Happier at Home

Gretchen Rubin has written a few books on happiness, but I figured everyone could use a few of her tips on being “Happier at Home.”

Here are some of Gretchen’s quotes from her book “Happier at Home”

They say that research is “me-search.”  -Gretchen Rubin     I like this thought because it truly resonates with the idea of taking time to figure out your own personal needs. I don’t think we take the time to do this, to truly understand ourselves and our needs on different levels.  We have needs on a personal level, home level, work level, relationship level, etc. Those areas become better when we take the time to figure out what we need from the various situations of life.

“In particular, I’d realized that although I possessed all the elements of a happy life, too often I took my circumstances for granted and allowed myself to become overly vexed by petty annoyances or fleeting worries. I’d wanted to appreciate my life more, and to live up to it better.” -GR     I think this quote is true for each and every one of us. There are times when we allow things to push us to surrender. We become vexed by the petty and allow things to shadow the beauty in our lives.  When we are able to see the happy things, to have a heart of gratitude for the little things that make life better, we begin to come from a place that is good for everyone.

“Certainly I had paradoxical wishes for my home…What would be true for me? My home should calm me and energize me. It should be a comforting, quiet refuge and a place of excitement and possibility. It should call to my mind the past, the present and the future. It should be a snuggery of privacy and reflection, but also a gathering place that strengthened my engagement with other people. By making me feel safe, it should embolden me to take risks. I wanted a feeling of home so strong that no matter where I went, I would take that feeling with me; at the same time, I wanted to find adventure without leaving my apartment. My home should suit me, and also suit {my family]. But as I considered this list, I saw that these weren’t, in fact, contradictory desires. My home could be both wading pool and diving board.” -GR          What would be TRUE for you? What desires do you have for your home and the feelings within it?     “To ‘feel right,’ I’d look for ways to make my home more closely reflect my values, to make sure that the life I’m living is the life I ought to be living. My ordinary routine should reflect the things most important to me.”

 

306ea9dbda414961dd286db61c563312“We need to project ourselves into the things around us. My self is not confined to my body. It extends into all things I have made and all the things around me. Without these things, I would not be myself.” -Carl Jung     

“Some research suggests that spending money on an experience brings more happiness than buying a possession” -GR     Think back on the experiences with your family–the trips, the plays, the spontaneous adventures. They are priceless. I think everyone would agree that you will always remember the walk on the beach with your Dad over the writing pen he gave you. You will remember the quality time over any possession. One idea to tie things together for memory sake–Maybe you purchase something that reminds you of your amazing trip to the Canadian Rockies. “I read a fascinating study about people’s relationships to their possessions, and in particular, what made a thing ‘special.’ What the researchers found was that usually it wasn’t the object itself that was so special, but the important memories or associations invoked by the thing.”-GR

“There is no one right way to happiness, but only the way that’s right for a particular person–which is why mindfulness matters so much to happiness. To be happier, I have to notice what I’m doing, and why, and how it makes me feel. Research suggests that mindful people tend to be happier, are more likely to feel self-confident and grateful and less likely to feel anxious or depressed, and have heightened self-knowledge.” -GR

 

43.-CLUTTER-QUOTE-4It only makes sense to surround yourself with beautiful things that inspire creativity and growth, love and harmony. Look around you. How do you feel?

“I knew that people who travel to new places and try new things are happier than those who stick only to the familiar.” -GR     I am sure everyone can relate and understand this quote. When you travel to any new place you have a sense of awakening. It is as if a new door has been opened and their is a spring of newness to enjoy.

“Research shows that people who remind themselves of the excellence and beauty in their lives have a greater sense of meaning and happiness.” -GR     A grateful heart has no bounds.

“Benjamin Franklin observed of his own happiness project, “On the whole, tho’ I never arrived at the Perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet as I was by the Endeavor a better and a happier Man than I otherwise should have been, if I had not attempted it.” -GR     As we are always striving to become better we will find opportunities to grow. Wisdom comes in all we strive to learn from.

 

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“My home was a reflection of me:It would be serene, festive, loving and welcoming only if I brought that spirit to it. To feel more at home at home, I must carry my home, my treasure, within me. A happy home wasn’t a place that I could furnish, but an attitude of mind I must develop.”  -GR       Hold forever in your heart that happy place.

“Now is now. Here is my treasure.”-GR     This moment and every moment is a gift. enjoy.

Thank you Gretchen Rubin for your thoughts and inspired work.

Peace to all of you today. May it be a blessed day.  -H

 

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Outer order brings inner calm

ImageI was just listening to a podcast with Gretchin Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project.” It is a great read if you haven’t read it. She was talking about getting rid of the clutter & the negative energy it brings to your home. She made this statement “Outer order brings inner calm.”  I LOVE that!! It makes so much sense & it was perfectly timed because I am getting rid of junk for a garage sale this weekend & trying to restore a little more order. Yeah!!!

Here is a link to Gretchin Rubins archived tips on organizationhttp://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/tag/organization/

So, I thought today I would add some good ideas to help get rid of clutter and bring a little more peace and calm to your home & mine!!

Here is a great article that I have held on to for some time, so I thought I would share its ideas with you… 

9 Seemingly Logical Excuses for Clinging to Clutter  by Christine Kane

“Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Guilt is the stickiest reason why we keep things we don’t want. It’s the heavy gooey energy that convinces us we’re bad people if we let go of heirlooms, sentimental items, knick-knacks, unwanted clothing, unwanted gifts, and grandfather clocks that no longer work. These items clutter up our lives and keep us in a comfortable – but draining – place where we never have to decide what we do want in our environment.

Beyond guilt, the reasons we hang on to stuff are less sticky. But no less convincing. Below are nine seemingly logical reasons we cling to clutter.

clutter excuse #1 – “i spent so much on it!”

This is a different kind of guilt. It’s self-flagellation guilt. You unconsciously punish yourself for having made a bad choice by keeping the item around. You convince yourself that you’re going to get your money’s worth – even if it drains the hell out of you.

You won’t. And it will.

We’ve all done stupid things. And we’ve all had to let them go. Now it’s your turn.

clutter excuse #2 – “i might need this someday.”

I often wonder how many idle telephone cords exist in the world. Perhaps tossed in the back of a desk drawer. Or stuffed on closet shelves. They can’t be gotten rid of. Why?

Because we might need them some day.

Evidently, some day, in spite of all the cellular wireless cordless progress out there, you’re going to need that particular grey phone cord that came with a phone you bought in 1989 that doesn’t even exist anymore. That cord is going to make it to the grave with you.

Throw it out. Now.

Same thing goes for: Rusty screws, the extra wine opener, the extra fax machine, light-switch plates from your last house, the three extra flashlights, any and all of those multi-cabled red and yellow stereo cords, extra book cases, IKEA clocks you no longer use, all the glass flower vases that came with flower deliveries, bowls and plates people left behind at dinner parties never to be claimed again, and any machinery or equipment that doesn’t work.

clutter excuse #3 – “i might do this someday.”

I know. I know. You’re certain that someday you’ll take those broken pieces of china and pottery you’ve collected, and you’ll create a beautiful mosaic birdbath. And you’ll go through those stacks of magazines and make that collage for your sister’s 30th birthday party three years ago. And don’t forget the quilting project! You’re bound to get to those fabric scraps lying everywhere!

Now – I don’t mean to deny you the right to plan and dream and create. However, if these items are constantly in your environment – and if you notice them often – then I urge you to consider experiencing the vast amount of relief and liberation that appears when you let them go. No one ever expected you to finish these things. Except, perhaps, you.

Call your sister and tell her the collage isn’t gonna happen. Go out and purchase a mosaic birdbath from an artist who makes her living from creating such treasures.

And then, get rid of all the clutter of “someday projects.”

Make space for what you want to do. Don’t fill your space with what you should do.

clutter excuse #4 – “it looks good if people see that i have this.”

One woman at a recent retreat admitted to keeping things around because she wanted to appear intelligent when she had parties. Books, CD’s, and media are typically the things that add to our perceived intelligence.

I had a hard time letting books go because I didn’t want guests to think I didn’t read. Then I realized that I only invite people into my home who love me and who I love. Anyone I love knows that I — A] can read, B] have diverse tastes in music, and C] am not stupid. I keep only the books that are relevant to my teaching or writing or songwriting. Everything else gets given away.

Remember this: we are motivated by two things: Fear or Love. Which of these keeps you clinging to items because of appearances?

clutter excuse #5 – “i don’t know where it goes.”

When items don’t have a home, it’s harder to determine whether or not they are clutter. Some things may seem like clutter – like the cute card that your daughter made that floats around from drawer to drawer – but they’re not clutter. They’re just homeless.

When things have a defined place to go, then it’s easier to see what is clutter. Look at your house in terms of zones. What’s a logical and easy place to keep cards made by your kids? Where’s the best place to store stationery or projects to be done? (Even some of the projects in #3 can be managed if they are in a well-defined space or box.) One extra phone cord might belong in a box labeled “Extension Cords and Extra Cables.” Once you start defining spaces for items, then it’s easier to see when something doesn’t fit anywhere and should just get tossed.

clutter excuse #6 – “things have energy?”

This is more about unawareness than about making excuses. Some of us never knew that things have energy and meaning. Even if it’s just the meaning you assign to something – old divorce papers, sweaters you feel guilty about not wearing, or projects you’ll never have time to complete – every item in your home has energy. It’s either fueling you, or draining you. Some things might be neutral, of course. But if there’s anything that triggers you or that you just don’t like, then that is your barometer. Let it go. And trust that the right thing will come in to fill that void. Or not. Maybe you need the space right now!

clutter excuse #7 – “but i never wore it!”

See Clutter Excuse #1. Holding onto something to punish yourself for never wearing it because A] you didn’t like it after all, or B] you never lost that extra weight, only serves to drain you. You are allowed to forgive yourself and move on.

clutter excuse #8 – “there’s too much stuff!”

Overwhelm can stop us in our tracks. If you are a pack rat, or if this blog makes you aware that there are lots of items in your life that you don’t like, then go slow. Read this post about baby steps. Take action slowly. Divide your house into segments, and assign small chunks of time each day. You don’t have to do this all at once.

clutter excuse #9 – “i don’t know what i love or want!”

When you begin to realize what you don’t want, then you may realize that you don’t know what you do want. That’s okay. You simply had never allowed yourself to consider this option.

At my last retreat, I designed a new writing exercise to help each woman get clear about what she wanted in different areas of her life. Some of the women – even the ones who had come to my retreats several times – looked at me with stunned expressions on their faces. For a moment I thought I had designed a really bad exercise. But then I realized that these women had never allowed themselves to ask what they wanted. They never knew this was an option.

 

If you don’t know what you do want or love, try creating a vision board. That’s a great place to start. Lots of time, when you allow yourself to clear out what you don’t want, you will slowly learn what you do want just by getting comfortable with the space that’s there. If you typically rush to fill space with anything, then it may be wise to live for a time empty. This is a process, not a destination.

** I do have detailed directions for creating a vision board. here is the link  https://yourhappyplaceblog.com/2013/01/02/tap-into-the-vision-for-your-life/

Here are some additional links on getting organized:

Here is a good site that has some great tips for a variety of areas—including free garage sale signs!!  http://organizedhome.com/

Here is a link to a day by day–step by step process to be organized in 30 days.  http://www.homemadesimple.com/en-US/HomeOrganization/Pages/get-organized-in-30-days.aspx

Love Real Simple, so here are some good tips from them…http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/get-organized-everyday-items-10000001106576/index.html

 
Well, that is all for today!! Happy organizing…it will bring you happiness when you feel the beautiful order you have created within your life. Just remember to take it one little step at a time.