Top Ten De-clutter Tips - June


A Word from Regina...

June seems to be the month for transitions. Graduating students transition from childhood to adulthood, couples marry and conjoin households, and from all the moving vans around Los Angeles, many folks are making the transition from one home to the next, up-sizing and down-sizing.

When I transitioned from a three-bedroom house into my one-bedroom apartment, I had no idea what to do with my doctoral library; it broke my heart to think of letting it go! But I was able to acknowledge that the books had served their purpose: I acquired my degree, and my professional life at that time had transitioned from being a professor to an administrator (and now my Ph.D. stands for "Piled higher and Deeper"). My books' values had also shifted, or transitioned if you will, and were no longer serving the same purpose. When it was time to release those books, I had to ask many questions about their relative value to me that day. When I discovered they had fulfilled their value to me, I was able to transition from five floor-to-ceiling bookcases into one much smaller to hold the few books I decided to keep. My heart felt lighter and my move was easier (and less expensive) as a result.

So to all of you making the leap, taking the plunge, thinking about what to bring to your new space, here are 10 tips for mindful transitions while keeping your heart light!

I'll see you next month!
- Regina

Top 10 Tips: Organizing for Life Transitions  

1. Pick a theme or statement for your life and own it. A personal theme will help guide you to your goals and where you are trying to be in the future. Themes could include simplicity, drive, responsibility, etc. A theme or statement should apply to all aspects of your life, from your morning routine to your behavior at work.


2. Get ready to part with some of your things. Once you have picked a personal theme, it will be easier to identify what items fit within your life and lifestyle. For example, if your theme is to live minimally, having three hair dryers would not fit.



3. Transitioning to sharing space with others can be a scary thing for the first time. From high school seniors getting ready to live in a dorm with a new roommate to newlyweds in a cramped apartment, sharing a living space is something we all seem to do at some point. Make sure your new living partner understands how you define personal space so they are able to respect it. Follow up and do the same so you are not the annoying roommate.



4. Simplify the process and create a routine. This could be as simple as keeping the cereal and a bowl with a spoon out in the morning so all you need to do is add milk. Anticipate where the rough patches will be and devise a solution. Nothing ever goes according to plan, so having a plan B is a good start to ensure a smooth transition.



5. Be realistic about what you can and can't accomplish. Oftentimes we have goals that are just not possible. For example, a student with two jobs and is an active member of two clubs and a sports team may not have the time to study and receive straight As. Prioritize your commitments to help you achieve the goals that are most important to you.


6. Keep records and important paperwork organized. Create a system to keep track of the financials, medical, schoolwork, etc. For most, filing cabinets are the easiest way to do this. Others may decide to keep this information in binders. Don't work against your natural impulses.

7. Establish a support system. This could be friends, family, counselors, or support groups that will listen to your grievances and offer practical advice or just a friendly hug.

8. Take care of your physical and mental health. Putting your own health aside in lieu of work and life stressors is not uncommon. Schedule regular doctor and dental visits. Find your calm and set aside time each week to get there. For some, this could be doing yoga in the morning three times a week. For others, it could be a monthly fishing trip.

9. Talk to others that have experienced the same or similar transition you are facing. Sometimes assurance that "this is normal" can help ease our nerves. People that have gone through the same experience can help you anticipate and prepare for the changes you will face.

10. The best advice I can give is to go into each transition with an open mind and positive attitude. We've all heard the phrase "change is inevitable," and it is impossible to be in control of everything.


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