Sounds like a joke set-up but it’s not. Last month, I witnessed a guy get into a dumpster and close the lid. He didn’t come out. After 30 minutes, I called the police thinking what if he was sick, wounded, dying? Two squad cars responded within 5 minutes and he turned out to be none of those. But he was clearly disheveled, disturbed and in trouble. This incident weighed on my heart. How does one get to such a low point in life as to seek refuge in a dumpster? More importantly, what could I or anyone do to help? The mental health system continues to be overwhelmed. Police are getting special training in counseling and intervention. Street drugs have become the norm. Homelessness has arrived at our doorstep. So again, what can be done to help? I called back the police to thank them for their quick response and to ask what they suggest if a citizen wants to help in prevention or solution? The answer? 211. Ever hear of it? Me neither. Apparently, a lot of folks don’t know about it including my neighbors, my dentist, his assistant and pretty much anyone I’ve talked with in the last few weeks. 211 is the 911 for resources. Everything from suicide to abuse to hunger to shelter to senior needs and paying bills. It’s a clearinghouse for 50k programs and over 3k agencies across the nation and Canada. Anyone can call the 211 hotline and talk to an operator who is trained to listen and provide appropriate connections. Part of the 211 manifesto reads: WE BELIEVE in the transformative power of collective action. So do I. Please share this number. Visit 211.org to learn more about services and volunteering opportunities in your local community. Shine the light!
Here’s the Facebook page for the Oregon area.
This is a special day for me and I celebrate it with you by sharing what is closest to my heart. Clearing the way to what blocks us from love is a journey within that each of us must discover – but life offers teachers along the way. Here’s a toast to all of those teachers in their varied shapes and sizes. And here’s to breaking through barriers. See you on the flip side! Click here to read about my two very special teachers and learn about an organization that is cutting through barriers in urban territory.
“No blame, no shame” guidance for whatever is ailing your space.
Clutter issues? Sharing space?
Downsizing? Stuffed rooms?
Out of ideas?
House Call to the rescue! Perfect for figuring out where to start and for getting a fresh perspective on your space. No nonsense, practical steps. The perfect gift for you or anyone on your list. Options include onsite or online consultations. Contact me or view packages and purchase at the ACP Etsy shop. Make it a happy green holiday!
I just couldn’t share enough about this wonderful organization, so here’s a follow up to last week’s feature. Community Warehouse Communications Director, Rena Satre Meloy, took time from her busy schedule yesterday to give me the inside view of this bustling nonprofit. The warehouse was buzzing during my entire visit – a continual stream of donations coming in and going out. And just like their Tualatin location, everything was done with efficiency and a smile. Adjacent to the warehouse, we toured the Estate Store and as at their SW branch, I was impressed with the organization and clean and attractive displays. And such diverse items! Everything from a Murano glass chandelier to a nautical folding screen to a vintage doll complete with clothes and trunk. All at bargain prices with proceeds supporting the CW programs. Rena shared that an average of 40 families a week are outfitted with everything they need to set up house. An additional 20 families are serviced weekly at the Tualatin location. It’s amazing how much work can be accomplished by so few when the hearts are dedicated. Thank you, Rena, for being such a warm ambassador for a worthy and much needed cause. You guys are the real deal.
DONATE, SHOP & SUPPORT – Be mindful of stuff and get it/bring it where it matters. CW Estate Stores are open 7 days a week. Click here for address and hours. Watch here for more updates and ideas on helping our community by helping Community Warehouse. Don’t live in the PDX area? Visit the ACP Resources page or Contact me with your location and I’ll find an organization that can use your stuff. As always, thanks for making it a brighter world!
If you haven’t yet read Paul Taylor’s, The Next America, put it on your must list. Click here to find out why it’s a book not to be missed. And what you can do to be a part of the solution.
The time is ripe for clearing, sharing and creative lifestyle choices.
Ready to start the ball rolling? Get “no blame, no shame” help. Remote or hands on options available. Click here to get the Green light!
Introducing House Call options from A CLEAR PLACE! No blame, no shame one-on-one private consultation by Jane Green, author, teacher and creator of A CLEAR PLACE and STUFFication© workshops. Expert advice in using what you have in a better way and letting go of what isn’t working for you. Lighthearted, tough love for you and your space. The doctor is in!
Choose from 60 minute or 30 minute phone consultation OR email photos of your challenge for a focused quick fix. You can also combine the options.
I designed the House Call to give people a fresh pair of eyes and expert insight while maintaining their privacy. This can eliminate the guilt trip, the excuses and putting off what needs to get done. It’s surprising how much comfort and reassurance can be shared with just one phone call. Wheels start turning, challenges dissolve and rooms come into focus once the “Green” light is on.
House Calls make great gifts, too. Ideal for weddings, holidays, birthdays or new home. View consultation options and purchase on Etsy.
Winter is a time of great illumination and insight. Fireside and candlelight. As the Earth grows dormant, we become quiet in order to listen to our inner voice. As the days grow shorter, we are grateful for the light both in and around us. This season honors the elders, the white-haired ones. The wisdom of buffalo, bear and turtle with their message of security and protection. It is the time of the night sky with all of its stars, stillness and peace.
Colors for the season are white, midnight blue and forest green. Scents include pine, fir and cedar. Adorn your space with birch bark, evergreen boughs and pine cones. Clean and attend to the Earth elements in your home including furniture, floors, wool rugs and blankets.
Winter corresponds to the Element of Earth, the direction of North and the night time.
About this photo: I am forever in awe of how quiet the world becomes after a first snowfall. And of how little crystals illuminate the beauty of nature in such a breathtaking way. This backyard pine tree offered a wonderful example of winter simplicity and stillness.
Let nature inspire your space. Order your A Clear Place Wisdom Cards and get connected to beauty and balance: click here for more details.
I’m fond of saying that the size of the space really doesn’t matter. It’s how you utilize your space that counts. But can you really create comfortable living in a 130 sq. ft. room? Yes! This micro apartment is a perfect example of what can be done with intentional design and mindful planning. Natural light helps enhance the open feeling to this room as does the sleek, trim modular pieces. As always, built-ins that do double duty like the storage stairs and slide out bed/sofa work are smart choices. Add a fresh flower, a yellow throw pillow and you’ve got a cozy place to call home. Of course, living large in a small area requires downsizing effort and letting go. But isn’t that what getting clear is all about? Bottom line: if you think you are stuck for space … think again!
View more photos of this Parisian conversion. (Article source courtesy of treehugger.com.)
Anyone who has cared for the elderly knows the challenges inherent in the process. Especially when it comes to meal time. I can remember fighting back the tears when, night after night, I would prepare delicious dinners for my Mom only to have her push the plate aside and retreat to her room and eat her “hidden” Hershey Almond Bars. This went on for months. When she had recovered from her cancer surgery and was well enough to live on her own again, she would eat the occasional meal out but at the end of her life, her diet consisted of coffee, cans of Ensure and her beloved chocolate bars. My Grandmother was bedridden during her last year of cancer and refused most of what we prepared except for rice pudding and chocolate chip cookies. That stubborn German streak came out in full force whenever we tried to make her eat something “good for you.”
Years later, my work in hospice taught me much regarding the eating habits of the aged. As “care” givers, the last thing we give up is the urge to feed our loved ones. Like that mama bird with a worm for her little ones. We want to nurture. It’s VERY hard to let that instinct go. At the same time, the body of our loved one shuts down to prepare for its transition, it stops wanting food. Sweets are typically the last item on the list. I’ve cleared numerous homes for folks who have lost a loved one and am always amazed at the number of candy wrappers found in the bedroom. The 92-yr old tennis player and mother of four that lives above me is not suffering from any illness but she, too, has started her journey home and only desires ice cream and orange Cuties. My approach to all of this is softer and wiser now. I’ve decided that there is a reason and a season … even for sugar. And as a recent article in The Oregonian reminds us, it’s okay to let Grandma eat custard. Read the article now. Are you in the process of relocating an elderly person? Click here to read my special Handle With Care tips.
Click here for more tips and resources on Seniors.
A reminder from my Resource page: Clutterers Anonymous holds weekly meetings for anyone needing help with clutter or hoarding issues. There are two Portland locations to choose from including Thursday evenings at the beautiful Alano Club in NW PDX. Click here to get details and please pass this on to friends or family members who could use support around stuff issues. Meetings are free and always held in confidence. Often times the emotional issues attached to extreme clutter or hoarding prevent loved ones from asking for help. Having a third party or anonymous support can provide the encouragement needed to get started and stay on track.