Happy new year everyone! I hope you had a beautiful holiday period. I've been meaning to share an interview I did with my lovely friend Jodie Cooper a while a go so here it is. I hope it might inspire you. Jodie contacted me in the autumn last year as she had been going through a big de-clutter in her home and asked if I had any top tips.
I got very excited and listed quite a few ideas in the hope that something might stick. We all process in different ways so even though the method I teach is straightforward and anyone can apply it, the trigger to inspire you to downsize and the time you do it will vary person to person. Also, all the small details like where things go, if you want to make money in the process or not etc is up to you, but my focus for the clients I work with is to encourage the letting go process to be as quick and painless as possible. The goal is all about creating space in all ways both physically and emotionally because life is so much more enjoyable when we have room and capacity to breathe and allow change and movement into our lives.
One of the challenges I set for her would be to start by trying to get rid of 50 items. I knew Jodie had already been working through her home and thought this would be a great way to inspire another stage of the process. I wanted to see how she was getting on, if it helped and the benefits she'd seen from seriously downsizing. Below is also a talk that inspired this idea for me originally with Liz Write. Enjoy! And thank you Jodie : )
Getting rid of 1000 things | Liz Wright | TEDxBedford
Interview with Jodie Cooper and her story with letting go:
Q. What were the reasons that triggered you to seriously downsize and clarify your home in a big way? A. I was feeling quite heavy with all this stuff around me and found that I wasn't optimally using what I had and keeping things because they reminded me of different periods of my life, but were maybe not relevant anymore or more importantly being used. I also had to clear out my childhood things from my dad's attic a year ago, and that sparked something in me to begin as I got rid of about 90% of those items which felt great. The final push was my when my landlady wanted to decorate our living room it forced me to shift a lot my stuff around, so I did a big clear out then.
Q. Amazing! So how long have you been doing this and how are you feeling as a result? A.Over a year now and I'm finding the more I get rid of items that are no longer serving me the lighter I feel and happier I feel. I'm also enjoying what I do have a lot more.
Q. Any top tips before you did the 50 item challenge? What helped? A. I focus on zones, I've also read the Marie Kondo book 'The life-changing magic of tidying' going category at a time and that's really helped. I thought I wouldn't get rid of any books for example but found doing it that way I ended up getting rid of at least 30.
I highly recommend reading that book. You don't necessarily need to do it exactly as she does, find your own way into this process but it gives a great foundation of why having less in our lives makes a profound difference.
Q. Sounds like you've been doing so well, what was the initial reason you first got in touch with me? Was it because you needed a bit of new inspiration to keep going? A. I got in touch with you because I know of the gentle way in which you work and your ability to work at peoples pace. I also felt I was encountering my comfort zone with how I was letting go of things and really wanted to deepen that. So I was open to any ideas you may have. You also asked me a couple of really helpful questions which got me thinking; one was what am I afraid of if I let an item go? This gave me a more profound sense of how I approached the project.
Q. Amazing! and how has the 50 item challenge gone? A. Really well, when you suggested that as a way to keep going, it suddenly felt like this exciting game. I started in the cutlery drawer and got rid of 8 items and then looked up and saw two big plants on my windowsill and passed them on to a friend and after two days I'd nearly got rid of 65 items.
Q. Wow! and have you carried on? A. Yes, I've actually stopped counting as it got quite tiring doing my tally chart and it's now over 100 items that I've got rid of. I also did things like put all my art stuff in one bag to be passed on and counted that as one item only. I wished I'd taken before and after photos because a friend came to visit me and said how noticeable it was which was really encouraging, but I still want to get rid of a lot more.
Q. And any final thoughts? A.I want to keep going but at my own pace and enjoy my home now because it's in great shape and I'm feeling happy with how far I've come so thank you for all your help. You are very good at what you do!
Thank you so much again, Jodie, for your time and sharing your journey with us. It's very inspiring. Also really glad the 50 item challenge was helpful. So if you want to take on the challenge yourself, all you need to do is aim to get rid of 50 things items a month. January is a great time to clear out and start the year as you mean to go on. Let me know how you get on and do remember to take before and after photos! Also if you'd like to join my declutter January group on facebook for some top tips and more clink on the link below. I'm going to be posting 4 live videos in January to inspire your de-clutter journey as well as set great intentions for the new year and inspire you to start as you mean to go on. See you soon!