Expertise

Home Organizer
Downsizing Facilitator
Move Manager
Life Skills Mentor
Time/Stress Mgmt Coach

Contact Laura Today 

 

Connections
Subscribe
Listen
Follow
Like

 

ClutterClarity in May 2019

ClutterClarity in Feb 2019

 


 

 

 

Wherever You Live...

ClutterClarity can work with you anywhere in the world remotely or hands-on in your home in MetroWest Boston, primarily in Acton, Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Brookline, Cambridge, Carlisle, Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Medford, Needham, Newton, Stow, Sudbury, Watertown, Wayland, Wellesley, Weston and Winchester, Massachusetts.

Enjoy ClutterClarity Resources

Receive ClutterClarity Newsletter
Full of original insights, tips, real life stories, and upcoming classes for your benefit!


Watch ClutterClarity YouTube Videos
Learn what it really takes to make decluttering, organizing, downsizing easy, even enjoyable.


Enjoy Upcoming Webinars and Podcasts
Learn what it really takes to make decluttering, organizing, downsizing easy, even enjoyable.


Buy Paper Clarity Book
Paper Clarity: What to Keep, Where, and When to Shred


Buy Prepare to Care Resource Guide
An Act of Love - Conversations to have with loved ones before illness or end of life

Recent Successes

Helped client decide how to revise her will before her 80th birthday   Organized senior living apartment, donated truckload of belongings Taught 30 year old time management  and prioritizing skills so she can enjoy her days more Decluttered home, trashed or donated 10 bags of broken toys Shopped for furniture, set up beautiful bedroom Organized office, papers for client’s divorce Facilitated family communications, managed downsize and move, set-up of new apartment for senior couple Decluttered, organized home to make room for 2nd baby.

Thursday
Sep122019

Interview - How to Clean Up the Clutter in Your Life

Great fun being interviewed by Lesley Jane Seymour from #CoveyClub, a virtual meeting place for lifelong learners. Supporting #women reinventing themselves. 

 

Monday
Aug262019

Clutter-Blind, Procrastination, Forgetting

Do you feel chronically stuck or overwhelmed by too much in your home, calendar or life?

Common responses to "too much:" 
  • Clutter-Blind. Clutter-Blind allows you to stop seeing the mess. Your brain is smart enough to shift perspective to reduce the pain of self-criticism, shame or frustration. 
  • Procrastination. Procrastination drives capable people crazy! Procrastination is a form of protection. Instead of trying to force yourself to do something, you need to back off and get ready properly. Here’s a good article about procrastination to learn more.
  • Forgetting. When I asked my client what’s getting in the way of her doing four years of back taxes, she said, “I forget.” Perfection. You can't show up for something you've forgotten. (See real life story below for solution!)
 
All are legitimate responses to “too much.”
Their intention is good: To protect you from feeling worse after another failed attempt.

SOLUTION 

1. Notice Without the Judgement: Nothing is wrong, except that you feel bad. You don't need to make you or it wrong to make it better.

2. Understanding: This work is complex, requiring a new way of thinking and four life skills.

All of my clients can do much of the physical work, but are missing essential pieces of the puzzle to progress with ease, even enjoyment. That’s all. Small, accurate adjustments to what they're doing or thinking turns the drudgery into discovery. Click here to read what clients have said about their own personal transformations.

We are not meant to do everything alone.

3. Build Connection. If you are chronically clutter-blind, procrastinating or forgetting, that's evidence that it's time to reach out for help. The primary problem is not you; the problem is that alone it's too much. We all need guidance and support over time to unhinge ourselves from old ways of thinking or habits, and attach ourselves to new ones.

  • 1-hour weekly phone coaching session with ClutterClarity to get ready properly with a new way of thinking, time management skills, and emotional management skills.     
  • One 1/2-hour phone session with a friend with financial skills and tax knowledge, setting three next steps per week. 
  • Two 2-hour sessions a week to work on her own to make progress with her taxes.
  • Two bookending sessions per week with a friend before and after her working sessions.

 

Real Life Story - Building a Team of Support

Organizing 4 years of back taxes 

To not habitually forget to do her taxes, my client needed an infrastructure of consistent support and accountability. She was perfectly capable of decluttering and organizing paperwork once she got started, and kept going.


Real Team, Real Time: 

Essential:
She pre-scheduled all of these weekly sessions with a real date to complete the project. This builds the infrastructure to support her progress.

Real Consequences:
Client paid a modest amount of money for each weekly connection with her friends. If she didn’t keep her agreements, she paid the appropriate person double that week. With a support team in place, she hummed right along, working on her own, but not alone, and finished her taxes ahead of schedule!
 

"It is super-exciting to work, observe, implement, increase awareness, be intentional, and change my whole relationship with how I get things done. Thank you Laura!"

Joni W., Newark, NJ

Monday
Aug262019

NEW RESOURCE GUIDE - Prepare to Care: An Act of Love


So many baby boomers and elders are caught unprepared, trying to avoid the unavoidable.

Families have gotten more complicated. One client has seven parents due to divorces and remarrying!

Be brave! Talking now to loved ones will reduce the stress of loss. An act of love for all.

Prepare to Care will guide you through with conversations with loved ones.

Get peace of mind for only $10.95.To purchase, click here. You'll be glad you did.

Monday
Aug262019

My 50 Year Old Ice Tray is NOT Clutter

 

I am so glad that Marie Kondo has expanded the decluttering conversation beyond quick tips and organizing strategies by emphasizing the emotional experience of Joy and Respect.

We all know taking care of our homes and lives is an emotional experience, so finally! “Spark Joy” is now part of the American lexicon, used in all contexts of life, not just when decluttering our homes. 

Yet… “Joy” is not enough to comfortably decide what to keep or let go. To make a fully-informed decision, we need criteria that blends the emotional mind with the rational mind.  

Looking at an object from four perspectives - four criteria - cuts through the complexity of you (your preferences, your personality, and priorities, your history, your goals) to clarity. A good decision is one without regret.

Here is an example of a ClutterClarity Graphic Lesson - the graphic tools I give clients to facilitate their decisions and process.

 


New way of thinking: The goal is not to get rid of stuff as fast as possible; the goal is to have an enjoyable experience while taking care of your home, time and life. Why? When you're enjoying yourself, you get more done. 

What is true for you NOWYou don’t need to answer "yes" to all criteria, but once you have considered them all, which way are you leaning? You want to keep what adds true value to your present life.

This old metal ice tray is mine to keep! In most homes it would be clutter; in mine it is a treasure. I love it. It reminds me of when I was young, my father making drinks after work - scotch on the rocks for him; gin and tonic for my mother. Beyond the emotions, it comfortably fits into my current lifestyle because it fits into my collection of old household items made out of metal. I have space for it to fit comfortably in my home. I don't use it. Reflecting on the four criteria makes it a keeper. 

Monday
May272019

Women's Work = Women's Opportunity

I had the great pleasure of being invited to speak at the “She Sails” Reunion at Dana Hall, a girl's boarding school in Wellesley, MA. (So funny they put me in the gym, since my work is often quite a "workout!") ๐Ÿ˜Š

45 years ago, Dana Hall provided sanctuary for me when my family, and everything I knew (and took for granted) was breaking apart - not unlike how many people feel about America today.

The audience was like my clients: 99% women - well educated, intelligent, doing reasonably or very well in life. Perhaps many felt overwhelmed or stuck, too.

A perfect place for me to speak for the first time about what I believe to be the true potential for women as they declutter and downsize our overstuffed homes and lives.

Women's Work = Women's Opportunity
The necessity to downsize, rightsize, and organize now is fueling a nation-wide momentum of change. As America's primary homemakers and caregivers, millions of women are leading us through the clutter into clarity, one house at a time. As this country's primary shoppers, women are in position to prevent the excessive or impulsive accumulation that creates the deluge of stuff in our homes. That's a lot of power.

Traditionally, this work is done in an aggressive, masculine manner, one of attack, "conquer the clutter," "get on top" of the project, always in a hurry, regardless of the emotional wake it leaves behind. This runs counter to most women's innate instincts.

As leaders, women have the opportunity to transform this work into a platform to learn new ways of thinking and the essential life skills we all need to create sustainable, positive change in their homes and lives.

Practicing what they learn (emotional management, time management and communication skills), each decision of what to keep or let go can be made in equilibrium. For years, I've watched women's transformation. Confidence and clarity replaces drudgery and self-doubt. As they learn a new way of being in relationship to the stuff in their homes and lives, a strong, feminine model of doing the work is born.

For over 15 years, I've wondered: How is it possible that so many privileged women are overwhelmed taking care of their homes and lives today? All the organizing tips and decluttering strategies are out there… what’s missing? How are American women of lesser means going to come out from the burden of too much?

The answer is a fascinating, complex tapestry of social, political, economic, and historical forces woven tightly into our personal lives over decades. Some threads are obvious, others nuanced, but it makes perfect sense that we’re in this mess today.

From their traditional roles, women are modeling the courage and sweat it takes to bring their homes and lives into balance. Yet, there is a greater opportunity, even a necessity, hidden in this work to create new traditions. Equipped with a new mindset and life skills, women can, maybe for the first time, create a more equitable distribution of labor in their home. Only then will the mess and stress not return.

The burden in our homes and lives is a microcosm of the disorder in our country. It is our responsibility to clean it up, but it is not our fault. We did not know we were creating such a mess.

Cultural beliefs and public policy either burden or support our individual potential. What we do now matters, yet women cannot do this work alone. To truly come out from under the burden of too much, a more equitable distribution of labor in our homes is essential, but new public policy in full support women's labor, our contribution to society, is imperative. Enough is enough. Our children and grandchildren are watching.

So I titled my presentation: "It’s Your Mess, But Not Your Fault"
1) American beliefs that drove us into this mess.
2) Number one reason why American homes are a mess - that no one talks about!
3) Why Marie Kondo took America by storm - but is not enough.
4) Four essential skill sets to stay in a position of power to create sustainable change in our homes and lives.

Audience Feedback
“What a beautiful job…Your kindness and understanding shine through."
"All you say makes such sense!"
"Who knew decluttering could be such a therapeutic process to get closer to oneself and others?"
"Very eye-opening!"
"Amazing perspective!”

Launching Podcasts in 2019
This presentation and other good stuff will soon be available via ClutterClarity Podcasts. Enjoy original insights, real-life stories, essential life skills, and get the inside scoop of what my messy days are like. Details to be announced in future editions of the ClutterClarity Newsletter.