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March Mixed Bag

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Cherry Blossoms signal Spring

It’s March and I’m so excited! Though it’s likely that I will be witness to continuing gray skies this month, the days will be longer,cherry blossoms signal the start of the heavy bloom season and I can feel my energy rise with every day that passes. Since I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest I’ve always planned trips to sunny locales in the early spring months. I like to give myself just enough Vitamin D to last until the sun shows up in May. In this month’s Mixed bag I’m sharing recs from my most recent trip to Oahu, an amazing way to care for your pets when you’re out of town and how to avoid transitional clutter that tends to build up this time of year.

If You Go To Oahu

Beautiful ocean views on Oahu

Jay and I recently returned from a short but lovely trip to Oahu. Although it was not the first time there for either of us we had never been together or experienced much of what the island has to offer. Here are the highlights!

Where we stayed: Ko’Olina – loved the quieter vibe (vs. Waikiki), the beautiful lagoons which are lovely for swimming, and the beach walk that runs along the length of the 4 lagoons.

Food we loved: Walkable from Ko’Olina resorts – Monkeypod. Post Diamondhead breakfast find –  Moke’s Bread and Breakfast. Amazing Honolulu Farm-To-Table – Mud Hen Water

Besides the beach: Diamondhead – crowded as expected (you need a reservation!) but incredible views of the crater on one side and the ocean/shoreline on the other, 563 ft elevation gain took us 20 minutes to get to the top. Pu’u-o-hulu Kai/Pink Pill Box hike was another short but steep hike where the views are the payoff (see pic above.)

If you go to Oahu here’s the Guide Book you need – comprehensive and so helpful!

Pet Sitting Find: Trusted Housesitters

Pet Sitting for an English Cream Retriever

It’s always a trick to find a solution for pet-sitting when we travel. Up until this year I’ve relied on neighborhood high school/college kids and pet hotels for Gus. Over time it has gotten more expensive and harder to find the right fit as the kids are all growing up and leaving home. Plus I hate the stress of trying to find someone. All of that is behind me now as a friend introduced me to Trusted Housesitters. This is a service for pet/house sitting that is like a cross between Air BNB and Rover.

How it works: You list your home and dates and people apply to house sit for you. They are all animal lovers and pre-screened. You pay $234/a year (25% discount when you use this link!) to be a member. The exchange is the pleasure of staying in your home for the care of your pet – no money exchanges hands. There are several profiles of sitters; someone who wants to visit your city/community and wants a place to stay, someone who lives locally but shares space with roommates and wants some time on their own, or someone looking to relocate to your area who is trying neighborhoods on for size.

We just had our first experience with the service and it’s been amazing. Gus got to stay home where he is most comfortable, got a ton of exercise and love and we didn’t have to shell out $700+ to board him! This arrangement works especially well for anyone with an empty/partially empty nest who has bedrooms sitting empty for most of the year. It also works well if you have older/higher maintenance or multiple pets. I am such a fan so sharing a link to sign up for Trusted Housesitters!

Transitional Clutter Culprits

Unpacked bags become transitional clutter

Transitional clutter is the stuff that comes into your home and sits out. Days or even weeks go by and with every day that passes you lose visiblity to that clutter, it just becomes part of the landscape. Transitional clutter isn’t necessarily the stuff you need to declutter or let go of. Rather, it just needs to be put away.

There are endless examples of Transitional Clutter. Here are 3 that I see most often with clients and have experienced most often in my own home:

  • Luggage. How many times has your bag sat in a corner of your bedroom for days after you return home from a vacation? How often do you leave your ‘under-the-seat’ carry-on left on the kitchen table after removing any essential items like your laptop?
  • Bulk Shopping. Attention Costco shoppers – how long does it take you to runwrap that pallet of toilet paper, paper towels or La Croix? Are they sitting in a pile in your pantry, garage or mudroom?
  • Mail. It comes in, it sits on the counter. Maybe you toss the junk immediately, maybe you don’t. Another day, another influx of mail. 

In each of these examples the transitional clutter can be avoided by removing one ‘touch’ in the process. Less touches streamline processes and eliminate this kind of clutter. How do you remove a touch? By combining the process of bringing something into the house with the process of putting it away. In other words, roll that bag into your room and unpack it as soon as you get home (cost: 5 minutes.)  Unwrap the toilet paper, paper towels and sparkling water and put them away (cost: 15 minutes.) When you bring in the mail, take it immediately to your Drop Zone and sort it (cost: 2 minutes.)

It may seem like a lot to do in the moment but the longer you wait, the less likely you are to execute on the ‘putting away’ portion of the process. Then the clutter piles up, costing you more time on the back as well as adding background stress to your psyche.

Moral of the story: make the process of bringing things into your home seamless by putting them away immediately. If you make that a habit you can say goodbye to transitional clutter!

Happy almost-spring to you! If you need some one-on-one help getting decluttered I offer individual coaching sessions to help you build decluttering muscle. Think of it like a personal trainer for decluttering! Wishing you travel, sunshine and an increasing lightness from longer days and decluttered spaces as we move through March!

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