It's Really Not Stuff That Makes You Happy

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00:00:02it's really not stuff that makes you happy or does anything important thing is if the relationships in our life
00:00:10are you ready to organize mindfully
00:00:14get ready to be inspired to bring organization into your life by hearing from her professional organizers designers mindfulness teachers and people were living in organized life here's your post mark Dillon this episode of organized mindfully is brought to you in part by my other podcast mindful vegan visit the blog and website at Mindful vegan.com and sign up for a free webinar on how you can bring great vegan food into your life and discover the obstacles that some people run into when eating healthy and most importantly what are the ways that you can overcome those obstacles visit the store at Michael deccan.com and sign up for the webinar well welcome to the organized mindfully podcast today I have a great interview to share with you and let's not hesitate another moment let's get right into it all right let's go for it
00:01:15Genevieve Parker Hill is the author of minimalist Living decluttering For Joy health and creativity she writes and teaches about how to bring more organization into your life Genevieve are you ready to organize mindfully tell us more about how you became interested in organizing in a little bit more about the work that you've done to put your book out and things like that around organizing something really really bad happened to me about a little over 10 years ago my family's home burned down
00:01:53and everybody was okay there was no loss of life you know even our dog was okay but I was kind of a pack rats and most of my stuff and my family stuff was destroyed in the fire
00:02:13and that really I was somewhat of an organized person then but I really was very connected to my stuff my things as a writer I'd kept journals I kept photo albums I had childhood toys that I hoped to pass on to the next generation and that was all gone and an amazing thing happens which was Joy my whole family kind of felt it like we we were just so grateful to be alive after that fire and I wasn't in the house when it happened I was traveling abroad
00:02:49and but my whole family was okay and and that just really brought home for us wow it's really not stuff that makes you happy or does anything really important thing is is the relationships in our life and what we're doing and experiencing together so that turned me into a minimalist and it gave me a different approach to stuff and I wasn't planning on writing a book about decluttering but then I had a conversation with my grandmother who was really struggling with all of her clutter and I as a writer you know it's just kind of the way I show love I thought Grammy I'm going to write you I'll just write a little guide for you to declutter and I wrote that guide and that guy well it was well-received and I ended up turning that book into that guy didn't
00:03:49do a book about that the book that you just said minimalist Living decluttering For Joy health and creativity because over the years since the fire I realize just how much kind of a simple approach to to stuff with what it would help me you know stay organized and staying organized has just really helped me enjoy life can you speak a little bit about what it means because I think that a lot of people think when they hear that a minimalist it means going down to nothing and for some people I think that may be true but could you share what you feel about that and how you see it
00:04:30yes yeah I think there's some minimalist it does mean a limited number that actually pick a number 100 I'm going to have a hundred possessions or I'm going to fill up this bag and leave out of this bag my definition is a little different than that although I think that's great if that's fun for you but for me minimalism is all about joy and joy is very individual and it requires a lot of mindfulness and it requires really paying attention to what makes you feel good and so
00:05:12the problem is that we have limited time and we have limited focus and we have limited energy and so if we can just narrow down our life and I also I don't disappoint minimalism to stuff but I also apply it to letting go of that which does not serve you in terms of your schedule and even your thoughts you're thinking
00:05:37and really just focusing on whatever brings you Joy so maybe instead of having an out 10 different hobbies and the stuff for 10 different Hobbies no human can realistically do 10 different Hobbies just picking one or two or however many have it you have time for and keeping that kind of stuff about being example of how I would apply minimalism in keeping any of the stuff for maybe two hobbies and I'm kind of looking at why it's hard to let go of those eight other hobbies and a lot of times I find it it's fear like what if I am unhappy and I want to do that hobby or what if I need something that I'm going to get rid of and it really comes down to two enjoying the journey will if you go back to the Hobby you will enjoy the journey of finding that tool that you need or Aveeno getting back into the Hobby and seeing what has changed since then and and stuff can really go on and
00:06:34I have another life they can go into someone else's house and really someone else's life and someone else can really enjoy that stuff that we're holding onto summer something that I kind of caught myself and somebody brought it to my attention is that I was starting to put together all these little projects and this was while I was working on the podcast on renovating the office I'm doing all these things and then it would be like all if I took that old picture frame that I just saw at the antique store I could turn it into this and so I go and I buy that picture frame and then I bought an old chair and then I bought and I bought and all of a sudden it was like what am I doing it's that same kind of thing like it's not just Hobbies this was all one Hobby in a sense of Outback craft and fixing things in an in repurposing them but it's true we can get caught in it if we just don't pay enough attention
00:07:30yeah absolutely that's it no part of your title it includes help could you speak a little bit about that as well as how you see this lifestyle contributing and helping us with our health
00:07:43oh that's a big one and that's that might be with the main one of the main ones for me in fact I'm thinking about writing a book that really does focuses in on that part of it
00:07:55where to start first of all let's talk about mental health because clutter is associated with depression and I think that's for many reasons I think partly it's because we have all the stuff around as we're reminded often of the past which isn't always a bad thing it can be nice to take a walk down memory lane but I can keep as kind of in the past instead of living in the present which is where Joy lives and also I think that you know moving on to other kinds of Health you know it's hard to clean a home that is cluttered
00:08:31and it's really things can get Dusty allergies mold it's just really hard to get the dust and grime and and germs and I cleaned up when you got too much stuff and then one of my favorite ways that I think it can make a healthier life is
00:08:50really you you create an environment that is conducive to achieving your health goals so
00:09:00de-cluttering your kitchen might involve getting rid of the deep fryer and replacing it with a juicer for example if you're if one of your goals is to be healthy and drink more green juice or something and so many things like that like if you have a 4 example of formal dining room that you very rarely use when I turn into a gym and get rid of the table and put the treadmill in there and the weights and it just really about making your environment a place where it's fun to pursue your health goals as we do start to get things organized in that was a great example of like the juicing as one way it really does kind of create this if I do this then I'm more inspired to do this and we can keep going on this kind of overall healthy or positive way of starting to live our life which I would think then kind of ties into the end
00:10:00part of your title which is the creativity because then once we're kind of in that zone I would think that wow like possibilities just completely open up for us on an exciting to think about you know with creativity a lot of people I get I get the people who are giving me the feedback like to be creative I really need to be surrounded by my cluttered office or by my like I get ideas when I'm sitting in chaos and I think there are those people but I think just as common or perhaps more common are the people who are actually overwhelmed with with clutter and chaos and find it stymies their creativity and like you said when we start arranging things in a way that inspires us in a way that allows us to focus on the things that we really enjoyed our goals and his positive vision for the future definitely like that fire of creative
00:11:00it does for me and I think for a lot of people to in the way that you use this approach to you have a kind of standard system or a way that you actually organized that you approached different things in that way or is it individualistic that you teach one kind of brings up a new way that you're going to organize things help people with in my program the 30-day map to get rid of your crap and we always start I always believe in starting by taking a right away just even before you think through kind of how you're going to do it just actions so whatever that means it's usually everyone has like the one thing that they know just needs to go put it in a bag and put it by the door and that's your action and then I think the really important Next Step
00:11:52for any organizing project any dick lettering project
00:11:57is to create the vision that I was talking about before
00:12:04really sitting down and this process can be really fast you know if the small project but just thinking about how you want the space to make you feel to make other people feel when they come into your home and sometimes even writing it down and I call your minimalist mission statement but even if you're not a minimalist it can just be a mission statement for how you want your home to feel and I think that crazy that vision is really important because it inspires us and gets us excited and it kind of kind of the creativity part that we were talking about what are the things I like about you are approaching you did mention it they already said it it's just a simple thing and you're not overly complicating things it's not that you need to sit down and create this mission statement that's going to be 15 pages and everything I can just take a few moments to put this together and then get into action yes yes exactly
00:13:04part of it and the planning part of it is really important that we can get stuck in either one I think we can get stuck in just action that's not really driven by any larger plan and then we can also get stuck in planning can be really fun I call you I'm going to do this I'm going to do this and it's going to look at it like this when it's done and really bringing it together as really powerful organizing website or an app that you could recommend well I can recommend my own which is simple living toolkit. Com and I have the 10-day decluttering challenge there which is free and anyone can sign up you just put in your email and you get a little tip for 10 every day for 10 days and come and just helps you go through 10 days and you can't maybe do a whole house in 10 days or maybe you could but it's it's probably for just getting started it's a great way to get started once that you start it's it's that same kind of thing
00:14:04organizing once that you organize then maybe we eat a little healthier and then we get more creative and it's just that inspiration keeps building upon itself do you have a book that you recommend to the organized mind for the listeners decluttering for Joy house and creativity of course I also really enjoyed reading Marie kondos book which I believe is called the magic of tidying up is that what it's called I believe so and yeah I really enjoyed that as well that's her approach is really magical and fun and she sort of turns it into a like almost a fairytale Tire house that currently is all disorganized and you had let's say those 30 days to bring it together how would you do that and if necessary you could use maybe $500
00:15:04towards at organizing project well I bet that kind of fits perfectly with my program the 30-day map to get rid of your crap because we just started as I would use some of that money to purchase that program and we just go through day by day and it's a really amazing community of people who are all doing it together right now we do twice a year but we just go through and really thoroughly de-clutter our homes and and that's really my focus with organizing organizing is I have a really out-of-the-box approach to organizing I just want to throw away the boxes and I just have less stuff because I really think that we forget about what we have and we stored away we finally great ways to organize it and we put it in the closet and then we sign A2 year later and go yeah this and so I would just go through in 30 days and
00:16:04and all of that program and then like I keep talking about I think the vision for the party that we're going to have is also really important just keeping keeping your eyes on that prize and all the good feelings about you know the beautiful party that we're going to have going back to what you said in the beginning that when you lose everything you really start to see that you know what is important here and I think you're right that we can organize the things into these beautiful boxes but then if we put them in the closet what are we really doing you know it's yeah it's that stepping back and really see what is it that I want in my life what is it that I want to share the space within a sense fast
00:16:53of organizing much easier and it really forces when you lose everything it kind of really forces you to have that conversation with yourself at force me to have that conversation with myself about what do I really want to focus my life on and for me it really comes down to a focus of on experiences travel Adventures relationships and there's so much we can focus on in life and making a mindful purposeful conscious decision
00:17:34it just empowers us so much more than just kind of drifting through life or just taking taking in a kind of doing what everybody else is doing just because that's the thing to do that's the conventional way to do it so as you say that how do I go from knowing what you just said like like hearing that and actually putting it into my life how do I make that step without that incredible lost that a fire presents to us that's a big question I think it's I think it's a challenge every day and even though I had the fire I still struggle to Remember to Remember
00:18:16what the left in the fact that the fire taught me and my family but I I think that it's very possible I know lots of people who do it there are certainly a minimalist who just wake up one day or have a powerful conversation with a friend and realize they want to live their life in a different way so it's possible I think it if you don't have a fire that's good you should move all your stuff you can every minute every moment is a new moment everyday is a new day you can just start focusing your life in a different way it's just a decision that's what it comes down to it you say it is that Focus its gets that keeping it in front of us because life is going to throw us so many things I mean if we can just look at the past week of things that maybe have happened and know that there are 51 more of those this year that we're going to go through that life is busy but if we can just keep those reminders and keep our Focus back into
00:19:16that we can make a huge difference in our life and then go forward and get everything that we really want to get and get done and I think when you say reminders I think that's the key word like and it's going to be something different for each individual like for some people that might be writing and putting a sticky note on the wall and keeping your focus and for other people that might be listening to your podcast or you know just just lining up some books on the way you want to live your life you know to keep you inspired and I and that those reminders are what my approach to organizing is all about having things around you that just remind you of the beauty of life and the meaning of life and the way you want to live your life things that we just discussed was there anything I didn't cover that you'd like to share with organized mindfully listeners
00:20:16because it's kind of a funny story and it's not it's just I just shows that you know no matter how organized you think you are how much of a minimalist I think I am like I do sometimes I do the silly things like I did something sometimes I'm just more organized than I think I am in the moment which is which happens to me several times for example I recently was packing to go away for a few days to for the holidays I think it's kind of like a trip that that it's the kind of trip I take a lot for 3 or 4 days like a long weekend to visit relatives a few hours away and I was packing and I was thinking um I'm packing all my toiletries I'm thinking oh this is taking so long wouldn't it be nice if I had like a separate toiletry bag all packed up and I could just grab it and it was just perfectly you know had extra supplies that were pre-packed for 3 or 4 days because I do this trip all the time I could just throw it in my bag and I hate packing
00:21:16so I packed up every all my toiletries I took the trip I came back I unpacked and as I was unpacking in my bathroom I found my travel toiletry bag because I had already had that thought and I had packed it all up and it was like perfect so I had this happens to me sometimes where I'll have an idea like a Windows be great to do and I packed up and then in the moment I forget how organized I am
00:21:44so that's that's I think that's just a lesson of like we really do forget no matter how organized we are if you put something away I forget it it just shows that there are so many things going on in our life that this is exactly what can happen to us and great now we have an extra ticket that maybe we can share with somebody Glee
00:22:06could you please do us one last favor and share the best way that the listeners can stay in touch with you
00:22:13yes the best way is through my website which is simple living tool kids.com and my email address is on there and I invited anyone to email me it's on there it's a little hard to spell out so I would just recommend going to the website and looking under about and my email address is there and we also have a Facebook page which is facebook.com minimalist living with the vowels taken out so we just declutter the vowels so it's just take out the valve facebook.com forward slash minimum footing and that's a group that is really great it's really huge and it's really wonderful for fans of minimalist living as well as the recommendations that she made will be available for you at the podcast page and organize my philly.com Genevieve thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and ideas today around organizing with us
00:23:13you're so welcome Mark that completes today's interview in as I mentioned at the beginning of the episode today I invite you to visit my other podcast what you can find at iTunes and all the typical places you can find great podcasts or you can simply go to Mindful vegan.com and by the way if you've been looking to bring great vegan food into your life please consider signing up for the webinar that's happening later this month you can do that by visiting the store at Michael deccan.com until the next time we get together go and enjoy organizing and of course as always organize mindfully take care now bye bye
00:23:54this concludes another episode of organized mindfully
00:23:59you're an important part of this and I really appreciate your commitment to listening
00:24:06I hope today you found new ideas inspiration and that you now feeling power to begin organizing the things in your life because if you do I believe you can accomplish anything
00:24:23join me for the next episode one we will once again have an awesome guest it in the meantime go to organize mine philly.com and let me know how you doing
00:24:36are you ready to organize mindfully

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