Karen L. Kehler, MA,  MSHA - Private- Professional- Affordable Counseling Services
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Kehler Counseling Blog

2 Years After TIDYING -Spring Cleaning 2018!

For those of you who tend to be inspired to 'Spring Clean' when the weather warms up this share is for you.

I will also encourage you to read my other Blog entries about "Tidying" - that I posted as I went through the process 2 years ago - and bear with me if I repeat myself.   














If you have not heard of this book and its principals and strategies- this is the book and author it is based on.    I cannot repeat or express enough that going through the entire process is truly life changing.   Seriously.   I knew it was energizing, gave me clarity and truly changed my daily functioning but the change has been long lasting!!     It is not like any other strategy - because she goes in with a mindset that sets the framework for every single decision you make from start to finish.   It is simple questions that create the ease that makes doing it life changing. 

You don't stop using that question either - you incorporate it into your life daily - when you decide how you spend everything - your day, time, and yes, money.  

Although the question to ask every single item you touch is "Does this give me joy?"  - For me there were other simple yet relevant questions to ask.  
 For me  - having gone through a major move, divorce, broken hearts and deaths along with a major life style change I needed something - my question was

 "Does this reflect my NOW LIFE?"    

That simple question - along with 'does it give me joy?' - helped me cleanse and create a home that I truly enjoy.   Downsizing really was a blessing.  The method of sorting out in category order made it a reasonable undertaking. 
I tackled large categories like clothes, office papers and kitchen items by reducing them to the smallest categories.  
Clothing got separated into: Dresses, Work Tops, Casual Tops, Dress Bottoms, Casual Bottoms, Boots, Heels, scarves, Bras, tights . . . etc.    Then what remained behind got 'assigned' a specific PLACE - this is the other important element of success.  You arrange your home so that each category has only ONE PLACE.    This is what makes it remarkable and WHY it lasts for YEARS - you are no longer cramming in stuff you will never wear or use into places you 'forget' or don't bother with - each category has a bar, shelf, box, container or closet 'assignment.'   It ONLY goes in that place.   To find things you have only ONE place to look! 

What is so freeing is that when you accomplish all the categories - and everything is in its place - and you put it BACK in that place - your ENTIRE home STAYS NEAT.    

I know you're saying 'yeah and what about the rest of the people in the house' . . . well you have them do it with their 'stuff' - and everyone follows the same 'rule' - just put it BACK where it was assigned.  SIMPLE.    When you eliminate all the stuff that you don't need, don't use, hate, outgrew, reminds you you're not the same size anymore, reminds you you're not 20 -30- 40 - 50 - 60 -70 anymore (and that reminder feels like a burden) you create a home where every single item (if you do it seriously) reflects YOU NOW.   Not the 'old' you.    You feel more in tune with your NOW version - not grieving the 'old' one or wishing for an idealized one.   You stop wishing for what was and start appreciating what is NOW.   

The other element is that since your home now is always neat - since you now put things where they belong - is that you have plenty of TIME to do what you REALLY want to do!!   

I didn't believe it as I was doing it either.    

The 'process' did take me 4-6 hours on each weekend for 5 months.  
Looking back it was worth every minute.   I can now clean my entire home in an hour or so (more for serious seasonal cleaning) and spend my weekends truly 'off' - reading entire books, bingeing on Netflix, studying for work, getting out and away and not feeling the pressure of 'I should've spent the time cleaning' distraction.    

When I completed all but the last category of photos - (I didn't do them until 2017  and even took the time to scan them in - and she's right - we keep a lot of bad photos!! )  I worked to get carpeting, painting, furniture and accessories that reflect my NOW LIFE.    I stripped out the 80's - the colors - clutter and I cannot express how great it felt!!   It still does.  2 years later. 

The psychological benefit of this process is priceless.   By the time you finish you have made more than a million decisions about what you surround yourself with. 
The final product is a reflection of the real - authentic YOU.   

That is why you need to do it for yourself and everyone else has to do their own stuff.  DO NOT DO IT FOR YOUR SPOUSE OR KIDS - teach them how and let them do it.    That is probably why other systems fail - no one 'owns' the decisions and there's no template to follow once done - so it falls apart as everyone returns to dropping things and leaving them, piling things up, hiding extras, buying more containers, units, bigger houses, garages, sheds. . .  

I have to recommend the book, process and enjoyment of the final product to anyone who has survived a life transition, a move, a broken heart, loss, empty nest, or added elements - having new people in your life may also need a 'readjust' to your home as well.  

 If grandchildren give you joy - are you encouraging play and creativity for them or discouraging their participation because your environment isn't 'childproof'??    
 Is your garage so filled with 'stuff' that you can't hang out with peers? 
 Is your kitchen so filled with items for entertaining larger family gatherings that you resist having people over because you don't want to deal with the 'clutter'?
Ask yourself what truly gives you JOY??  
Does your environment - inside and outside - encourage that to happen?   Does it actually prevent or discourage it?    It's a remarkable question that many don't stop and ask and DO SOMETHING about.     
This process is a start.

If you are interested in getting a 'coaching session' or several about the process I would be glad to teach you!      


Contact me - TEXT - 570.640.9026, email: [email protected]  

Let's Get Started!  

I will hold a group if more than 3 contact me!  



1 Comment to 2 Years After TIDYING -Spring Cleaning 2018!:

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John rttjtr on Friday, April 27, 2018 11:30 AM
Great and Amazing Blog.
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