It’s that time of year when we start to think about warmer weather, new activities, spring cleaning and a fresh beginning before Summer rolls around. If you’re like us, you’ll wonder where to start. Where does all this stuff come from? Where is it going to go? How do I simplify?
We turned to our friend, Laura Harrison from Less Mess, More Life, who isn’t afraid to tell you how to “get real with what you need.” Laura is a healer of sorts. She heals the relationship you have with your things. She empowers you to make changes on your own and break old habits that may be weighing you down and preventing you from living more. Laura firmly believes that your internal state directly affects your external environment and vice versa. We agree. Not only does a mental shift need to happen to create change, it’s a way of life that needs to continue in order to live with less mess.
Sound familiar? The Bar Method is also about making changes to live a better life. We sometimes need to change our mindset in order to realize our full potential in class. We often have preconceived notions about our strength, weakness, age, weight, and experience that limit our beliefs about the results we can attain. Read this inspiring story about making changes But what if before a set of leg lifts (we know that one is a challenge for everyone), we changed our mind from “I can’t” to “I will?” How would changing out one word impact that set of leg work for you? Like consistently working on a clean, organized home…we need to consistently work on getting stronger and more flexible. It’s a way of life. Consistent practice pays off with lasting results.
We asked Laura to share with us her best 6 tips to bring fresh perspective and simplify your life at home:
The most dramatic change you can make to your space and your life is to get rid of the excess that is weighing you down – the toys you keep stepping on, the t-shirts that don’t fit you, the piles of paper that can be recycled or stored electronically (use this app to scan). How do you know what can go? Dig deep and get brutally honest with yourself – how often do I use this? How many of these do I truly need? Do I feel good when I wear this? And if you need to set rules for purging, then do so, but make sure they are realistic and maintainable.
2. File Differently
Unleash the power of the magazine file for anything but magazines (ok, maybe you get one for magazines). Use these containers for construction paper, extra notebooks, activity books, and your inbox for mail (only put in items after quickly sifting through for what needs to be recycled). Click here for more ideas on how I use them.
3. Control your Calendar
The time is here to sign kids up for summer camps, make new commitments with volunteer organizations, and book summer travel plans. Before you commit to ALL of these things, think hard about how “busy” you want to be. How would it feel if things weren’t so “busy?” Unless it’s 100% out of your control (not much is), you have the power to calm the daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal calendar chaos. Just remember to use the power.
4. Add Light
The most common problem I see in people’s homes is they are dark. Unless, you have beautiful recessed lighting throughout (lucky you), ceiling light will not be enough. Add table lamps and floor lamps (like this classic white table lamp, or this gold floor lamp) that cast light up, brightening your pretty face and the whole room.
5. Start Now
Why wait? Start today by putting a donate bag in each room or purge one drawer. Just like The Bar Method, small, tiny actions (remember drawing a dime size circles on the floor with your toe?) can have an enormous impact. So start somewhere and start now.
If you want to pretend you have an organizer with you while tackling a project or need a little more encouragement, listen to this podcast. Seriously – many people have sent me pictures of their donate bags saying just listening was enough to get them going. Could it be for you too?
Now, what is the ONE thing you are going to today to get started? Leave a comment below to let us know. Here’s to less mess and more life!