How to Organize Your Paper Clutter

It’s 2014 and it’s hard to believe with all our technology gadgets paper clutter is still one of the major complaints I hear from clients. From magazines to the mail, paper clutter is everywhere!

So what can you do to manage it?

Let’s break down the top clutter complaints:

  • Mail
  • Bills/Financial Papers
  • Magazines Catalogs
  • Notes, post-its, flyers

Mail Clutter:

The most common issue with mail clutter is that most of it is junk mail. The solution is getting off the mailing lists. Here’s where you need to sit down and schedule an hour to go through and list the places to call and take your name off their mailing list. Most of the time the root of clutter is promotional ads from the credit card companies. It will just take one call to your credit card company to opt out of the section for mailing promotions. Be sure to do this when you sign up for a new card. You can also check out the National Do Not Mail List.

 

If you make donations, be sure to read the privacy section (in small fine print and opt- out of additional promotions. Depending on how much junk mail it may take a couple of months to clear it up). Be mindful when you sign up for anything to politely let them know that you would like to opt out from additional promotions. This will save you headaches later on.

 

Learn to deal with it right away so it will save you time in the long run. As soon you pick up your mail go through and sort it. Have a spot to put bills, invitations, social events and chuck the junk mail in the shredder and recyclables.

 

Magazines and Catalogs:

Create a space where you are going to read these within the month. I like to keep mine in my TV room and read them while I am having breakfast. Consider taking them to work and read during your lunch hour and when you’re done pass them along to your co-workers. Have an expiration date to read within 30 days and then discard it. Tear out any recipes or inspiration images and keep in a folder.

 

Financial Papers:

How you organize your financial papers reflects your relationship with money.  If your money flow isn’t flowing too well then its time to organize your financial papers. If you need help, check out my program “Money Makeover Secrets:  How to use the Secrets of Feng Shui to Increase Your Income.”

 

So how do I organize it all?

 

The key is to find organizing solutions that fit your style and space. Let’s take a look at some possible solutions.

Have a small space in your kitchen or hallway? Here’s a system to pin up your organizing tools, have a calendar, a box for social gatherings, mail, etc. Be creative with your organizing.

Maybe you don’t have space this big, but I like how they use the cubby holes and use desktop organizers on the counter. Is there anything in this picture that might inspire how you can use what you have in your space?

Do you have some extra wall space to create your mail system? Be even more creative by popping color here. If you know where this space falls on the bagua you can align the colors with the gau.

You can purchase these pieces separately from Pottery Barn to a create a theme that works for you.

Setup it up all in one room. Do your laundry, sort your paperwork and have craft time all in one place.

 

Finding the solution that will work for you will take time. Be creative with your ideas. There’s no right or wrong, start with the stuff you already have in your space and try it out.

Tell me what your past struggles have been with paper clutter and any solutions you can share.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE ON YOUR WEBSITE OR FOR A GUEST BLOG POST?

You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: “Feng Shui expert, Christine Bove, inspires successful women to allow their creative energies to flow into their environments, images and mindsets to improve their confidence, bring clarity to their future and set them up for success. Sign up to receive her 5 Feng Shui video tips at www.christinebove.com.”

How Much Is Your Clutter Costing You?

How much time do you spend thinking and talking about your clutter? You probably never realized how much time you spend thinking about clutter, or the fact that the more you think about clutter the more the problem grows.

 

Several years, ago I was listening to an interview with Ali Brown, who told a story that when she hired her first business coach to help grow her business, her business coach gave her a strange exercise in her first session. She told her to make a list of all the things around her space that were bothering her. She was puzzled by her advice, she asked what does this have to do with me getting more clients? Her coach responded with, “First, we need to clean up your energy drains!” Its the little things like your cluttered space or your “to do” list that are energy suckers and can easily distract you from getting the important things done.

 

I loved this story, because it reinforces everything I teach my clients. Your environment could be your biggest energy sucker keeping you for accomplishing your goals. How much time are you thinking about your clutter?

 

You’ve heard me say before that in Feng Shui your closets represent your subconscious, the attic is your future and the basement is the past.  So, you know what you need to do. But here’s the famous excuse  - I don’t have TIME!  So what are you doing with you time?  Are you happy, enjoying life, in pure bliss? If not, you may look around your home and discover that you spend your energy on hours that are not aligned with what you want in life and where you are headed.  So, if you hate your job, feel pressured to be part of organizations and attend social gathering you don’t like…how do you expect your mindset to shift if the energy you spend and the time it takes is holding you back?

 

Let me give you the permission to say, “No!”  Go even deeper and say “No, I don’t want to be part of that group, I don’t want to go to that event, I don’t have time to participate in XYZ. You have to learn to say NO more and Yes to only what you do love and serves a purpose. The only person who can change this is YOU!

 

So, to begin to do this, you must first take the time to clear out the stuff that no longer honors who you are and where you are going.  If you commit to this and actually do it, the energy around you shifts and begins to support who you are becoming.

 

I know you know this, but why are you not doing it?

 

You feel alone, scared to trust yourself because no one else around you is doing it and you don’t know how others will respond to this change. It’s scary and some people may not like you, some people may give you a hard time and say some nasty things about you, but that reflects what is going on with them not you. How much is it costing you?  Your health? Finances?  All of that to doing things you don’t love?

 

It’s time to change that and take action.

 

  • Sit down and make a list of the top 9 things that drain your energy in your space.
  • How much time do you focus on these irritations?
  • What is preventing you from getting them done? Time? Money? Help from others?

 

Now go deeper and ask yourself what is this really about? Is there an underlying fear you don’t want to deal with like speaking up to your spouse and demanding it’s time to get it done?  There is something deeper and it’s time for you to face it.

 

By getting clear on why you are resisting and what patterns in your life are sabotaging you, you will begin to shift the energy and you will feel motivated to take action.

 

If you truly desire to do this in your life, but it still feels challenging to you, won’t you consider my new 4 week online program to help you clear the emotional and physical blocks to the clutter in your home and mind?

 

In my new course 30 Days to a Clutter Free Home and Mind, I’m helping you to begin process to make the changes you need. I’m taking my best tools that have helped hundreds of clients to transform their homes and their lives.

 

This is not your typical online program where I teach and you listen.  It is designed to be interactive where I help you recognize, understand and clear the emotional and physical clutter in your home and body.  This program is designed to clear the clutter and to set you up for success.

 

Space is limited to 9 spots!  This is an amazing opportunity to have an intimate group of people working together toward the same goal.  Yet, because of the small group size, I will be able to offer specific individual advice and tools for your unique situation.

 

If you give me 4 hours, I will give you months and years of a more joyful life. So, are you ready?

Check out my program, it starts this Tuesday September, 23rd at 8pm. Click here for all the details.

 

 

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE ON YOUR WEBSITE OR FOR A GUEST BLOG POST?

You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: “Feng Shui expert, Christine Bove, inspires successful women to allow their creative energies to flow into their environments, images and mindsets to improve their confidence, bring clarity to their future and set them up for success. Sign up to receive her 5 Feng Shui video tips at www.christinebove.com.”

4 Steps to Clearing Out the Sentimental Items in Your Home

This is not an easy subject but I get these questions all the time, “what am I supposed to do with old photos, frames, certificates, figurines, birthday cards, diaries etc.” Let me share an interesting story with you. I was giving a talk a few years back and a participant in the audience shared her trouble sleeping and asked me for solutions. I asked her a couple of different questions and the one question that nailed it was, “What’s under your bed?”  Her answer explained it all, “All the photos from my two ex-Husbands” Bingo! I loved that she had both ex’s all under her bed… well, how would be sleeping every night? It was clear she still had some unresolved issues and was having trouble releasing these memories.  Getting rid of those photos was her pathway to letting go and getting some good shut eye!

 

It’s a funny thing we do, we like to hold onto things that are associated with hard times. I’ve seen it over and over, women especially hold onto past items that remind them of the hard times.  Its as if we want proof of the struggles we go through. But my question is how does that help you get over it and make a difference in the future?  It is impossible to move forward and expect a different future if the energy around you just reminds you of the mistakes you made.  It is the good times we want to hold onto and display!

 

According to the practice of Feng Shui, photos should be balanced from the past, present and future. I worked with a client who had pictures of her children when they were babies and toddlers but were currently teenagers. She had just been through a painful divorce yet ironically, she still had a picture from her wedding, it was in her wedding dress as the wind blew the veil over face so she couldn’t see. It was a great picture and I see why she like it, but the irony was her marriage was not a happy one! She said she felt blinded by love! Here it was still sitting in her office.

 

Be mindful of why you are keeping items and how it relates to where you are going in your future. Does this support who I am now and who I will be in the future? Keep asking yourself this simple question as you clean out your space.

 

So let’s break it down for you.

 

Step 1 –  Go through these items and ask yourself what memories do they hold for you? Does it support who I am now and the future me?

 

The idea is to keep the best ones, the ones you love and make you feel good. Let go of anything that gives you a sense of guilt or obligation. Holding on to an item you don’t love because you’re afraid to hurt someone’s feelings is giving your power away.

 

But, sometimes in rare cases, I have recommended to clients to hold on to an item that was given to them and keep it tucked away until that person comes over.  Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to know that you are making someone happy and giving others joy if it means a lot to them.  Again, this is one exception to this rule.

 

Step 2 – Find ways to display it with love!

 

It’s time to be creative and see how you can repurpose an item. For example, if you have an old mirror, table, dresser, or chair could you repaint it? You will be surprised by how a fresh can of paint can make something new! Just google “How To” and boom there’s a video on just about anything.

 

A way to streamline photos is creating a video of all your old photos set to music. Many stores are offering this from CVS, Walgreens or Costco. Even my mom has taken old movies and had them transferred to DVD’s and given as gifts to family members. Online companies like Shutterfly, offer albums you can easily create and are so beautiful. Note: You can find special deals on Groupon.

 

Step 3 – Find someone who values these items and give them away.

 

Ask your children or loved ones if they want specific pictures.  If you are divorced ask your child if they would like your wedding photos. You can sit down and go through the photos with them and select the best pictures of the good times, keep a few and discard the others. Your children will feel good about being part of the process. For other items in your house, think about all your friends and family members who may have commented on items in your house and ask them if they want it.

 

Step 4 – Burn it!

 

It’s bold but I’ve had clients create bonfires and throw out photos, dresses, diaries etc. There are many rituals about burning items. I’ve never burned items myself, but I have written special letters to the universe and burned them. Burning items is similar to a cleansing. For some people it gives the release they need, a cleansing to start over again. Shredding it is another great solution and something I love to do with my journals. Once I’ve completed my journal I rip out the pages and shred ‘em.  For me it’s a letting go and a moving on ritual. I’m no longer the person who I was when I started the journal so it’s time to move on.

 

Remember the more you let go the better you feel, the less work you have for yourself, you save money and you feel much lighter.

I would love to hear some solutions you have done with old memorable items.  Please leave a comment below.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE ON YOUR WEBSITE OR FOR A GUEST BLOG POST?

You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: “Feng Shui expert, Christine Bove, inspires successful women to allow their creative energies to flow into their environments, images and mindsets to improve their confidence, bring clarity to their future and set them up for success. Sign up to receive her 5 Feng Shui video tips at www.christinebove.com.”

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