Peace Stealers – Clutter and Disorganization

There’s a space between our hearts and our heads where life gets mixed up, jumbled and unmanageable. When we can live fully in the moment and be present in our lives it’s amazing the gifts we get. When we live in the chatter in our heads; the shoulda, coulda, woulda, we miss the beauty of what is. Disorganization and clutter can steal our now. It feeds the chatter and creates un-manageability. Peace and serenity slip away.

Peace Stealer #1 – Getting out the door

Tips for getting out the door – STOP! The toughest part is creating new habits and breaking the crazy cycle of rushing. You can do it. Take time out now or take it when you are sick from stress or exhaustion. Choose now. Don’t minimize the effects of stress on body & spirit. 15 minutes in the evening restores serenity in the morning.

– When the homework is done, put the backpacks by the door.

– When packing up backpacks, check for signatures needed and any other work due.

– Take 5 to pack lunches the night before, do this at dinner clean up so there’s one clean up activity in the kitchen.

– Consider healthy breakfast bars for grab n go. Keeps you out of the drive through and the ATM.

– Keep trail mix or healthy non perishable snacks in the car to avoid drive through.

The alarm goes off and the dread creeps up from your stomach to shoulders to head as you become more conscious. You fell into bed late and have a full day ahead. The rush begins, skip the flossing, your hair dry’s a natural and maybe the wrinkles in your clothes aren’t that bad. Dole out the lunch money, your wallet now empty, feed the cat instead of yourself and run like a maniac gathering books, homework and Oh NO! “What do you mean it’s due today?” Sound familiar?

Peace Stealer #2

Someone “helped” by bringing in the mail, some is on the table, some on the microwave. The pile is looming, the VISA is late AGAIN and the To File stack is now migrating to Canada. Wait, “Where’s the insurance form,” the passport, the school needs what certificate to register for kindergarten?

Tips for paper/mail management

– Establish one place for mail. Either the “helper” puts in there, and ONLY there, or leaves it in the mailbox.

– Establish bill pay dates 5th & 20th, 1st & 15th and schedule time with yourself to do this. (Trust me, it’s less daunting when there’s a plan)

– Go through the mail over the trash. Toss ads etc, open EVERYTHING. Toss all extra inserts, envelopes. Keep “only” what you need to pay or take action on.

– Use a small basket for envelopes, deposit envelopes, stamps and bills to keep it all together. Review the basket 1st & 15th.

– Simplify files so things can easily get where they belong – keep them out of Canada.

Peace Stealer #3 – Bedroom Clutter

Shoving stuff off the bed or high stepping over “God knows what” in the bedroom DOES NOT make for restful sleep or a serene start to the day. There’s something so unsexy about mounds of laundry next to the bed or closet doors that won’t close.

Tips for restful bedroom

– Go through and purge the closet. We wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. If it’s not seasonal and you haven’t worn it in 6 months – let it go.

– Get rid of ill fitting, faded & worn clothes – your body deserves to look good and be comfortable.

– Do a load of laundry a day if it’s overwhelming. 10 minutes to gather it and start the load – set a timer so you get it to the dryer on the same day.

– Consider IKEA hanging laundry baskets. One white, one black (whites/colors) they’re inexpensive and “presort” the clothes!

– Consider a soft light for evening wind down time to get your mind & body ready for sleep.

– Give yourself the gift of reading or other relaxing activity before bed.

Any significant, “real” change requires slight persistent effort. Being organized takes daily attention but as your systems become the new habit you’ll find it takes less effort to be organized than disorganized.

The payoff? Sanity, peace and a much slower pace. Your energy level will rise when your stuff no longer sucks the life out of you. You breathe better when you have room to move freely and your relationships improve when you slow down enough to see each other. Your spirit expands when you are in the moment, enjoying what is.

Kelli Wilson is a professional organizer and owner of A Simple Plan Consulting. Kelli started A Simple Plan in 2005 with the intention to help others reduce stress and find serenity by reducing clutter and streamlining their homes. Kelli is President of the Sacramento Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers, a disciplined martial artist and mother of two. She strives for serenity in her life which she knows is contagious to those who desire it. Kelli can be reached at 916 765 6104 or Her website is []