How Clearing Clutter Can Help Create Space and Allow For Abundance
Welcome to this episode of The Determined Mom Show. I am your host Amanda Tento, and I have with me the amazing Louise Hopkins. She is a professional organizing coach, and today she’s going to tell us how clearing clutter can help create space and allow for abundance.
How did you become a professional organizing coach?
It’s a cool story. I like it, but I’m not a naturally organized person, so I think that firstly people are What? How do you do this then? But that’s where I’ve learned the skill, how to become organized, and how to help others learn the tools and the strategies right to do it.
I’ve been an entrepreneur for a while. I had my cafe in New Zealand where I’m originally from, and I’ve always been restless. And I was in the corporate world in Alberta and Canada and I was like, There’s something, I need something else. So I was looking and I found someone advertising a home organization business.
I’m intrigued. I’m like I’m gonna find out. Something is pulling me here. So I didn’t buy that business. I decided I wanted to do it myself, explore it, and use my processes and things. The more I worked with clients. Because there’s so much more to it.
It’s not just the tips and tricks. It’s not just the things we see, to make everything look perfect. It’s what’s lying behind it and the effects clutter has on us. So that’s what I’m super passionate about.
Helping people understand why we’re attached to stuff, and where it’s coming from, is what I’m excited about, as seeing people. Just, it’s like this whole thing, this whole weight comes off them right. When they realize and they can release themselves from their clutter.
I decided I still go into people’s homes, but coaching is helping them learn and teach those skills to themselves. So it’s a lifetime skill because it’s something we need all our life.
It’s interesting because the more you see that stuff, the more it’s harder to let go. Sometimes am I supposed to keep it? And that’s where it’s really interesting, that kind of psychological part behind it. Just listening to people and their stories, how they treat staff as security sometimes, because it could be past things that have happened in their life.
Your mom might be scared that if I give this up, we’re gonna forget everything. We’re gonna forget all our amazing memories. So, it’s quite typical, right? With moms and their kids sometimes, because we are so attached to everything they do.
The more I dive into it and discover more things about it, I’ve been to conferences and I know people don’t like the word hoarding. They get triggered by that. But, it’s, there’s a, there’s a whole association for it now. It’s eye-opening what it is all about.
That’s why I love passing that information and helping other clients understand it and helping them release because you’re probably gonna ask this question anyway, but I’ll just kind of quickly say that if we have clutter around us, it’s hard to focus, right? It’s hard to concentrate on things and bring in that abundance for us. That’s why I love talking about that and helping us release from that.
How can we clear that? Do you have things that you can help us to release and say to let this go?
I have a ton of things, but what I like to talk about is that I think that’s so true, it’s the energy that comes with it. Because if we paint a little quick picture, if you’re in your home office and if you’re working on your business, and if you have paperwork everywhere, you have your books everywhere, you.
The home office has become a dumping ground, and you’ve got things you need to take to donate your things. You need to take back what you bought, that you want to return. Your whole brain is now just surrounded by all these to do things right, And you’re now going in the back of your mind. “ that you need to do that”.
Now you can’t focus, and then that energy becomes heavy. You become feeling guilty. You become feeling sad and frustrated because why can’t I do this? What I like to help and what I teach about or just quickly talk about the top six reasons and the reason why I’m quickly touching on this to help us.
To release clutter, we need to do a little bit of work. What I wanna focus on is it doesn’t keep coming back for you. What I talk about are the top six reasons we collect clutter so it’s actually, the reason is the acronym. So retail therapy emotions assign time to sentimentality to overwhelm and no, can’t say it.
When we can discover, and I know I just went over that real quickly, but if say, retail therapy is one of the triggers for us, if we’re having a tough day, we’re not happy in our career, we’re not happy in our life. We use retail therapy as a way to make us happy. So a cool strategy for that one.
What I talk about is using the if you shop online, put something in the online cart, walk away for 24 to 48 hours, and then come back and see if you still want it, if you need it. I think this helps a lot of people because we’re quite emotional at the time and maybe we’re like, I just want that new sweater because it’ll make me feel really good.
And it’s a bargain. And another really good way to think about this is if it’s on sale, you feel like you have to buy it. But what I want us to think about is that if you don’t need it, you’ll always find it when you need that item, if that makes sense.
You’ll always be able to find something on sale, right? So don’t feel that adrenaline. I have to get it. Because if you don’t need it, you don’t have space for it, then it just becomes clutter.
The other one is if you want to, I can go through more of them quickly. Would you think that? So E is for emotions. That’s a really big one for a lot of us, we can feel, and we can hold onto guilty things. So say you are a mom who has brought gifts for your kids or something like that, or she’s held onto a lot of your stuff.
So you’re now gonna feel guilty and you’re gonna feel frustrated because you’re like, I don’t need this stuff. When we feel these emotions, we have to work through them. So a really neat thing we can do is use a post-it note strategy. So with a post-it note, if you have an area in your home, or if you have say, five or six objects that you’re struggling to let go of.
What you can do is write down the first feeling you’ve got. Write down how you’re feeling and then put it on that item. And you’ll notice there’s a pattern here. You’re gonna walk away again for 24 hours or 48 hours, and come back. And is that emotion still strong? And if it’s a negative emotion, then you need to protect it because it’s too.
It’s low energy that you want to remove and then it helps release all the things that are negative energy in them. Assigned time is where we need to make it a priority for decluttering and put it in our calendar and schedule it, which I know people find hard because it’s not fun.
It happens to all of us. That’s the thing we’ve gotta know. It’s like we’re not alone in this. And that’s why I hear it from so many women too. That’s what happens because it’s like you can’t make a decision, so you automatically shut down and you’re like, I don’t wanna deal with this, or I don’t have time. And another, I think we see a lot of.
And social media, we see it around, pull everything out, and do it all at once. So what happens is it gets shoved back in, right? And I think breaking it down into tiny tasks like a quick example for that is on Saturday night, this is how signing my Saturday nights are.
I spent 15 minutes going through my closet. and I just made the decisions. I was like, Okay, and I got half a garbage bag full of clothes, so I feel better because it took me 15 minutes using the guidelines that I can. We can talk about it a bit later if you want to. They’re also good strategies too.
And then the last one is no, can’t say it. When people are very kind, this could be like your mom too. They give you stuff. and you can’t say no. And so you’re like, Oh my gosh, I don’t have room for that. And then it comes back to you again. So when that happens, it’s hard. But a really good way is to communicate and just say, you know what? Thank you so much.
That’s actually, that’s a really good one that you brought up because I have a really good strategy for that. And it happens to all of us as moms because it’s tough.
And I do it too because like you said, I still have my son’s outfit from when he came home from the hospital. What I talk about for that one are guidelines. And so when we can do guidelines, talking about that situation, in particular, let’s limit things. So let’s put a guideline in. I’m only allowed one bin per child for sentimental reasons. And that way it helps you stop and think.
It’s okay, what is an amazing memory that I want and how do I do it for myself? My son’s outfit coming home from the hospital. And now he’s taller than me. And his little shoes, the shore that fell apart, that his grandma made for him. Just a little piece of it. So for me, that’s how I decided to keep things.
And then little bits on the way, but they only fit in this one bin, and that’s all I can take and keep. Now how big is the bin? That’s a good question. Something that fits on the shelf and does it one per child and that. It’s stored nicely. It has them, you can make it look good.
You can put their name on it, you can put pictures, something like that. The kid And another way to do that too is to revisit it every year. Because they have different memories right as they grow. And you might chuck it in a holding bin.
Then you go through their actual sentimental bin. And then go, Okay, this can go, Now I need to make room for this because this is something really important to me. So I think guidelines, what guidelines help us do is take away those brain fuzzies.
So when I say brain fuzzies we’re making so many decisions. And if, and what happens we tend to go run around in circles. But this was great. I love this memory. It’s so cool. It’s so cute. But if you say, Okay, but it doesn’t fit in the. Okay, now I need to make a tough decision.
Having those help, right? They help take away that when we get stuck and we’re like, I don’t know what to do. And it’s, and take away that, what if I need it someday? I paid good money for it, That kind of thing.
When we start having those conversations, we wanna try and shut it down a little bit and then just say, Okay, this doesn’t fit into my guidelines. It’s an interesting way to.
And that’s why I say to people, 15 minutes, usually, they will do longer, but when you say 15 minutes, you’re getting past another block. I don’t have an hour to do this, but if I just do 15 minutes, then I can, and usually you’ll carry on. If not, that’s great too.
And I think that’s an eye opener for people because like you said, it’s the endorphins and it’s also, it’s like you feel. It’s like I just did it. And that’s a good feeling. And that’s the interesting thing too, as I think a lot of us think if I just do this, it’s going to stay this way.
And that’s the reason why I help us change our mindset too because clutter is here for life. We’re always going to have stuff, we’re always gonna have things coming in. And this is where we can create that flow in our home.
And it allows for that abundance because we are continually moving things through our house. We’re continually rotating that clutter and keeping stuff that is relevant to us and stuff that we love. And that’s where. We are feeling this flow.
And then that helps the abundance come into our lives and in our business and money and everything. Because if we’re stuck and we’re in unhappy relationships, and if we don’t do something about that, then we just feel tight and wiped down.
And it doesn’t have the same meaning. And that’s where people get concerned because they get upset. After all, they think you should have the same feelings about it as they do.
But it’s different feelings and emotions for everybody and memories and things. And that’s when it’s, it’s hard for a child to say to the appearance it doesn’t mean anything to me. This was your life and I’m sorry that it’s like that, I don’t know if you’ve heard of the Swedish Death Cleaning Method.
It’s really, it’s a great book and I’ve talked about it before too, and it’s, anyway, kind of digressing. But with that one, it’s preparing if anybody has parents that are in that kind of stage, it’s helping them realize that they need to release their stuff. And just briefly on that, it is some of us, it is past traumas in our life. So it’s what’s happened. It can be, and this is why it’s interesting to dive into it in their life, and maybe it is what they have been modeled in their life. It also could be just who they are.
They could naturally be empathic. It could naturally be someone who’s Okay, I’m done and dusted with that. That’s good. I’m moving on. It’s our personalities and when we don’t acknowledge it or can’t get control of it, and when we start feeling like it.
Everything needs to be kept because that’s who I am. It’s their security. That’s when it’s really hard. So that’s why doing a little bit of diving into your background, who you are naturally. And another thing I talk about is organizing and decluttering to your strengths, which is like your processing modalities.
So when we do that, it’s based on if you’re a visual person, if you’re kinesthetic, if you’re. Auditory to think about that. There are quite a few of them. So if we can choose the ones that stand out the most for you, then we can help figure out the best way to declutter, and the best way to organize based on that.
It becomes natural. And this is something I like to be intuitive with our organizing. But what happens is when you clear the clutter, And you’re able to focus and you’re able to feel that energy, then you have time to be intuitive because you’re like, This is what works for me.
Not what I should be doing. What we see all over social media, right? It’s like you should be folding clothes. No, you don’t have to. If it doesn’t work for you, I don’t feel close, because I’m terrible at it and I’m impatient. So I hang all my clothes because it’s just easier for me. Most of them.
Sweatpants and things like that. But following what they say they should be doing on social media, just can be damaging to us because we can’t do it. So we get frustrated and go through all those feelings again.
Where can people find out more about working with you?
I have my website, the space reclaimers.ca. Also on Instagram as the space Reclaimers. And on my website I should say, there’s a quiz that you can do too, which is cool because it helps you discover your clinic here. Probably the best place is a website and Facebook as. Space Reclaimers.
Where is the best place to hang out on social media anywhere?
I am on Instagram and I am on Facebook. I do have just one on Facebook, but I have a podcast as well inspiring com. Podcast. It’s a few more than I thought.
We have lots of ways to connect with you, lots of ways that we can figure out how we can work with you. I appreciate you being here and sharing your wisdom with us and sharing all of these amazing tips on clutter, creating space, abundance, all of these things, they all go hand in hand. I love that you brought your expertise. Awesome.