One week to go!

One week to go!

We’re on the home stretch! Hopefully by now you’ve achieved some major decluttering. I know I have. But I’ve also discovered, there’s no point scratching the surface with this exercise.

Go in deep.

There’s always more to do. There’s always more to let go of.

I’m a good declutterer… but this month I’ve taken it to a new and often uncomfortable level. I’m challenging myself by clearing and tossing things I’ve overlooked in the past. I don’t need these things but I’m scared of letting go!

And it’s during this feeling of discomfort that we have the opportunity to embrace change.

This month I’ve embraced the discomfort and thrown things out anyway. Gone, cleared.

This is where the space for change is created.

I clear my wardrobe about three times a year. I always thought I was good at it… but something has shifted for me this month. A couple of days ago, I tackled my wardrobe again. The results were this:

Not sure why I overlooked all of this in the past.
Not sure why I overlooked all of this in the past.

I’ve cleared three quarters of it. I don’t need it. I don’t want it. I don’t wear it.

I want something different in my life.

Not clothes. Not things. Something richer than that. I want to travel light.

And to do that… one must let go of the baggage.

How are you going this month with letting go?

Childhood baggage: let it go!

Childhood baggage: let it go!

We’re over halfway there in our major decluttering month.

January is not just about cleaning the house. It’s about shaking up the energy around us—starting the year by getting the universe to take notice. You can desire change… but unless you actively put it into action, nothing will happen.

By decluttering constantly this month, we’re shouting out, “I want change… I am changing.”

We are taking consistent steps towards forming a new and healthy habit—the ability to let go.

I’ve been decluttering for months now, but really gone in hard recently. This month I’ve been away from home so taken my decluttering to a new and often uncomfortable level.

Remnants of my past...
Remnants of my past…

I’ve cleared the things I’ve had stored at my mother’s house for years. There were:

  • Boxes of childhood toys and books
  • Some clothes I’d kept
  • Boxes that I’d had sent back here from overseas
  • Boxes of baby treasures that I’d left here when I went travelling with my son
  • Schoolbooks, letters, old love letters and diaries
  • Years of things I thought were important
My toys! All gone.
My toys! All gone.

Some things were easy to toss. I got my sons to look at my toys and choose one each for any future granddaughter I might have. They didn’t seem that enthused and said all the toys looked creepy.

ME: “No, they’re vintage now.”

SON 1: “They look like they’ll come to life tonight and stab us.”

ME: “They’ve been here for years.”

SON 2: “Yeah locked in a box. But they’re out now. Watch out.”

Later my two clowns were seen leaving on a friend’s car.


So the toys were easy to throw. The majority was a little uncomfortable… I knew I had to let go but still… it was bittersweet.

Letting go of some things was really tough. But let go I did, because unless we let go of our baggage, how will we Travel Light? And it’s when we travel light that we feel, experience and receive all that life has to offer.

She's staying with me for now.
She’s staying with me for now.

Did I let go of everything? No. I couldn’t part with Raggedy Ann, or my half-written romance stories from when I was young. Or the romance story I wrote for school with the note from the teacher: “Interesting ideas but you should lay off the melodrama.”

I also kept this patchwork dress my great-grandmother made me when I was 5. Irreplaceable.
I also kept this patchwork dress my great-grandmother made me when I was 5. Irreplaceable.


There’s one last thing I need to toss. I’ll share that with you later and get your advice.

How’s your decluttering going?

Goodbye vintage clothes… sob!

Goodbye vintage clothes… sob!

I have a collection of vintage clothes. I used to wear them all the time and figured when I got too old for them, I’d pass them onto my daughter.

Then life gave me four sons.

So I clung to them for a few more years, hoping my best friend had a daughter. She understands a great vintage piece. She lugs around a collection ten times the size of mine. It’s a phenomenal collection of clothes that she figured would one day be passed onto her daughter.

But life also handed her a male child.

So being daughter-free, with no one to pass our vintage creations on to, we recently had to decide

  1. Do we save them for when we’re over seventy and can safely wear them again? (Make a choice now… will be eccentric ole broads with pink hair who ride bikes and wear vintage dresses?)
  2. Do we save them in the hope that one of us will have a granddaughter?

Or do they go?

I love my vintage dresses. I had such a wonderful time wearing them. I looked fabulous in them. It’s only now, in retrospect, that I see how truly great I looked.

But it’s time to let go.

What are you holding onto you stuff for? And is it worth it?


Hit a declutter slump? 5 top tips for getting through it.

Hit a declutter slump? 5 top tips for getting through it.

So you’ve thrown a few things out, organised a drawer or two, but now you’re feeling the pressure. Either time, or your baggage is stressing you out and you don’t want to declutter every day. In fact… you think you’ll rebel.

“Bugger you Jane! I like clutter. I don’t need change.”

That’s me talking to myself, but you might be saying something similar. The further along you get this month, the harder it will be. But this is a great exercise. You have the universe on the line now. So let that higher power know, loud and clear:


Here are 5 top tips for getting through the slump:

  1. It’s important to do something each day, but that can be as little as five minutes. It’s not the amount of time you put in, it’s what you toss out.
  2. If you’re really overwhelmed do a week of decluttering things that don’t mean anything to you: the fridge, the pantry, a folder of bills.
  3. Do your daily declutter early. Get in, throw out, get on with your day. You’ll feel the benefits.
  4. Dance while you declutter. I put together a playlist here.
  5. Each time you go to toss something you think you still need or want (but know you don’t) breathe. It’s just a thing. As you let it go, think about what will replace it.


Four boxes of stuff: Working out what’s really important.

My ex-hubster just sold his house. I still had some things stored in his garage, so spent an afternoon clearing them out. It was an interesting experience.

Stored on a high shelf were four medium sized boxes filled with things that I hadn’t seen for years. They were from my “Japan life.”

When I left Japan, I moved to Austria. I went through the stuff that had built up in my Tokyo apartment (positively minimal by today’s standards) and shipped a box of things to Vienna.

These were the things I thought I couldn’t live without.

I’d settled into an apartment owned by my in-laws by the time the box arrived in Vienna. Six-months later, I moved to London. I packed up my things, added a few more treasures from the Vienna stay, and stored the boxes at the in-laws’ house. I figured I’d get them soon.

Years passed.

I visited Vienna but kept telling myself I’d get those boxes later. My life was so transient. I had nowhere to put them.

Fifteen years after I left Tokyo, I had the boxes shipped to my new house in Sydney.

I didn’t have time to open them. I stored them in the garage.

More time passed. My marriage ended. I moved a few times. The shape of my family changed. And then recently my ex put our old home on the market.

And I found myself in his garage going through the things I couldn’t live without… but clearly had.

Four boxes of STUFF. Four boxes of things and bits and pieces and books and memorabilia. And I realised, none of it meant anything to me any more.

I spent the afternoon searching through those four boxes looking for one thing. The final letter my grandmother ever sent me. I knew it was there. I’d placed it in one box after her death.

I searched and searched. I began to panic as each box was emptied and nothing important could be found. I barely glanced at most of the stuff. The one thing that was important was missing.

Finally I found it. The letter was tucked into the back of an old address book. The paper is so fragile now, the ink faded. I sobbed as I read it. She’d died while I was overseas. The one thing she’d left for me disappeared, taken by other family members. This letter is what I have now.

I could still hear her voice, her laugh as she wrote it, pretending to scold me over my previous letter to her. “I’m sure we brought the wrong baby home from the hospital when we got you. But don’t worry, we love you anyway.”

And signing off… “You are my first thought in the morning, my last thought at night. I love you.”

There are things… and then there are things. That letter is a treasure to me. It is the one thing I’m keeping from four boxes of stuff. It has made me re-evaluate what things are important. What things I hold dear.

There are very few things really.


The secret to throwing out old clothes

The secret to throwing out old clothes

You’re in the decluttering dumps. You have drawers of “around the house” clothes but you just can’t let go of any. Here’s a surefire way to fill that garbage bag.

Pick up the first piece of clothing. Imagine it’s the zombie apocolypse and you need to run from the house. When you run from the house, all your neighbours, the press, and the Hemsworth Brothers (Liam, Chris and even the other one) will be outside.

OMG! Look at what she's wearing!
OMG! Look at what she’s wearing!


Oddly enough, no zombies will be, so you’re safe. You’re safe but wearing the piece of clothing you now have in your hand.

Is this acceptable?

If not, toss.

Next piece of clothing, repeat.

Songs to dance to while you declutter

Songs to dance to while you declutter

Struggling with decluttering? You need the decluttering dance. Here are six top tunes for getting your declutter on:

  1. I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor: You know you will. It’s just clutter.
  2. Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson: She belts it out… “I’ll spread my wings and I’ll learn how to fly…” I just need to toss out that shirt that’s tie-dye.
  3. Happy by Pharrell Williams: C’mon, how can you not be happy when you hear this?
  4. Oops I did It Again, by Britney Spears: Perfect lyrics for each time you toss something into a garbage bag. “Oops I did it again…”
  5. Freedom by George Michael: That’s what you’ll experience if you keep getting rid of your baggage.
  6. Another One Bites The Dust by Queen: “And another one down, and another one down…” Just put that part of the song on loop.


Make a habit of letting go

Make a habit of letting go

I’ve had a wonderful day. My desktop is clear (proof attached) and I spent the morning on the beach meditating and doing yoga while my boys surfed. I swam in crystal clear water. Bliss! I got some work done, went for another walk on the beach, had dinner with friends… Nothing felt rushed. Does life get better than that?

I love the decluttering phase of this program. It’s not always easy for me, but it’s habitual now. I’ve been doing it for years and really feel it when the clutter builds up. The negative energy swamps me. So I regularly declutter. Not just in January but throughout the year. (My mum is the ultimate declutterer—it’s hereditary)

The reason we’re starting small is because this needs to be a habit, not just a tri-annual event that overwhelms you. If you habitually clear the clutter, then energy flows easily in your life.

There will always be areas of your life that are less cluttered than others.

My bathroom is never cluttered.

Over the past few years my beauty routine has become very low maintenance. I’m 45… There’s not a cream in the world that will change that. I wouldn’t want it to. I’m happy to age—many people don’t have the opportunity.

But I’m also embracing chemical free—so I use oils like jojoba and coconut oil for everything: cleanser, moisturiser, and my hair. I have the makeup I use regularly and the makeup I use on a night out… and that’s it. I tossed everything out years ago.

  • I clear my wardrobe at least three times a year. (I admit to keeping a pair of size two jeans that I wore on the plane to New York thirteen-years ago.)
  • I clear my clothes drawers every few months.
  • I just tossed out more shoes.
  • I just tossed all my costume jewellery.
  • I recently got rid of two hundred books.
  • I make my sons declutter their rooms regularly. (They bitch and moan but admit the energy does feel different afterwards.)

Decluttering is a regular occurrence in my home. The more I let go of, the more I want to let go of.

But there will always be areas of your life that are more cluttered than others.

My desktop is one such area. I’m so swamped with work that organising my computer usually happens in-between projects.

Another area I struggle with is “the past”… my history. I’m a student of history, but my attachment to history means I lug crap around because it’s irreplaceable… but I’m also the only person who cares about it.

This January… with the support of this group… I’m letting go of my history. My past. Deep breath!

In the meantime… here are a few more decluttering ideas:

  • Choose one drawer, anywhere in the house. Clear that one draw.
  • Choose another drawer, in the bathroom.
  • Clean out your car, including the boot (trunk). (I do this one every couple of weeks while I wait for the boys to finish jujitsu)
  • Your makeup bag.
  • Your freezer.
  • Defriend some people on Facebook. Would you have coffee with them all? C’mon!

Let me know how you go.



Travel Light: January

Travel Light: January

Welcome to your January challenge. For the rest of the month you are going to declutter your life. Clutter drains your energy. It blocks you. It’s baggage you don’t need.

Show the universe you’re serious

You think you want to change your life, right? You can think all you want, but unless you put those thoughts into action, nothing will happen. It’s like getting the universe on the line to place an order, but not giving over your credit card details. That order won’t go through. It will never arrive.

Start changing your life & your life will change.

So every day for the rest of this month, clear the energy around you. Organize something. Throw something out. Every day. Even if you’re really busy, find time to toss something.

Sound scary? Good. We need to travel through the discomfort zone before arriving at destination Change. It’s part of the journey. But that doesn’t mean we need to dive head first into a decluttering session where we toss out everything we hold dear to us including dear ole Granny’s silverware. Let’s start small this week.

Here are some decluttering ideas that will keep even the most commited hoarders from running for the hills. Declutter:

  • Your purse
  • Your handbags
  • A cutlery drawer
  • Your underwear drawer
  • Unsubscribe from five newsletters (not mine… subscribe to that one)
  • Clean up your computer desktop

I’m in this with you. I just threw out all my ratty knickers and bras. I feel free! I have nothing to wear under a skirt now, but I’m decluttering.

Here’s my next project.

My desktop is out of control!
My desktop is out of control!

So start decluttering. One thing a day. Start small. It should only take a few minutes of your day. And don’t forget to share with us how you’re going. While decluttering shifts negative energy, sharing with a group of like-minded people promotes positive energy. And we want more of that this year.



Welcome to Travel Light 2015

Welcome to Travel Light 2015

I’ve given you a few days to relax, get over the holidays, and think about what you want from this year. 2015 is going to be big. It’s a number 8 year in numerology. What does an 8 mean? Money, power and karma… It can be intense. But the number 8 is also about BALANCE. The very shape of the number 8 symbolises balance. When in balance, the 8 is upright, well-rounded, flowing… And so in an 8-year, we aim for balance. We must. We use the energy of 2015 to help us grow, heal and find balance.

How do we do that?

Starting tomorrow, I will be setting a series of challenges for you. Each one creates serious and positive change.

This year you will:

  • Break old habits
  • Create new, healthier habits
  • Forge new neural pathways in your brain for serious change
  • Transform your body, mind and spirit
  • Ditch baggage that has been weighing you down for years

And best of all… it’s not difficult to do. All you need is the desire for serious change.

I can’t wait to take this journey with you. I’ll see you back here tomorrow. Let the adventure begin.