Oh the plight of clutter in the modern age! Between consumerism and our digital world, it can get difficult for some of us mere mortals to declutter our lives. I recently deleted over 2000 emails and scaled back over 3500 photos & videos from my computer. I felt happy about decluttering my digital life. Lighter! Why did I let it go to the point where my computer was slow as hell? My client cracked up hearing this story and suggested I just had to write about it. So here I am talking about decluttering, when honestly, I am the last person who should be doing such a thing. After all, I'm an old fashioned lover of paper in multiple forms, glossy magazines, print newspapers, journals, books, fancy stationary. You get it. I save things. I find it hard to part with sentimental mementos. In my past, it has been a challenge for me to purge as I was raised in a household where decluttering was an aspiration, but rarely an action.
Yet for nearly 19 years, I've been re-programmed. (It is possible ...all you under cover hoarders, collectors and paper lovers.) After all, my once live-in boyfriend, now husband was and always will be a minimalist. This does not work well, with someone like me. I wish so badly that I was super organized and always neat and tidy .After years of petty spats about clutter, I actually changed my ways, but not because I had an internal desire to do so--- it was to preserve my relationship! Clutter was causing unnecessary drama! If you are like how I once was... what's clutter doing to you?
Decluttering Your Life is necessary in various forms: your closet, your home or office, your in-box, your digital photos/videos, your never-ending to-do list. Check this....
Insights to Declutter your Mind, Space and Life:
1. You are Your Closet
As for the closet, I can proudly state that I do seasonally clear out my closet. That always feels great. What a difference when your closet is refreshed and open! As they say, your closet is a reflection of your mindset. If my closet is jam-packed & crazy, than what does that say about my being? My actions are all over the place, my head is not clear, creative flow can be stifled. I really believe in that. I try to keep my closet in check....nothing is perfect, but I strive.
As a former fashion industry veteran, I'm excited to be kick-starting a Style Transformation for a client friend, as we engage in a closet cleanse, not due to a need to organize but it terms of carefully reviewing the pieces of her wardrobe and purging what no longer serves and replacing it with fabulous new garments to spice up her life and look. Sometimes, its just about going through your clothes and stopping to pause and ask yourself...am I really going to wear that if I haven't worn it in years? Is this a crappy item that needs to go or can I rework it? Every now and again we could stand to purge our closets, free ourselves from unnecessary excess. There is a power of living with less.
To entertain you....celebrity closets of Brooke Shields, Mariah Carey and Yankees Pitcher C.C Sabathia. Aspirational....oh wait, less is more right? The clash of desire and mindfulness. Reminds me of my favorite quote..."Do I contradict myself? Very well, than I contradict myself. I am large. I am multitudes." - Walt Whitman. Photo Credit in order via Media-Cache, Blogger.com, & Architectural Digest.
2. The power of follow through...Go all the way
I loved the advice I read about follow through. If you are organizing and purging, go all the way. If you've created bags to donate or pass along...do it right then and there to complete the process. Recently a friend gave me bags of gently used baby clothes to then pass on to a 'new mom' friend. The night I received the bags I was so close to going home with them to drop them off “later.” But nope. I stopped myself and went directly to the new mama friend to deliver them and see the new baby. If I waited, the task would be hanging over my head and the bags would be lingering in my house. Follow through works. This never used to be my strong suit, but awareness and action has provided positive results, plus less guilt and stress. Completing the process in all we do is quite beneficial on many levels. Dropping the ball is something we all fall victim too, but let awareness provide the understanding that leads to a shift in consciousness and action.
3. Tackle the To-Do List...Oops, I mean “Opportunities List”
Overwhelm is a regular hurdle I strive to jump over as a working mama. We all are aware the modern-day “to-do” list is never ending, but I love the idea about shifting our mindset and make it our “Opportunities List.” Decluttering our to-do's, just feels better.
I once heard the entrepreneurial powerhouse Barbara Corcoran dish advice on how she executes her extensive “Opportunities List” and I found it to be easily digestible and doable. In summary, she separates her list into 3 sections:
Section 1: Calls needed to be made
Section 2: Review: Short, quick tasks requiring a review or an answer
Section 3: Project List – (this is what inspired me)---Prioritize the list as A, B and C.
A) Very important AND a time constraint...needs to be attended to ASAP.
B) Very important task, but can wait.
C) Not VIP, but must be tended to soon.
Try it if it resonates. Now go knock out all those limitless opportunities!
It may have taken me while, but I have seen some dramatic shifts in my life with my foray with minimalist living. I've personally teetered on the edge of both ends of the spectrum. The stories my high-school BF Liz and I could tell about cluttered childhoods would result in us laughing so hard we'd start crying. On the flip side, my grandparent's home was so neat & tidy we joked you could lick off my grandmother's kitchen floor. I'll never forget my grandfather once reprimanded me after I put milk back in the fridge because I put it on the wrong shelf! “Everything had it's place,” as they would say.
Who wants to take a Challenge with me? If your closet needs a cleanse, when are you going to tackle it? If you have some items to donate, when are you going to gather them together to deliver them? Will rethinking your “Opportunities” list, help you accomplish tasks easier and feel increasingly productive? I'd love to hear your comments and state your personal decluttering challenge here...
The best quote I found on this topic is by O Magazine's Organizational Expert Peter Walsh. I had to laugh. It's just so simple!
"Flat surfaces are not storage areas."
One of my areas of expertise is an eye for style & beauty so, if you're interested in a personal style revamp and cleansing your wardrobe, check out the Style Transformation services.
As a life + wellness coach, I work with creatives and changemakers who feel stuck and have a desire to re-discover their life passions. Clients experience lasting personal transformation through radical and subtle mindset shifts which boosts confidence & sharpens intuition recognition. Incorporating mindfulness practices, with an open heart and compassionate understanding, I hold clients accountable to take action and move forward to achieve goals & dreams. Do you have that creative edge? Do you strive to make a difference in this world? Need some clarity and support outside of your circle to make some serious moves? Then consider joining my tribe. To inquire about my private coaching program “Ignite Your Insight”, click here for a complimentary 30-minute “Spark Session.”