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peaceful base

Kathy’s Bloom and Flourish Model

  1. Peaceful Base
  2. Physical Health
  3. Positivity Spiral
  4. Flow/Accomplishment/Meaning
  5. Positive Relationships
  6. Spiritual Connectedness
  7. Financial Stability

Peaceful Base

It’s not exciting or glamorous, but an organized life is the foundation for a flourishing life. If your house and/or office are a mess, this is the place to start. I’ve seen over and over again that clearing clutter and simplifying life is the springboard to all sorts of success and possibility. It’s the first thing that Cheryl Richardson, well-known life coach, has her clients do.

I began my decluttering journey more than a decade ago with FlyLady. You can find her online at FlyLady.net; however, I feel that she has gotten way too complicated and hard to figure out. The best thing that she has to offer right now is a book called CHOAS to Clean in 31 Easy BabySteps. It is a good start if you are completely overwhelmed by clutter and mess.

The main thing that I got from FlyLady is that you can do anything for 15 minutes. I recently ordered her timer again for my son who had asked for it. He is 28 years old and grew up using a timer for chores. She also advocates for a morning and evening routine with 15-minute cleaning and decluttering sessions. I’m a believer in morning and evening routines!

Several of the books and tools that I used in the beginning are no longer available! I spent a frustrating afternoon looking for things that don’t exist. So, I began to look at what was out there. The person I like best is Clean Mama. She has a simple system, and her website is easy to figure out. She also has lots of free printables. It’s a good place to start if you are looking for a system to keep your house clean and straight. Here is a link to her weekly cleaning routine: https://www.cleanmama.net/weekly-cleaning-routine

Marie Kondō’s book the life-changing magic of tidying up has gotten a lot of press. Her system will help you reduce the amount of stuff that you have, but it won’t help you stay organized. I don’t care for her system because it requires you to make a big mess in the beginning that looks overwhelming. If that appeals to you, go for it! If it doesn’t, there are other ways to simplify.

I read about the Mount Vernon method in The New Messies Manual ages ago. I love it! At George Washington’s estate, the cleaners start at a doorway and then methodically work their way around the periphery of the room. When that room is done, they move on to the next one.

I use the Mount Vernon method a lot in the kitchen. The refrigerator is to the left of the door from the living room to the kitchen. I start by wiping it down. Then I move to the small counter with the microwave. I take the room in three-foot increments. I stand at a section and look at everything from floor to ceiling and determine what needs to be put away and what needs to be wiped off. When that section looks great, I move on.

One of the things I like best about the Mount Vernon method is that if I get called away or run out of time, what I’ve done looks good, and there aren’t any piles waiting to be dealt with. I put everything away in a section before I move on to the next one.

The Mount Vernon method works in every room! If I don’t finish a room, I just pick up where I left off last. I do leave the floors for last or do them on vacuuming day.

Another hugely helpful concept that I’ve read in several books is to ask three questions each time you pick something up to put it away. First, “is it useful?” That is to say, does it have a purpose, and do you use it for that purpose regularly? The second question is “do you love it?” If the answer to both is no, then get rid of it!

I keep a basket by the door of giveaway items. When it’s full, I take everything to a charitable organization. I go every few weeks to drop things off. I also get rid of something when a new thing comes in the house. For example, if I buy a new pair of shoes, I look to see if there is a pair I can get rid of. I do the same thing with clothes.

If a thing is useful and/or you love it, it must have a home! This is critical! Don’t put it down in a pile and think you will find a place for it later. If it’s worth keeping, it needs a set place to live. Figure it out, and put it there every time. Life is so much better when everything has a place!

Most organization books suggest cleaning the kitchen and straightening the living room in the evening before we go to bed. It is lovely to wake up to a clutter-free house; it makes the mornings go smoothly. However, I find it a challenge to accomplish tasks at night when I’m tired, so I use a mental trick. (Fortunately, I’m a sucker for my own tricks.)

My goal is to set Future Kathy up for success. I want to get the kitchen counters clear so Future Kathy will have an easy time in the morning. Sometimes I set the timer on the coffee pot so that Future Kathy will wake up to the smell of brewing coffee. The key is that I like Future Kathy, and I want to help her.

In the morning, I am Future Kathy, and I am profoundly grateful for the work that Past Kathy did to make my morning an enjoyable success. Over the years, Past Kathy and Future Kathy have become an unbeatable team!

You got a head start on the last step of creating a Peaceful Base if you got rid of some energy drains last month when we talked about making ourselves more resilient. Energy drains also keep us from flourishing! Here is a link to the blog on emotional drains and Emotional Pennies: https://kathystoddardtorrey.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/making-yourself-resilient-before-it-rains/ Keep in mind that we want to minimize our expenditure of Emotional Pennies by getting rid of as many people, things, and situations as possible that drain our emotional energy.

Actions for creating a Peaceful Base:

  1. Declutter your house and office.
  2. Set up routines to help you keep things clean and straight. The goal is to help your Future Self be successful and happy!
  3. Eliminate emotional drains.

Grab your to-do list and the habit tracker that we talked about last week; then, write down the actions that will help you create a peaceful base. Start slowly! It’s important to add new behaviors gradually so you don’t get overwhelmed. FlyLady starts with shining your sink every night. If that’s all that you get done for a week, that’s fine. Your Future Self appreciates any and all help that she gets.

For a little bit of fun leadership development, join 53 Leadership Challenges at KathyStoddardTorrey.com.

Want to go further with your professional development? Check out the courses offered at PositiveEffectLeadership.com.

If you are interested in taking your career to the next level quickly, contact me for a sample coaching session at KSTorrey@tapferconsulting.com.