Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Cozy for the holidays- Curiously Cozy

I'm reading this great book called Cozy: The art of arranging yourself in the world by Isabel Gillies
On a quick side note, did you know there is a society called the Pencil appreciation Society?  To be a member you have to fill out at 3 page questionnaire and write three essays!  How super cool and totally weird is that?  Cozy covers this society!  And yes, these are the kinds of books I read for the pure joy of it.  

Anyway, in Cozy, Isabel is exploring what cozy is and how to cultivate it in our lives, throughout our lives, no matter what is going on- holidays, social media, politics, life, colds.  Life needs cozy.  We need to know how to make our lives cozy in any weather and season.

Cozy doors ..Isn't this a great picture??  Not sure of it's source but whoever took it- thank you!!
  Her questions got me thinking, even more than normal about homes, holidays, hot chocolate and cleaning.  This morning as I was cleaning, I thought, yes, a clean home does feel cozy.  A tidy and nourished home makes me feel cozy for sure.  I also love having creative projects and energy in my homes.  A cozy home needs room for messes and play. I love a home with little surprises scattered about and big love.  A home with healthy and delicious food ready to eat and a fully stocked frig and pantry is cozy.

What makes us feel cozy?  What is cozy?  Do you ever even think about being cozy?  Until I started this book, I'm not sure that cozy was even something I thought about.  Now I'm cozy curious.  When do I feel cozy?  What do I do that makes me feel un-cozy?  Is that even a word?  If not, it is now! Ha

The holiday season is here.  As I type, it's 5;09 Thanksgiving eve.  This year, instead of following the crowd, I want to focus on creating a cozy, a curiously cozy season.  Which means, exploring what I truly love of this season and the holidays.  What memories make me feel warm and loved? Does my home feel cozy to my family to visitors?  I'm exploring new cozy ways.  I don't really have a plan.   Ignite our cozy- I think you get it.

Here's to a season of cozy exploration:  cozy books, cozy suppers, cozy traditions, cozy places, cozy friendships, cozy mornings, cozy socks ….

Happy Travels, may your home always feel cozy to you and those you love

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Perfect cleaning is irritating to the soul


Cleaning is a means to enhance the happiness and health of life and home.  It isn't perfection or judgment.  I don't aim for a perfect home and as I look around my home today, I'm happily enjoying today...and my house is messy.  It will get rebooted but not at this moment..

When you visit a home and it's out of and love the person.  Smile at your instincts that might judge and realize they are probably generations old.

It's time to let go of judgment and love what is.  Creating a home that is healthy and happy is the goal.  Perfection is irritating to the soul.  Embracing the art of imperfection is a kinder place to live.
Just a thought from one beautifully imperfect soul to another

Monday, August 19, 2019

Housework- burnout. It's real

"I know some very old people who have hearts full of roguery, devilment, and fun;  there is a sparkle in their presence.  When you meet them, you have a sense of light, lightness and gaiety.  Sometimes in very old bodies there are incredibly young wild souls looking out at you."  
                                                       Anam Cara by John O'Donohue  Pg 187-188

Clean toilets aren't sexy but matter.  Have you ever got sick and headed for the toilet?  Cleaning matters. It's also a life chore.  A life chore is a daily or weekly chore that repeats, repeats and repeats.  They never finish. Household chores travel under the radar- no parade or wow moments...they are essential and consistent.  They plod along year after year.

 Left uncared for, life chores will wear on our spirits and vitality.  Think about it cleaning & cooking every day, every week for the next 60 years... The doer of these quiet chores is going to need a little love. If not cared for homes feel neglected, clutter builds.  The caretaker heavy sighs and hangs their shoulders.

  My grandma Lois was uncommonly wise in her household chores.  She hired what she could, simplified the rest. She had grandpa do the outside work and grocery shopping. Her work was rhythmic- Saturday was laundry, dinner dishes were done and kitchen put to bed each night. As far as I know, she mostly woke up to a clean and tidy kitchen.   On Friday and Saturday nights, she took a breather and had my grandpa take her out to dinner.  Sunday night was called chef's night off.  Dinner was always popcorn and apples.  
I remember visiting her when she was in her 90s.  There were chores I wanted to help her with. She said, "let them wait, they will still be here tomorrow, I would rather spend time with you now."
Does clutter builds because we are just tired of fiddling with our stuff?
House Cleaning/Chore Burnout is real and more common than you think

Life burnout isn't just from your job... It comes from life.  Residue free living is cultivating habits and actions that keep your spirit joyful throughout your entire life.  So at the end of our life, when there are still bills to be paid, toilets to clean and meals to be created... our spirits will still shine, our laughter light and bubbling, ours hearts is still open and full of joy.  This is what residue free living is. It is the process of renewal of our mind, body, and spirit through life- no matter what the weather and what year of cleaning you are on.  Residue free is learning skills and habits that will make your work easier, more productive and more delightful.

This month I challenge you to lighten up your chores, your clutter.  Delegate what you can, hire help, reduce work, share work and let go of what is weighing you down.  Schedule days off.  Schedule play.  Add in splashes of color, delight, fresh flowers, curiosities and surprises for the spirit.  
residue free living 
"I know some very old people who have hearts full of roguery, devilment, and fun;  
there is a sparkle in their presence.  
When you meet them, you have a sense of light, lightness and gaiety. 
 Sometimes in very old bodies there are incredibly young wild souls looking out at you."  
                                                           Anam Cara by John O'Donohue  Pg 187-188
                                            Happy Travels,
                                                 Denise- Residue free coach of home and life
                                                     There is not time life the present to change our future

Friday, July 19, 2019

Are you becoming a Zombie?

Are you the primary keeper of your home? Manager of your household?  Do you run a business, manage a staff? Are you the chief bottle washer and cook?  Maid, chauffer, bookkeeper and gardener?  Are you a caretaker?  Do you have a job that repeats itself everyday?
Do you feel like you are in the move Groundhog day?

If you said yet 2 or more of these read on...

Life, if not checked, can bring on a spirit diminishing residue, a life muck, a weight on our souls that can turn us into zombies.   If you want to become a zombie here you go...

10 easy tips to become a zombie

    1. Do get up and work all day until you fall into bed completely exhausted.
    2. Do the same schedule everyday: no variations- no flexibility- keep it ridged and serious!

    3. Do not ask for help, don't hire support. Do it all yourself!
    4. Do more than is humanly possible.  Feel free to wear yourself down completely

    5. Grumble openly or under your breath- it's perfectly fine to resent your life and family
    6. No matter what you do- don't have fun.  No spontaneous adventures!

    7. Don't simplify, unclutter or minimize your work. Buy more, work harder- not smarter!!
    8. Do hold a stern face as you clean, slump your shoulders as you cook and shuffle as you walk.

    9.  Eat crap- live on sugar!  Watch TV and stay inside!!!
   10. Do this repeatedly.  Don't change a thing.  Expect the same old thing everyday!

 This practice of becoming a zombie can take a lifetime to perfect.  The important thing to remember: if you want to become a zombie, you must repeatedly act the part.  It is easiest if you are super busy and are getting little sleep.  Perfect for new moms, caretakers and business owners. It's a little harder when you are playing and giving yourself a dose of daily TLC.  Still it is doable in any situation.  Practice does makes perfect!!

If you have become a zombie or on the way, there is an antidote so not to worry. The beauty of our spirit is it remains fully intact our entire lives.  We just need to scrub off the residue,   I will warn you cleaning off the muck may take effort. As you clean off life's residue- you can expect wonder, curiosity, clarity and delight re-appear.  I've seen this over and over again.

If you want to un-zombie your life, contact me... at
 I do warn you, your life brings a sparkle to your spirit.
                      Coach and guide- home and your service

Monday, July 1, 2019

Got Paper Clutter??? Get Help!

  Do you ever get overwhelmed looking at your piles of paper, bulging boxes, overflowing bookcases, stuffed closets? 

 Yup- I get it!  Paper clutter is exhausting!  
 It stagnates your life and deplete your energy.  It feels slow, unproductive and heavy.
 But, you already know this. 
Life is too short to be depleted by piles of paper and boxes of muddle thoughts.

 How many years have you been hoping -
 dreaming this would be the year you finally got rid of all those boxes and piles??

  Waking up and going to bed in a cluttered space depletes our spirit, mind, body, emotions.. and relationships. (with yourself and those you love).
You deserve better

  Three services I offer to help you lighten up.
1. Personal coaching at your home/business- hands on help and guidance
2. Virtual coaching and accountability support
3.  Summer- master mind group- (scroll down to get flyer)  support with a team
                                 Think how great it will feel to end the summer with less clutter?

Yours truly, Denise Frakes
Coach /Guide
Helping you unclutter your home, simplify your life and ignite your spirit 
            Summer Mastermind Flyer- come join us!

Monday, June 10, 2019

There is Magic in Simplicity

Overly stuffed homes dull our spirits and muddle our brains
We spend our precious energy treading water
and chasing our tails

That's no way to live...…. 
 Join me this summer and find another way😊

   "Explore me, she whispered, "Peer behind the curtain, Look under the rock.  See what's really there."...
   "Believe me, I had no inkling when I started Simple Abundance that I was embarking on a safari to discover my authentic self.  To give you an idea of how little I knew in the beginning.  I thought I was conceiving a lifestyle book on downshifting."  
                                        Sarah Ban Breathnach- Simple Abundance August 18th

And here we start... summer 2019
  When we simplify, we look under our own rocks and find ourselves. Our spirits gets a jolt of oxygen.  Our wild, we thought we lost along the hiding under our "too much" somewhere.....  Simplifying is a journey of the spirit.

with 28 years of helping families lighten up thier homes- of this I'm 100% sure.... 
  There is magic in simplifying, in lighting up our stuff, our thoughts and
 intentionally creating space to thrive in
 Our homes need flow!  We need space to breathe, time to ponder and wonder.

Don't let another summer pass you by. 
 Come with me this summer.
 We will declutter, downsize and simplify our lives.....
and ignite our delight.
Join me this summer on my Residue Free Facebook page for ideas, inspiration, play/workshop schedule and conversations!

Click Here to Join Me on Facebook 

Every great journey starts somewhere,

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Use Compasionate Clutter Clearing

Practice Compassion as you Clear your Clutter

 In a perfect world nothing would ever side track our lives. We would always have an abundance of energy, time and support.  Our focus would be clear, simple and direct. Our hearts open and light.  And of course joy would bubble up from our core...however...

In the real world, our lives take unexpected turns.  We travel down paths without maps.  When life happens, we do the best we can.  Sometimes our home's upkeep falls off.  Sometimes our own upkeep falls off...

If your life got a bit off course, be kind to yourself.  And if you know someone whose life isn't perfect... be kind to them too.

It it's easy to think what we would do if x, y or z happens, but until you experience life dead on, we don't know.  Every story has … the rest of the story.

If you are reading this and your feel like your home is too full, heavy and overwhelming.  Please take a deep breath and send a little TLC inward.  Your home is not you, it is not your character or your soul.  It is a big box that takes a lot of work to maintain.  And our culture is loaded with enticing ways to fill it up.

 If you are feeling overwhelmed are not alone.  You have kindred spirits all over this country feeling the same as you.  Storage units are popping up everywhere for a reason.

  Uncluttering gives you your life back.  It gives you energy, hope and space to breathe.  It is a type of non-therapy- therapy.  As you sort, simplify and un-muddle your stuff, you rediscover and discover your life.  Uncluttering is powerful.

Compassionate uncluttering

1.  Be compassionate to yourself and those around you as you sort  Spend 99% of your time saying thank you and less than 1% condemning yourself.  It's a much better use of your time.

2.  Get professional help.  I can't stress this enough.  Getting unstuck is a million times easier, faster and more enjoyable with compassionate, energetic and supportive help.  Professional help, the compassionate kind, works with you from an unjudgmental space- cheering you forward.  When I work with my client's I think of myself more as a guide.

3.  Create focus.  Work in time blocks.  Be focused for 45 minutes take 5 minutes to refresh and reboot. Clutter muddles our thoughts.  To un-muddle we need clarity.  Work in clear blocks in specific spaces.  Stay focused and well hydrated!!

4. Be consistent and persistent in your uncluttering.  When you are making steady progress you will continue to gain energy and your habits and skills will improve.  Progress empowers you forward and naturally reduces stress. Schedule time, set an appointment with your coach or help.

5.  Use your words wisely  Listen to yourself.  What words are you using?  What metaphors are you creating?   Words are powerful.  Use words that empower, support, appreciate you and appreciate the winding life you have led.  Talk to yourself, like you would talk to a dear friend.

Our homes are shields that protect us.  Make your shield kind and compassionate.  Create a home where you feel loved and supported.  A space where you can open the door and feel nourished.  A space to invite in kindred spirits for a cup of tea and a good chat.
A magical being isn't going to blink away your clutter...but as you clean it away uncluttering becomes a magical experience.

Travel kindly,  Denise Frakes
    Life and Home Coach 

 Get support as you create a space and home you love!!
May's Classes by yours truly;-)

 Residue Free Cleaning Class May 16th at Marlene's in Federal Way.  Sign up here 
Create a Wabi Sabi Home Class May 28th at the Federal Way Naturopathy  Sign up here 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

3 Essentials to Reduce Stress

How much time do you spend indoors?  Did you know the average American  spends only 7% of our time outside?  Really???  This is not good.  Especially considering the many benefits nature gives our minds, bodies and spirits. 

Did you know cleaning and uncluttering your home can actually make you healthy and happy?  Most of us instinctively understand this connection but when stressed we sometimes forget.

When I'm stressed I have 3 essentials I use to help myself get back into balance
    1.  I clean, organizing and reboot my home
When my home is clean and thoughtfully placed- life seems easier, I relax. My nervous system relaxes

               2.  I go outside and pull weeds, mow lawn, chop things down
     Yard work is perfect for venting stress and unplugging from life

   3.  I go outside and get some good LSD (LSD= Long Slow Distance... running/ walking time in)
Moving in nature lets me process life and I get out of my own brain. 
Moving in rhythm puts me back into rhythm 

We all have stress.  We need ways to destress ourselves.  By incorporating TLC into our daily habits and chores not only will be up our natural joy but we also get more done with less effort.  

Do this... make a list of...
3 current habits that deplete or stress you...
consider reducing electronic time, sugar and staying up past your bed time

 list of three habits you would like to add in
 Consider adding in cleaning, uncluttering, exercise and more time in nature/beauty 

Pick one item from each list

For the next month let go something that depletes you and add at least one action that nourishes you.

Happy travels,
      Denise Frakes.. Life and Home Coach

Sunday, February 24, 2019

5 ways to effectively use or not use storage units

Have you noticed the number of new storage rental spaces going up?  There are 3 big storage facilities currently under construction close to my home.  Extra storage has its advantages but before you decide invest in a storage unit... read on.

The self storage business has become a $38 billion dollar business.  Which is fantastic if you own or invest in storage facilities.  Not so great if you are one of their customers.

For the last 10 plus years, I have coached and supported families in uncluttering and simplifying their homes and lives.  I'll be the first to recommend a storage unit when it actually supports the family, but in most cases a storage unit will become a long term burden, both financially and emotionally.

There is a law of physics that says:
 Things in motion tend to stay in motion, things at rest, tend to stay at rest. 
 Storage units puts our things at rest...and there they sit.

There is a good reason the storage unit business is booming.  First, as a culture we are exploding with extra stuff:  our memorabilia, our kid's stuff, our parent's stuff, our business stuff, our hobby stuff, our home remodeling stuff, I'll get to it soon stuff, and our not sure what to do with stuff.  You get the picture.

 Once our stuff gets removed from our home and into a big metal usually stays there - sometimes for years and years.

5 ways to effectively use or not use storage units

1.  Always have a plan and exit strategy  Be very clear why you are getting a storage unit and have a exit date from the beginning.

2.  Use storage unit for transitions  moving/remodeling your home, families in transition, kids in transition.  By using a storage unit verses filling up your own home, you keep from overwhelming your life with other peoples stuff.  It's hard to remove other peoples things from your home once they have taken root.  Again, have an exit strategy upfront.

3. Use the storage unit to support tiny homes  I have several clients who live in tiny spaces- boats, condo's etc.  In this case, think of your storage unit as another room.  Create this space as a working space.  Put like with like and let it be a workable addition to your home.  Add the cost of the storage unit in your budget as part of your rent/ home cost.

4. Thoughtfully create the storage unit as a working space  Don't just throw in boxes.  Organize by category- think like with like.  Put your taxes all together, your suitcases together, your grandmothers dishes together.  Label clearly and with detail.  If you can, put boxes around edges so you can find and sort your stuff with little effort.  The more inviting the storage unit, the more likely you will be to use and downsize the space.

5.  Downsize instead of storing If you are feeling overwhelmed in your own home, a storage unit won't make it all go away.  Consider hiring help to downsize your home.  The money and effort spent in uncluttering and simplifying your life is worth a 1000 storage units.  If you find it difficult to unclutter your will find it even harder to dig out from a storage unit.  An ounce of prevention is priceless.

If you need help, get support.  Many hands do in fact make more effective work.  With help in downsizing, your focus and efforts are exponentially improved.  The freedom you gain is priceless.  My own specialty is making work fun, keeping your stress at ease and regaining your life.  When you are having a good time, work stops being work.  While we work we create a healthy nourishing home and discovering your new life... free of stuff.

Happy travels,
             Denise Frakes
                  Coach for home and life

Friday, February 8, 2019

Fresh air indoors gives you energy

It's snowing outside.  Beautiful big flakes!  I'm thankfully all snug in my warm home.   When I got home today I opened up all my windows.  As soon as I cracked the first window, my kitty Penny came running.  She is wise... fresh air does a home and body good.

With Fresh Air
    Fresh air makes our homes healthier
    When our homes are healthy- we are healthier
    Cats love fresh air
    A bit of fresh air does a body and spirit good
    Our homes feel and smell better

Without Fresh Air
    We use fake air:  air fresheners, plug ins and deodorizing sprays trying to make our homes feel and smell fresh... there is no comparison!!  Fresh air isn't a bought from the grocery store.
     Carbon dioxide can build up....Not enough oxygen... we feel fatigued, our homes feel stuffy- heavy
    We don't sleep as well
    We aren't as healthy- oxygen is kind of important!!!
    Our cats become irritable

I know it seems like you are wasting energy by opening up windows.  I get it, but in reality 5 minutes will have very little if any impact on your heating bill.  The benefits of fresh air- priceless!!

Our homes need fresh air in - and stagnate air out
If you want to be healthy and happy open up windows. Refresh your air and sleep happy

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Uncluttered Happiness

Deciding which direction to go isn't as important as making a decision.  The same goes for deciding what to keep and what to let go of.  A clear decision can make you happier than having too many options.  Our state of happiness is more resilient than we give it credit for.

This morning as I was researching for another blog, I came across a review of Dan Gilbert's Ted Talk on the Science of Happiness.  Dan shares insights into what I have witnessed time after time in my coaching practice.  We get lost in the details.  Afraid to make the wrong choice or take the wrong path.  As it turns out, no matter which way we decide, the science of happiness supports our happiness level.  We are naturally resilient.

The next time you are trying to decide what book to keep, which restaurant to visit or even which dream to follow... watch this talk.  The decision may not be as important as you think.  Wrong or right, it will have little impact on your long term happiness.

I find this study incredibly calming to my worries of life.  No matter what happens, in 3 months, I'll be back to my current level of happiness.  Good to know...

Happiness is more of a habit than singular event

    Happy New Year!  Here's to living light and clear this year!
                           Talk about resiliency!  Dandelions can bloom even in Winter!!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Rebooting time is a human requirement

We are like computers.  
Just like computers, we periodically need to unplug, turn everything off and reboot. 
 Rebooting time is a human requirement- period!

Like computers, we are electrically charged.
  Too much electricity flowing through our brains gets wild- unruly
Our homes get messy, our thoughts muddled, our actions frantic or sludgy.

As a coach and human, one of my most effective rebooting tools and organizing. 
  Resetting your home or space is not a chore.  It is a effective rebooting tool. 
 The home reboot is a natural form of meditation - a grounding practice. 

Cleaning and uncluttering are restorative reboots. 
 They are forms of space clearing.
 You actively move around your home curiously, thoughtfully- unplugged 
returning life gone astray back to its home
Removing life schmutz

Clutter is a sign we need a reboot
Clutter comes in many forms.  Time clutter, stuff clutter, thought clutter
 Having no pause in our lives is like having no pauses between notes in a song

    New Year Goal: Rebooting time
       Natural pauses to reset your life.  

Reboot with thoughtful pauses:
  freetime, picking up the house, playtime, quiet time, personal time, micro-vacation time,
 cleaning your desk time, time to wonder and ponder, organize your pantry,
go outside, sort your books, sit on the porch, curiously free time

Rebooting time is a human requirement


 If we don't reboot, our energy gets wild, frantic - exhausted
 We start chasing squirrels
Reboots are recess for the mind, body and spirit

Reboot:  breathing space... space to play, mind travel and come back to life - refreshed

Create natural rebooting time in 2019.  Your electrical system and essence will thank you,

May your travels be refreshing and your homes nourishing,