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.”

How to Organize and Style Bookcases

Clients tell me they never have time to organize their space. The reason is many are taking on too many things even things they don’t want to do!  I know it is hard to always remind yourself that your time is important and taking care of you, your family and your home is a priority. Remember when your space is out of balance so is your life! So consider taking just 30 minutes on a Saturday, or any day that works for you, to conduct a regular mini house-project task.

 

This past weekend, I decided to rearrange my winter closet, it was feeling cluttered and unorganized. I was so determined to get it done, that on Sunday morning after I did my meditation, I immediately started on the closet, then I was so energized I moved on to the hall closet and then I ended up washing all my curtains! Wow! Did that feel great! I’ve found that when I complete a project first thing in the morning, I feel so good and energized that I am inspired to do even more!

 

Try it yourself!  This weekend, determine to simply organize your bookshelves first thing in the morning and see how you feel and what else you accomplish throughout the day!

 

In last’s week Blog, “Did you Know Too Many Books Can Create Writer’s Block,” I explained how important it is to declutter your bookshelves. This week I would like to share how to organize them with style and flow.

If you have watched my free video series in the second video (Feng Shui Your Home Office) I show how many offices are setup with bookcases above the desk. This is not ideal especially if the shelves are overloaded with books. I teach my clients to lighten up their shelves. The lighter and more stylish you can make this feel, the more your daily energy will feel creative and light.

Let’s look at some ways to display your books that express style and flow.

In this picture, I love the idea of painting the inside of the bookcase another color to pop in the room. Notice how they use a combination of books and accessories, here is a great opportunity to tell a story in your space. Display the places you travel, pictures of your family, special items you have collected, etc. throughout your shelves.

Notice how light this feels and when you enter the space it pulls up your energy.

Now let’s look at a bookcase full of just books.

How does this feel to you? Let’s say this was your book case, does it feel good to you? Is it a positive reminder of what you’ve read or a negative reminder of what you haven’t? Even though it’s neatly organized, it needs to be lightened as it is a focal point to the room.

Now you might say there’s hardly any books, but it has lots of style and fun accessories. It truly shifts the energy of the room. On another note, each item is seen for it’s beauty as opposed to being just tucked away on the shelf.

Here’s a quick tip, if you are feeling stagnant in your space just re-arrange your shelves and boom you will feel like you have a new room.

This isn’t just limited to your office or library, but to all shelves in your home.

I love these bookcases that are in hallways. In this picture you will notice they have some books vertical and horizontal.  This is a simple and great way to lighten up your bookshelves.

Sometimes it’s the small little shifts you can make in a room to shift the energy and create more positive flow.

I would love to here if you were inspired by these pictures and any ideas you will implement into your space. Leave a comment below, I read all your comments.

If you feel overwhelmed, book a Feng Shui consultation and let me help you clear the clutter and get organized. Click here to set up a complimentary 15 minute consultation to chat with me about your home. Once you fill out the application you will receive an email to schedule your complimentary session.

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.”

Did you know too many books can create writer’s block?

I’m seeing a theme in the past year with my clients. They are overwhelmed with their homes.  Just the thought of clearing clutter and organizing can stress them out. One particular area is with books, from their office to their bedside table books stack everywhere. What’s even more interesting is that about 30% of my clients who want to write a book have a clutter issue with books.

You may be surprised when I tell you that an overload of books can actually cause writer’s block!

In the book Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, Karen Kingston explains that when you hold onto books it doesn’t allow you to create a space for new ideas and ways of thinking to come into your life. Your books symbolically represent your ideas and beliefs, and when you have too many of them sitting on bookshelves, you block your own creative ideas from flowing through you.

As I start to help my clients clear their book shelves I ask them, ”why are you holding onto these books?” They reply with things like,  “I need them, I like to refer back, I love their ideas,  I have to learn more.”

Here’s something I have learned even about myself is that we tend to think we don’t know enough! We always think we need to take another class, read another book or get another certification. The truth is you know more than enough, but you’re scared to trust yourself and the knowledge you have to share. So, you continue to buy book after book to fill this void.

And here’s what I see, the book never gets written, the new project never takes off, the career change never happens.  It’s time to recognize you are enough and start writing the book, start the business, or interview for the new career. You can take the first step by letting go of the books you have to affirm you have the information you need within you.

Let’s get started:

1) Start by selecting one area of your bookshelf, review the books.

  • Have you read it in a year?

  • Do you reference it frequently?

  • Do you have a friend or colleague who might enjoy this book?

  • Keep books that represent who you are today and who you will be in the future.

2) Create piles

  • Books you are keeping

  • Books you will read in the next 30 days

  • Books for donations

3) Donation ideas

  • Donate to Libraries. The library will sell them and the money goes to help fund the library. I do this with the Stamford library in Connecticut, they have a used bookstore in the library and I know the sales of the books help fund the library so I feel good about donating.

  • Pass along to friends, family or co-workers. When I worked in corporate America I actually created a section in our office called “Take a Book, Leave a Book”. Everyone loved the idea and since many commuted to work people would come from other departments and take a book. It also helps to learn more about each other.  You will be surprised what people like to read.

  • Donate children’s books to schools, daycares or after school programs.

  • Gather some friends and host a book sale.

  • Sell them on Amazon. I do caution this one, if you don’t have time or energy to do this ask yourself if it’s worth the money.

Letting these books go, also helps you to relieve the pressure and stress you are putting on yourself that you really need to know, this or that, or that you will somehow become more credible.

I follow this process myself and I will  share my favorite books, the ones I keep and don’t let out of my sight!

But let me first share a  picture of my bookcase that’s built into my hallway closet. As you can see I don’t have a lot of books as I borrow a lot from the library, but these are my favorite books and I have my current ones on my night stand.

My Favorite Books:

You can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay – A great reference for when you are sick or have pains and would like a deeper understanding.

Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss – I review this book to review the chakras when I feel out of balance in my life.

Animal Speak by Ted Andrews –  I reference this book whenever I encounter certain animals and feel they have a message for me.

Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein – This was signed by Gabrielle herself, so it’s not going anywhere!

Course In Miracles

Plus, my Giada De Laurentis Cookbooks, Love her!

It may feel scary to let go of your books, but if you haven’t used them or read them in years pass them along to someone who could value them even more. Feel good that someone else is getting use out of them and you are letting go of the pressure to read them. I would like to highlight this, that buying more books is also putting more pressure on you and if you are already limited in free time, why are you creating more work for yourself.

Think about that and share your thoughts about your book collection below.

Stay tuned for Part 2: How to Organize your Bookcases with Style and Flow…

If you feel overwhelmed, book a Feng Shui consultation and let me help you clear the clutter and get organized. Click here to set up a complimentary 15 minute consultation to chat with me about your home. Once you fill out the application you will receive an email to schedule your complimentary session.

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 Do I Handle My Partner’s Clutter, It’s Driving Me Nuts!

the vortex

It’s not easy when your partner is a clutter-bug and you are really neat. This is often one of my clients’ top complaints. I will walk around a home or receive pictures of their partner’s clutter. “You see…what am I suppose to do!” I definitely feel my client’s pain and frustration.  They want a beautiful [...]

Read More

6 Organizing Tips You Can Learn from College Students

6 Organizing Tips You Can Learn from(1)

I’ve been receiving lots of calls from clients lately asking for help not just to manage their own clutter but  their spouse’s and children’s too.  Now is the time when all kids are heading back to school or off to college and everyone is trying to organize!  I have to admit, I love shopping for [...]

Read More

9 Reasons to Feng Shui Your Clutter

Bagua image

I know it can be hard to motivate yourself to get started on dealing with all that clutter!  When do you have the time? But what if you learned your clutter was not just preventing you from seeing your countertops, but it can also be preventing you from achieving your goals? Would that motivate you? [...]

Read More