I Love My Nurturing Environment Until I Mess It Up — Help!


Remake your environment with small steps.

It wasn’t long after Thursday’s post about flow and creating a nurturing environment that I received an e-mail from a reader in Pennsylvania.

Gilda wrote:

Hi Paula,

I appreciated your post about creating spaces for ourselves that meet our needs and help enhance energy and flow.

I LOVE the idea – and I really struggle with the implementation.

Even though I have good intentions, I find that maintaining order is very difficult for me. This, in turn, makes my nurturing space much less than it could be. It also erodes my trust in myself, because I seem to always let go of what is actually really helpful.

I’ve struggled with this for many years. Can you offer any advice?

Here’s my response. Does it resonate for you?

Hi Gilda,

Thanks for writing. I definitely have some ideas for you.

First, I encourage you to view organizing as an opportunity to make your day run smoothly. Create a 15 to 30-minute time block when you are most receptive to doing this kind of work. Then schedule this session into your day at least five days a week.

Start with one corner.

When you start small, you can clearly see your progress. And you’ll also be giving yourself an organized base to expand from.

Assemble whatever tools you’ll need at the beginning, to minimize frustration. For example, if you’re decluttering an office space you may want file folders and labels, marking pens, wastepaper baskets, etc. To save time, create a template of necessary tools. Then you can refer to it each time you set up .

Maintain your gains

It’s ideal to begin every organizing session in the same spot, so that you can quickly clean any accumulation or clutter on an ongoing basis.

You maintain that nurturing presence, and can then move to the next small section of your room that calls you.

There are two stages to organizing.

The first is the initial cleanup. You decide what stays and what goes. You identify the flow of your activity, and how you can arrange items to support that flow. In this process, you find a “home” for each object.

The second stage is maintaining the organization. Maintenance requires patience, follow-through, and self-validation. So, strive to eliminate distractions. Experiment with different options, such as silence or music, to see what supports your focus, energy and momentum.

Document what works and build on it. As you develop a productive routine, your incentive to enhance it will grow.

Hope this helps. and please don’t hesitate to be in touch.

Here’s to your time success,


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