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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Atlanta Publishers Learn to Live with Less

As Lisa Law, puts it, “Your environment is a reflection of you, and you are a reflection of your environment.” This has been an amazing month for us. We've been working with small space organizer and Live With Less owner Shannon Loe to declutter and reorganize our home. We have a very active and full life, with two sons, two dogs, two businesses, homeschooling and community work projects. Plus, we have a vegetable garden this year and are committed to composting, recycling and reusing as much as possible and living a holistic healthy lifestyle.

In a typical day, our house sees a lot of action, so our space needs to be flexible, easy to use and easy to maintain. Clutter is totally incompatible with our lifestyle, yet frequently we find that our stuff gets the best of us. When it does, we feel stuck, unproductive and overwhelmed.

The thing about clutter is that most people have it and few know how to tackle. It’s the stuff that gets in the way, impeding our ability to get things done. Having lots of stuff means spending more time cleaning, sorting and searching and less time on the things that are most important. Interestingly, there is science that shows that clutter actually hinders the ability to focus and process information due to competing stimuli in the visual field.

This month, we decided to consult an expert to help us get it under control for good, and that's where Loe comes into the picture. She's our organizing coach and team, all in one. Why hire an expert? Well, truth be told, we couldn't have done it without her. We've made heroic efforts in the past and usually run out of energy and time before we're done. But working with Loe has been a refreshing experience.

First, she listened carefully to our goals for our lives and our spaces. Then, she accessed our strengths, weaknesses and unique family characteristics. She brainstormed possibilities and helped us create a vision for our space that would support our active lifestyle and set our whole family up for success. Most importantly, she has gracefully and firmly held us accountable to our own goals, encouraged and supported our every effort and even made decluttering and reorganizing our home fun…

Of all of this change, our 13-year-old son Galen says, “She's effectively doubled the size of our house.” It certainly feels that way. Here are some other benefits we've noticed (and we're only about halfway through our whole house project): 1. Our house feels lighter, more relaxing and easier to move around in. 2. Our space is easier to clean and maintain. 3. Things are easier to find when we need then. 4. Other people comment on how nice it feels in our home. 5. It's easier to focus and get things done that are important. 6. We've discovered things we forgot we had or thought were lost. 7. There's more free space available for projects and hanging out. 8. Its fun to give things away to others who find great value in the stuff we've let go. 9. We're all happier!

So, what's the relationship between clutter and this month's focus on addictions? Well, behaviors that generate clutter can be challenging habits to break and negatively affect mental and emotional well-being. Digging into the root causes of clutter, like any addiction, can reveal limiting beliefs, relationships, emotions or activities that no longer serve a purpose or support our life goals. Here's the thing: de-cluttering, like detoxing, clears out the unnecessary, allowing for a fresh start, personal growth and room for new ideas and projects to take root and flourish.

For more information about Living With Less LLC, or to discuss your space project with Shannon Loe, call 404-808-4086 or visit

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