Clear your clutter, shift your life

Posted on January 28, 2018 by Sonoma Valley Sun

shapeimage_5By Kari Wishingrad | Sonoma Valley Sun

A new year seems to always bring optimistic energy for creating a more satisfying, rewarding and joyous life for the days and months to come. How is it going for you so far? Have you made a list of intentions/goals/promises? Is ‘getting more organized’ one of them? If so, read on…

For January, lets look at beginning to tidy up so 2018 can take off with some space – energetically and physically. Remember, when you clear out the old, you make way for the new.

Ideas to get more organized:

  • Go through at least one closet. Choose the one you’ve been avoiding the most. Work in sections or a shelf at a time, if you cannot allot the time to finish it in one purge.

Take everything out and as you put it back, be really honest with yourself – do you really love it, use it or need it? Consider getting containers or baskets to keep like items together (scarves, gloves, small purses). This will be an ongoing process throughout the year, so do not put any pressure on yourself to get it done all at once.

  • Downsize and update your email contact lists. Are there any acquaintances you haven’t been in touch with for years? Update new addresses, emails or phone numbers.
  • Clean out your food pantry, cupboards and refrigerator/freezer. Look for expired products, anything you don’t use or like and either give to others who will enjoy it or throw it out. Replace whole spices and ground spices every 2-3 years, and leafy herbs every 1-3 years. Unexpired unopened canned or boxed food may be donated to local charities.
  • Bathroom cabinets and drawers tend to have many products not being used, are expired or are no longer necessary. Cosmetics have a shelf life and can harbor bacteria. Empty contents and recycle the containers.
  • Schedule wellness / recharge days throughout the year. Give yourself some downtime and pamper yourself. Book a massage, facial, day at the beach, a day alone with a good book – whatever nourishes and fills you up. Budding up with someone is good support. If you wind up having a conflict, reschedule immediately. You will be more productive in the long run. Don’t wait until you are drained and really need a day off.
  • Consider delegating as needed – hire a bookkeeper, accountant, housecleaner, or consider having meals delivered occasionally. While some of this may seem like a splurge, in the long run, giving yourself some time off to catch up or relieve some obligations will make you more productive in the long run.
  • Update your will/living trust.
  • Create a list of items you wish to acquire. Some items may be needed, while some may make life easier for you or just make you feel happy to have them.

Notice I wrote ‘acquire, not purchase. Things have a magical way of coming towards you when you ‘ask’. You may wind up buying it, however, someone may offer it to you.

Sign up on stores email lists to learn about sales and major discounts offered throughout the year. Ask on Facebook groups or Next Door Sonoma if anyone has what you are looking for, for trade or for sale.

  •  Clean your car out. Take everything out and only put back what you will need.

Some ideas: pens, pad, tissues, spare change, flashlight, an energy bar or bag of nuts, phone charger, a soft cloth for anything that may spill, an umbrella, drinking water and a small earth quake kit. Wipe the interior of the car down. Get rid of dust and vacuum the carpets. By the way, if you haven’t replaced your car filter since the fires, it may be a good idea.

I like to use my plug in aromatherapy diffusor to scent the car.

  •  Clean out your file drawers; shred, throw out papers or re-file into file storage boxes any personal documents you wont need on a regular basis and label accordingly. Start to get start ready for tax season.

These are not presented in any particular order. You may feel excited to do one or two and not others. That’s OK. I am a firm believer in doing what you are aligned with and what will make you satisfied and happy.

Enjoy the process! Play music, take breaks, drink water, ask a friend to support you by holding you accountable or assisting you in your downsizing. Then return the favor.

I often compare getting organized to peeling layers of an onion. As you reveal each layer, you get better and quicker with making decisions regarding what no longer serves you. You will gain an understanding of your own personal and internal process of letting go.

I personally like to clear my physical home space prior to doing more nitty-gritty items such as financials and business related tasks. Having my home in order creates an environment where then its feels easier to tackle the more challenging and perhaps less ‘fun’ projects I may have to do.

I am a fan of making ‘to-do’s list. I find it satisfactory to cross out accomplished tasks and as the year progresses, I may modify my list as I set new intentions, evolve and shift my priorities.

Remember, when your clear clutter, you shift your life.


Kari Wishingrad has lived in Sonoma Valley for 22 years and has been an organizer since 1995. She has coached, supported and assisted dozens of people to downsize, clear their clutter and become more organized.



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