Clearing the Clutter!

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Posted by Gwyn MacDonald

Today’s post is kind of a part two to the organization blog of a few weeks ago. As you may recall, the original inspiration for that blog came from a radio show. One of the other guests that day was Regina Leeds, professional organizer and author of “One Year to an Organized Life”.

She said many things that resonated with me, but one thing in particular made me sit up and take notice.

We all have stuff we don’t use or need anymore. And those piles of old papers, magazines, clothes and whatever else we keep shoved in the back of the closet or balanced tediously on top of the desk are really just “stacks of unmade decisions”. YIKES! And if I really consider this, all of that clutter does trap and keep our attention in the past, instead of allowing us to make a decision, move on and be present in the moment. It’s very difficult to feel organized with all of that “stuff” on your mind. (Full confession here, I have a lot of unmade decisions, it seems!)

Leeds also spoke eloquently about treating yourself kindly once you begin the process of organizing and decluttering. “Setting yourself up to win” by eating well, getting plenty of quality rest, hydrating, simple exercise and meditations to support you in making wise decisions and keep you focused on your task. Be nice to yourself! Don’t beat yourself up for creating those piles, just begin to sift through them. Sage advice, eh?!

The other thing Leeds focused on as a key to successful organizing and clutter clearing is keeping a calendar. Sounds silly I know, but again, getting it all down on paper gets it out of the brain and creates a little road map to plan your day, week or month. I already do that for my work schedule, but including the other things (important or trivial) that have to get done in my day or week has been very helpful. Even the no-brainers like “exercise” in the 7:30 a.m. slot gives my morning that structure and a reminder that I have often chosen to ignore in the past, to my own detriment.

Included in clutter clearing my space are all of the emails I get from groups I’m interested in but never end up reading. I recently “unsubscribed” from about 15 of them. If I want the information I can always find it again. That’s the magic of the internet! And it felt really good to make that decision. One down, woohoo!

While I’d love to be organized in a snap, this is a process and old habits die hard, but just shifting a little bit has already helped. And having some compassion for myself in the process is a bonus that carries into all aspects of my life.

Best wishes on your way to a clutter free mind!

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