Bring your life into balance

Empathy works. It always does.

Overwhelmed cleaning up? Follow my three tips!

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Three cabinets of books. Two closets of clothes. Earth ware scattered through the kitchen. Bins full with unfinished projects. And lots and lots of stuff from your childhood, your parents.

You want to clean up and you feel overwhelmed.

Image courtesy to this stuff you stored away in the nooks of your home, your garage, your shed. Things that carry emotional value. Things you might use later. Things that are worth dollars, maybe many.

How do you clean up without regrets, loss, pain? Without connecting to the dreams you never pursued, the friends you lost with time, the death of loved ones?

Cleaning up is reviewing your life. It is about cutting to the essence of what your life is about. The books you want to read, the clothes you want to wear, the projects you want to engage in. It is about creating clarity who you are and who you want to be. It is about what your life is meant to be.

It is also about planning your cleaning process, and accepting that it is both a journey and a result. That it might take long, and that that is fine. That every shelf you organize is one step closer to your goal. That you might not reach the top in one day, and that you can just as well enjoy the process while you are at it.

I have just finished cleaning up my home, and I want to share what worked for me:

  1. Work solidly for 25 minutes. Then take a five minute break. Remove yourself physically from your cleaning area. Go pee. Drink your tea mindfully. Do some T’ai Chi. Anything to refresh yourself. After four slots of 25 minutes working, take a half hour break to empty your mind and replenish your energy. Go for a walk, have lunch, do some yoga. Something to nurture yourself and reconnect to the joy of life.
  2. Connect to your breath with every object you pick up. One deep breath in, one deep breath out. What are you feeling? Joyful, excited, energized holding this object in your hand? Are you feeling tired, drained, depleted? When positive feelings come up, keep it. When negative feelings come up, either give it away (or sell it, if that is your thing) or put it in the “Not Sure Yet” bin, and review it next year.
  3. Get help from a friend, a sibling. Make it a fun, social event. You can also engage me to help you clean up and organize the process. I have helped myself and others, and I love it! You can read some of the testimonials here. You will be surprised how efficient and fun the process is when you hire me! Contact me 512-589-0482.

Author: Elly van Laar

I am a coach. I specialize in helping mission-driven professionals bring their lives into balance. I have a Master's degree in Political Science, Leiden University, the Netherlands. I'm currently in an ICF-coaching certification program. I love meditation, walking, gardening, biking, and hanging out with family and friends.

One thought on “Overwhelmed cleaning up? Follow my three tips!

  1. dear miss elly. it is funny realizing you wrote this while being so nearby only 80 kilometers away! by the way: congratulations with your new house. i looked it up in googlemaps and it looks wonderfull. is it in down town in austin? that would be so nice! i can tell all your followers that your ‘lifelessons’ are not just words but that you really bring everything into practice. that makes your words so precious. your life will be a challenge the upcoming time with all the changes but i know you can deal with it thanks to mindfulness. i hope many people will visit you and your husband and find your house a warm welcome place to come to rest!


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