Posts

Current support options during this stage of the pandemic

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My racial justice volunteering and organizing work amped up 10 times or more from what it was before the pandemic, so I don't have as much time and energy for Spark Joy work anymore (or for driving places). That said, I like to assist friends and family in sparking joy to their living spaces/lives and it is hard for me to say no. As a compromise, I am going to try to assist as much as possible remotely. That is my preference due to the driving time that I don't have in my day. We can discuss options for how that could work for you. If that is not an option for you, maybe I could make time to go to your home once (a month). My rates are now: $20/hr prorated to the nearest 1/4 hr  for remote support $40-80/hr (based on ability) for  in-person support , minimum 2 hour visit (max once/month) I have been redistributing all of my income since the start of the pandemic, with a focus on supporting folks with food insecurity. I will continue (for maybe the rest of this year?) to do that

New Motivation and Life Transforming, testimonial

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“The progress I have made with Deb over a short period of time far surpasses all the work I have done with about five organizers over the years. Making changes and creating “joy” in my home has been such an inspiration; it is life transforming and has given me a new motivation. There is a lot more work ahead, but I am ready to tackle it, knowing that creating harmony does spark ‘joy.’ ” - a comment from a Cambridge client I have been working with for only a few months (the image is from the envelope holding his check one day) Contact Info and Rates

Remote Support to Continue to Spark Joy due to C-19 Challenges

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I have come to the conclusion it isn't safe for me to meet one-on-one with clients due to the COVID-19 disease outbreak. It isn't worth the risk of any of us getting really sick or worse, or spreading it. I can still continue to help you from a distance if you are committed to continue to make your living space more joyful for you.  Options of what I can do remotely with you: 1. Regular check-ins at the rate you want over email, text, and/or phone. Daily? Weekly? Monthly? you decide. Just let me know. 2. Accountability . Do you want some? Tell me your goal or ask for my suggestion and we will do that. See #1 . 3. Visual support . I can see your space, for your questions you want guidance on, visually in various ways, such as these: text/email me picture(s) or a video phone call using WhatsAp, Google Duo, and  Facetime. 4. Guidance . I can give you suggestions and problem-solve like I do in person. 5. Congratulations and celebrations . I can continue to do this r

Habits: making Joyful ones

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I've been appreciating learning while listening lately to The Next Big Idea podcast. One episode that I thought you might be interested in is: HABITS: How to Let Go of The Old and Bring in the New I will talk with you about this when it comes up in our work together. Below are my notes from it: - make a routine to do the activity regularly - remove cues that support negative habits - put friction on any habit you want to remove - reward new behaviors you want to keep - replace old habits with new habits - proximity helps - it takes 2-3 months minimum to make a new habit Let's support each other to make the joyful habit changes we want!  Ask me to share with you about my habit changing efforts!  Contact Info and Rates

Smile Boxes

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A neighborhood friend, Peyton in 3rd grade, recently did a unit in school on simple machines and they did an "invention convention." Part of the project is brain storming ideas for solutions to problems. "The Smile Box" is her invention: Nine year old Peyton already has  Spark Joy skills! Collecting the things we choose to keep in boxes and containers (so we can find and use our things more quickly and easily) is a helpful practice.  Great job Peyton! Your invention and smiling face makes me smile. Thanks for sharing this idea with us. Contact Info and Rates

Helping Hands

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Spark Joy sorting is a collaborative process.  The client is helping themselves  and  helping me help them.  I decided to collect photos of my clients' helping hands  holding their favorite cup or mug,  inspired by my logo: ( my sister  Nancy 's hands around a tiny cup at lunch out one day ).  My hands are below, around my current favorite mug made by my potter friend Gabrielle. Phil 's hands are below, around his favorite mug by me: Banana Mug . Nancy 's hands are below, around a favorite mug by me,  in a favorite sweatshirt, and with the pin she wears all of the time, publicly displaying her commitment to racial justice. Contact Info and Rates

Seeing Your Space with Fresh Eyes

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Sometimes we need fresh eyes to see more helpful possibilities for our living areas. I recently helped a client rearrange and repurpose a lot of furniture and storage bins before we could start to do the Spark Joy sorting process in earnest.  Contact Info and Rates

Clearing Space First

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When you have lots of stuff that is not getting put away (ie. clothes) it probably means you don't have easy-to-access storage areas that work for you. I can make suggestions for what to repurpose for your better use. You can let me know what you do or don't like about my ideas. Together we can come to a solution that you like. For example, for a new client in the Boston area recently, a dresser that had become "junk drawers" and a tall shelving cabinet with doors (full of books) were cleared out for her clothes. She loves this new wardrobe. Working towards making a porch (currently a storage area) a library for her many treasured books instead is another motivational goal. I am glad I can see possibilities that help my clients. It is easier to get distance when the space isn't your own. After you put away your things in your newly cleared spaces, you can make top surfaces be happy spaces that hold special meaning for you, bringing you more joy than what you

Spark Joy Together: Sorting & Sharing our Stuff community event

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If you are interested in this event happening again in the future, let me know.  During this 5-part event, participants come together to get support, motivation, and encouragement. We bring possessions from our homes ( what you can carry in one load, ie. 2 bags ). With support, we select and make decisions about what to keep or not, based on what sparks joy for us now, not based on past experiences or future desires. While sorting, we see and hold again what we own, possibly finding and appreciating our things on a different level than previously. We might start to learn more about ourselves if we notice trends in what we choose to keep. It is a gift is to discover what sparks joy for us NOW, and let go of what does not, so someone else can benefit from our things that are no longer beneficial to us, and so we don’t continue to fill our homes with items that don’t benefit us. This is a practice. It gets easier to do as we progress! * For each event, bring one item that you rea

Spark Joy Together, testimonials

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- I was so excited to find some money (in the form of savings bonds) while sorting through old cards. Feeling positive and inspired to sort through my mountain of photos. Thank you!  Aimee D. - Mementos - it's amazing what we keep and then look at years later covered in dust and say, "It's time to go!" Fun to remember and then say good-bye...feels good! It can also bring up feelings and remembrances which is all part of it. It's been SO helpful to be accountable and a great group to be with. Thanks SO much!   Kate S. comments from  Spark Joy Together event on 7/13 (Mementos) see more with Themes below photo of us with a favorite item we brought, or got in the Swap For years, I have been helping others to simplify and organize to find more joy in their homes and possessions (and doing it in my own home too). I wanted to share this joy with others so I offered it to folks at  Roots and Wings Yoga and Healing Arts  at 317 N. Main St., Natick, MA, in a co

Reporting for Support & Encouragement

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This helps me. Would it help you? I appreciate that I have friends and sisters who are happy to have me report in (over texts usually) about how I am progressing on my challenging areas while doing  Spark Joy projects at home. I find it supportive. My sister and I did a "long-distance" work day the other day. Instead of me driving to her home and being there to keep her motivated, this time I stayed home and worked on my home projects (stuck areas) while she worked in her home. We talked on the phone every hour or so. We both were helped and encouraged by this. If you think this would help you , I can be your check in buddy! Contact Info and Rates

You Deserve Joy

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You work hard. You care for others. You are unique and special. When you are home, does your living space make you feel good? I hope so! 'Cause you deserve joy! Photo credit: philslens.com/2018/10/flower-piano.html The idea for this post came from my biggest Spark Joy fan, M. Lupercia . Contact Info and Rates

Sorting for & with Family

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In Marie Kondo's  book , she discusses that if parents leave their many years of collecting to their children to deal with when they die, they miss out on revisiting their treasures ( photos  for instance) themselves before then. While looking through all they have, they can pick and choose what to leave behind...what they want their children to enjoy. I learned today that Margareta Magnusson wrote:  The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter "It should be said that “death cleaning,” translated from the Swedish döstädning, does not necessarily involve the dreaded fact of death; rather, it is the steady acknowledgement and anticipation that you should start shedding the baggage of life rather than leave it for your unfortunate children to deal with. It’s also about facing one’s eventual exit in a mature, healthy, and unsentimental way."  source: vogue.com/article/swedish-art-of-death-cleaning video with

Bedroom & office for Ph.D student, M. Lupercia, testimonial

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Deb is an enzyme.  She is that enzyme that helps you to facilitate your transformation. Like you know you are on a journey to your higher self and you can’t see where you are going. And sometimes you just wanna give up. That is where I was when Deb offered to help me spark joy. At first I was like, sure – I am organizationally challenged, I could use help with cleaning my room, I mean whatever I was doing certainly wasn’t working. So Deb walked me through her process. Clothes? Sure. I can’t fit or wear half of them. Some I didn’t even like but when you dress like me, people just want you to have stuff in hopes that you won’t hurt their eyes or evoke unwanted feelings. LOL. A lot was myself as well and trying to hold on to something. Books we left for last. Because. Books. Anyways, the thing that was most unique about Deb is that she saw my soul or she’s empathetic. So she really tries to channel your journey and helps you clear your path (pun intended). Now we are at the tail end o

Rediscovered Joy in Activities

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While sorting your things in your home, you might rediscover an object you haven't used in ages; something you remember having fun with in the distant past when you took more time for fun . Like a tent or a hula hoop. While holding the object in your hands and checking in with your feelings, you decide to keep it. You put it in a more convenient spot and take it out now and then again to use it alone or with friends. It still Sparks Joy ! photo sun with camping son © Jason Bosinoff, 2018 photo hooping in front rock garden with pottery students © Philip R. Bosinoff, 2016 Contact Info and Rates

In the Spaces Between

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We can see beauty not just in objects, but in the spaces between them. In shadows and highlights...in time alone and with others...by taking time to smell the roses ...while looking around...and up! Where do you see beauty between ? photo seen at home © Debra A. Griffin, 2017 photo hiking son © Jason Bosinoff, 2018 Contact Info and Rates

Feel the Joy?

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When you hold each of the things in your life in your hands, do they spark joy? If so, keep them. If not, let them go. This is part of the  Spark Joy  process. It works. photo Nancy's Hands Holding © Debra A. Griffin, 2018 Contact Info and Rates

Sisterly Support in her Room, testimonial

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I needed to get rid of a bunch of things, but could never find the time and motivation. Deb offered to help me using her "spark joy" approach. It took a while for it to work for me, because I didn't think in terms of "joy" from my possessions. She has patiently worked with me and helped me figure out what to do when I feel stuck. I appreciate how  she suggests where she could help while  waiting for me to say when I'm ready to deal with a particular area. - Nancy Helping my sister once a month with her bedroom/office in her shared apartment in Brighton gave me experience and practice using the Spark Joy technique with a particularly reluctant participant who had little time or energy to care for her living space. During one stage, Nancy gave me a ratty old cardboard filing box, with years of tape history on it, to recycle or donate. Instead, I took it home and covered it in cloth and added new hanging files. With matching cloth, I also covered another

Making Time for What More?

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So after you do a Spark Joy project, you might find you have more time, since you have a simplified home space. I changed my large perennial garden over to a low maintenance, draught-tolerant garden in the fall of 2016 in order to make more time for doing more racial justice meeting organizing. This work helps me feel like I can make a difference, build sharing communities, and more...things that bring me joy (more than any object), and hopefully the work brings joy to others too, in the process. Below is my garden filled in more than when I made it over in 2016; this was taken in the summer of 2018. I look happy because I can enjoy the garden more now...it isn't just work ! I also realized that I had too many part-time jobs and was feeling a lot of stress from that. I decided which jobs brought me joy, and which ones didn't (anymore), and proceeded to quit some. That freed me up to do work that sparks joy. Like teaching pottery ( dagworks.com )...and organizing ra

Photographer Phil's office & clothes, testimonial

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Deb helped me focus on the possessions I truly care about, instead of just the one's I thought I was saving for posterity. Turns out if you don't get joy from it, there isn't a whole lot of reason to save it.  Deb has an uncanny ability by just listening to me and discussing how I feel about things when I pick them up, to help me realize their true value in my life. She seems to do this almost instinctively, clearly empathetically, and essentially instantly.  Despite previously storing things "wherever", and thinking I knew where everything was kept, the new approach looks a whole lot better, and I can still find something when I need it. Mostly, my previous messy arrangement just wore on me in various subtle nagging ways at a somewhat subconscious level. Turns out a clean environment encourages better thinking and problem solving, and those are important parts of my life.  Thank you, Deb! - Phil Phil is an amateur photographer ( philslens.com ) and softw