How to KEEP IT SIMPLE Around the Holidays

Do you know where everything in your home lives? I mean really, take a moment, be honest with yourself. Three years ago, before I’d heard of KonMari, before I’d touched all of my possessions and kept only those that inspire joy, I probably would have told you I basically knew where everything was, but let me tell you:

I would have been deceiving myself.

We had long lost items hiding in all kinds of places, things I didn’t even remember we owned. Whole categories sprouted up after I thought I was done: hidden areas that had not seen the light of day since we’d moved into our home.

Now, after the fact, our home is easy to maintain and it feels great, but I’d kind of forgotten how it feels to live in a space where, half the time, you really can’t find what you’re looking for. Living like that subtly raises your daily stress levels so that the littlest things can tip you over the edge into full blown overwhelm and anxiety.

You’ve probably read about our week’s vacation around Thanksgiving, living in a friend of the family’s house for a week. It was a beautiful, convenient space and most of the week was really lovely. But we spent the first day and a half at my aunt & uncle’s, doing Thanksgiving prep and getting accustomed to the layout of that kitchen. And then we moved next door and had to start from scratch in terms of being able to find the things we were looking for.

I didn’t realize how I’d been walking around with an ever so slightly annoyed tenor, until we landed back home. It was like a breath of fresh air. My husband was the one who put words to it. He was ecstatic to be home after “a week of trying to find things in two f*cking houses!” (And he is not prone to expletives!)  It was such a relief to know where everything belonged, that after 12 hours on the road, we wanted nothing more than to busy ourselves with putting things away!

Going through the process of consciously choosing what belongs in your space, based on how it makes you feel, creates a space where everything you own has a place of its own, a home, where it is not packed in and forgotten about, but a place just for it--like a loved member of the family.

It means that unpacking the car after a week of travel was automatic (you either know or can imagine what a car looks like after a week of traveling with two small children). Everything that came out, had a clear home, a space. It means that we actually put things away rather than letting them pile up.

Often, things pile up because putting them away is not easy. For example, the suitcase that goes on that shelf in that one closet, but every time you open that closet door, you feel like something is sure to fall on your head... Feeling that way makes it really hard to want to go through the effort of putting things away.

The point of this whole story, is that often, in our very own homes, we live in the stressful state of constantly looking for things--often unable to find them (did they get packed up with the move? were they ever unpacked? are they in this junk drawer or the other? inside the house or in the shed/basement/storage unit?).

We spend SO MUCH TIME looking for things that we know live in our home somewhere. Often, after an hour spent searching, we return unsuccessful.

I speak from experience--that was the state of things in my home as well. To be honest, my space used to be a very well organized, overly full space… but that didn’t really make it any easier to find what I was looking for.

Too much stuff is too much stuff and will cause similar problems and frustrations no matter if it is well organized or not. The organization piece can actually make it more difficult because it means that every little thing gets tucked away into its little spot, where it may or may not be accessible or readily available. And the more stuff you own, the more difficult it is to care for it all or know where you’ve stored it. I have been there too.

On top of this underlying potential stress, we come into the holiday season.

Interactions with family members can be more strained, the rich foods and wines and late-into-the-night merriment more difficult to recover from.

That is not how any one of us wants to come into the New Year. This is a time of optimism and joy and putting your best foot forward. But after the loss of rhythm on top of the subtle daily stressors in your space, it is difficult for the best of us to make anything of our New Year’s resolutions, our intentions to shift and grow.

And so I have yet another gift for you (I am just full of them this month!)--in order to help you be your best self, and allow more sanity throughout the holidays as well as space for transformation in the year to come. It's an all new Tip Sheet called: Keep it SIMPLE & Find Your JOY: a guide to arriving at the new year, ready for new opportunity.

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Print it out. Put it on your fridge. Send it to a friend. Spread the love and joy that the simpler life brings.