Sometimes we need to declutter our material possessions in order for us to take a deeper dive into decluttering the mind.
About a month ago, I did just that.
Our kitchen is THE SPACE in our home where we spend the most time. With the addition of our more regular sourdough baking, it was perfect timing to declutter our kitchen and declutter my mind at the same time.
I knew I had some judgements and scarcity beliefs that I tucked away in those cabinets.
I was prepared for my mind to work through any resistance that would surface.
We opened up our kitchen to full assessment and re-organization by Vancouver’s Certified KonMari Silver Consultant, Randeep St. Jacques of Clutterless Living.
I had practiced the “KonMari” method before, ever since I read her book back in 2017, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, but I was always curious to know what it would be like to be guided through it.
Side story of synchronicity:
Before I met Randeep, Glen and I had watched a couple of Marie Kondo’s Netflix episodes. Glen didn’t realize that my very specific ways of organizing our closet had come from the KonMari method until those episodes.
This realization then opened up Glen to use the phrase “this doesn’t spark joy” as a way to make fun or annoy me for the following weeks until, low and behold, I met Randeep.
I met Randeep at a networking event and I was instantly intrigued by her passion to help others change their lives by changing their space.
After our 1 on 1, I felt compelled to work with her and share her work with you. Read on till the end for her insights and tips for Clutterless Living.
You wouldn’t think that letting go of kitchen items could bring up shit, but it did. I was, however, very willing and dedicated to observe my thoughts as I went through the process with Randeep.
I always thought that I had kept a pretty tidy and organized home, so it was interesting to watch the ego mind come up with complaints, blame and judgments on certain items.
Especially Glen’s souvenir beer glasses! They only bugged me when I saw them and brought to my awareness when I thought about them. My opinion was “they just sit there on the top shelf doing nothing. They don’t spark joy.”
This experience opened me up to continue exploring my mind. I wanted to know why I was so upset about those innocent souvenir glasses. There’s always a deeper meaning to our frustrations. It wasn’t about the dust-collecting glasses. More on this next time.
Randeep was very patient, respectful and gentle with my decisions and held space for my judgements to surface while helping me see a different way of organizing.
Glen didn’t partake in the process, so I was grateful she made sure there was a “check with Glen” pile.
Randeep made what would normally be a drawn out process of self-discovery (a couple of days had I done it on my own), into a fun, enjoyable and memorable experience. All in 3 hours!
I felt such a relief to see everything had a home and made sense where they were.
Items were placed with convenience and ease in mind, which is exactly what we all want for our minds. Ease and peace.
Thank you Randeep for sharing your gift!
Deepest of gratitude for you and all that you do.
Q + A with Randeep St. Jacques of Clutterless Living
How did you come up with the name Clutterless Living?
ClutterLess Living was actually my first choice - the only name I wrote down on paper! As a parent, when I think of clutter and untidiness of life, I know that there are days that it can't be helped! We are running from one task to the next just living life with no time to put away things in between. So the goal can't ever be ClutterFree, it is more about ClutterLess! Voila! ClutterLess Living.
What is your vision for Clutterless Living?
My basic vision for ClutterLess Living is creating a home for every one of your belongings. By creating that, when you do have that break of 15 minutes to put things away there is no guesswork. That defined space for each item creates a process that makes getting to a tidy home easier!
What do your Clients learn from you?
With all my clients I try to create a process that is unique to them, I generally prefer to follow the KonMari Method of tidying up where we follow a process and focus on items that spark joy in your life, however that is not always the perfect fit for everyone. I help clients understand that objects also carry emotional baggage - whether it is joy or the more negative feelings of anxiety or sadness. This shifts their overall way of thinking - helps them look at belongings not just with their financial value but also the emotional value they add (or take away).
How do you teach people to move through the items that are hard to let go?
Like all people, sometimes clients just want to tell the story. We talk through why the item is important, then focus on the feelings and emotions around the object. If it creates joy in their life we figure out how to display it, and if it doesn't but they are not ready to let go we create a parking lot for looking at later or take a picture of the item and let it go. Everyone is so unique!
With parents I ask them if they are keeping the items for themselves or their children, this helps them think about the quantity of artwork that a child would want to look at in the future.
What do you learn from your Clients?
Where do I begin. My clients have taught me so much about passion, love, loss and how to find joy later in life! Everyone has an amazing story to tell. Going through their homes is an honour they have given me and I soak up all joy.
The most important thing I have learned is that everyone is unique, as the old saying goes "one man's junk is another's treasure.'' I never tell anyone to discard anything - it is their decision to make.
What relationship do you see between how they live, how they might think and how it might affect their lives?
As we continue to live our lives we collect things, sometimes we try things out and they don't bring us joy but we keep the items. Take knitting for example, I have had clients that tried it, hated it but kept all the stuff they bought to do it. This stopped them from doing other things that they did enjoy because it took up space in their living room and was a constant reminder of failure. By letting go of the knitting she was happier relaxing in her living room and was again open to trying new things.
By having only what brings you joy, you will create more time to enjoy!
What are your top 3 tips to clutterless living?
Be Realistic if you start the decluttering process, ask yourself some questions before hand, have a plan of action. How much time can you devote weekly to your tidying? Where will you take discarded items? What is your timeline? When are you going to ask for help? Answering these will help you have an action plan to follow through with your entire space.
Be Mindful of what you own. what you decide to keep and when letting things go.
Be Intentful when purchasing new items. Don't just buy anything - focus on finding items that bring you JOY!
Anything else you would like to share with our friends?
Family and friends are always keen to help people go through their belongings, they love you and have your best interests in mind, unfortunately they also know you and therefore will have opinions on what you should keep and discard. Having an unbiased person support you on your journey creates perspective, not judgement when trying to find happiness in your space.
Vanessa Leung is a Certified Life and Wellness Coach, Speaker, Blogger, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Reiki energy practitioner and the founder of 80/20 Living & Co.
Mindset is everything! Clearing over 30 years of doubt, guilt and fear, Vanessa is a living example of what the power of the mind can do. Through mind training and practicing self-compassion, she self-healed her symptoms of depression, eczema, cystic acne, fatigued adrenals and poor gut health. She lives a life of abundance based on LOVE vs. FEAR.
Vanessa’s purpose is to create awareness and share her self-healing tools to help high-achieving business owners to drop their "I WANT TO but I CAN’T” identity, live their truth and unleash their infinite potential for greatness.
Vanessa teaches a practical and simple solution to work through the root cause of all distractions. Her clients learn how to build a strong resilient mindset so they can effectively work through any doubt, guilt or fear they face on a daily basis so they can focus their time and energy on serving others while living a fulfilled and healthy life.