Let’s face it: you’ve got too much stuff. What’s worse: you’ve got it all spread out on your surfaces. Your purse is a post-nuclear disaster zone. Good luck finding your keys. You, like so many others, are disorganized.
Just in time for spring cleaning season, Lynn Fraser is coming to the St. Albert Public Library to offer a practical workshop on cleaning up your act and feeling much better about yourself. Thankfully, her presentation comes with an acronym to make things even simpler.
“We’ll go through the 11 questions to ask when you're decluttering and the S.P.A.C.E. principle,” the professional life balance coach began, reviewing the Sort, Purge, Assign, Create, and Energize program that she promotes to people who are struggling with all their stuff.
For the last 25 years, Fraser has been connecting with clients in their homes and offices to find decluttering and downsizing solutions through her business called Balance Your World. Her objective is to help her clients to “feel that real joy and peace when they enter your home.”
She wouldn’t describe herself as an organizational expert as much as she would a mentor, coach, and a professional organizer, and a cheerleader. She calls herself “an organizer in finding solutions for people and really supporting them and moving forward in their lives.”
Decluttering, she continued, is not a new practice although it does have its fads associated with it like the trend of the two pile-plus system or the popularity of Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up program on Netflix. These things can and do influence many to tackle the big messes of their lives.
“Oftentimes, clients really roll with it. When you’re making a lifestyle change, when you have some success, and you can see the difference, you can feel how much lighter it is in your space when you don't have all those piles or all that stuff in your way when you're trying to find things. When you feel light and be able to find things more quickly when you need them and you feel that peace, your family feels so much more relieved as well. It gives you more time for the people and the things you love to do, and then you’re motivated to do more of that.”
Decluttering and downsizing, she continues, can have powerful positive effects on people’s lives. She knows because she’s seen its impact on her own life.
“I usually tell my story at the beginning of my seminars so that people understand that my ‘Why’ is very strong, coming from my birth family where my mom was a collector. When she died, we had a full house, top to bottom and a garage full of collections, stuff to find new homes for.”
She said she is careful to use the phrase “chronic clutter” occasionally as the term “hoarding” has implications veering into the world of mental illness.
Just so people don’t think that she isn’t practising what she preaches, she encourages her presentation’s attendees to set one or two goals, and she sets one herself.
“I’m accountable to my audience so that I get the piles of the photos or whatever done in my home, too, so it’s clear that the instructor does her homework, too.”
Declutter and Downsize in a Holistic Way runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, in Forsyth Hall in the St. Albert Public Library. Attendance is free, but pre-registration is required as space is limited. Call 780-459-1530 or visit www.sapl.ca for more information or to save your seat.
After the purge, there’s a good chance that you’ll find some things that you no longer need. Instead of throwing them all in the garbage, please consider recycling your gently used items by donating them to local organizations and businesses. Here’s a brief list:
• LoSe-Ca I’m Unique thrift shop: 215 Carnegie Dr. www.loseca.ca/thriftstore
• Value Village: 18 Inglewood Dr. stores.savers.com/ab/stalbert/valuevillagethrift-store-2138.html
• Habitat for Humanity ReStore: several locations throughout Edmonton. www.hfh.org/restore
• Goodwill: several locations throughout Edmonton. www.goodwill.ab.ca
• The City of St. Albert also hosts two events. Take It or Leave It runs from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, in the Servus Place North Parking Lot (400 Campbell Rd.) and the Summer Large Item Drop Off in the Public Works Parking Lot (7 Chevigny St.) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 27. A curbside large item pickup will also take place between June 17 and 28, but those items are for garbage only. www.stalbert.ca