how” and the “why” to determine the level of emotional attachment you have towards your belongings — only going as deep as you feel comfortable with. In doing so, I’m able to cultivate solutions that will transform your space, and ultimately, your life. 

The good news is, there is light at the end of the tunnel! Acceptance of the problem is the first step to freedom, but you don’t have to take this step alone. If you have hoarding tendencies or are ready for a change, I’m here to help. No judgement. Together, we can co-create order and lasting change. Let’s take back your power.

Quick Tips

  1. Get honest with yourself and remove the excess.
  2. Appropriately assign value to possessions.
  3. Seek professional assistance if needed. It’s not a weakness to ask for help. 

Sarah Parisi — The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

Is Life’s Noise Cluttering Your Brain?

2021-03-19T18:53:17+00:00By |Categories: Organized, Organizing Chicago|

Stressed WomanWhile living in New York City I was accustom to noise clutter each and everyday.

Walking to work, in the office, on the train, and just sitting in my apartment. I was surrounded by noise. But my favorite time would be a Sunday morning as I walked my two little dogs along 22nd street in Chelsea. It was quite, calm and free of distractions. I would be able to breath and take in the beautiful city that I loved. The silence allowed me to appreciate all that I had; and take in the architecture of the buildings.

Noise clutter is underestimated in how much it negatively impacts our mental health.

Do you ever notice when you eat in a loud and busy restaurant its hard to enjoy your food. You may notice you eat faster than normal or have a hard time tasting each flavor. Personally noise clutter has a huge impact on my mood and how I interact with others.

Take a moment this week to be present and listen to the noise around you.

Sit at your desk, close your eyes and take it all in, be aware of your surroundings maybe for the first time. Actively looking for silence throughout your days gives you a moment to reconnect with yourself and your environment. It allows you to take back control of your environment and remove the clutter to refocus you on the task at hand.

This is a hard one for me, but sitting in your home without the tv on and just be. Some may see this as a meditation but I want you to take in each sound and process whats going on. I want you to remove digital noise so you can reconnect with your breath and space. Our homes have such an impact on our wellbeing. It’s where we start and end each day.  Ask yourself – when is the last time you really just connected with your space to ensure it supports with your goals.

Quick Tips:

1. Take 5 minutes each day to take in your surroundings

2. Breath, become aware of the noise around you and how it is affecting your mood.

3. Find ways to mute the sound to create calmness throughout your day.

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

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