There’s a powerful correlation between creating space in our homes and offices and creating space in our lives for what’s important to us. The effects of clutter can’t be underestimated, clogging our space, blocking our energy and preventing us from getting on with the things that really matter.
So imagine how lucky I feel to have received the gift of de-cluttering from my friend and social media consultant Joy Meredith, creator of the Me Mapping Process and a great believer in purging the unnecessary. Joy came to my office on a recent Saturday afternoon and we went through every shelf, every box and every pile to discern what was necessary and what needed pitching. By the end of the afternoon we had three bags of recycling, two loads of garbage and one box for the Goodwill.
Joy was ruthless–but in a good way. At one point, we did have a little tug-of-war over a fan I bought at World Market (she won–it got pitched). But ultimately I got into the rhythm of going through each item and asking myself, “Will this add to my success? Is it blocking my success? Does it contribute to my mission of creating a world where people love what they do and do what they love?” When I compared the items–pens that don’t work, post-it notes that have lost their glue, pad-folios too numerous to count–to what I’m up to in the world, it was easy to determine what had to stay and what had to go.
And now, I can’t wait to get into the office! I know what there is to do and have a new energy around doing it. I’ve had some recent breakthroughs where I’ve been stuck for months (OK, years), including getting this bloggedy-blog-blog re-launched. I look forward to seeing what there is new to create now that I have the space for it. The “incredible lightness of being” has given me velocity toward setting appointments, generating new assignments and serving my clients.
Here are just a few tips in case you want to clear some space for all the amazing things you’re up to in life and in business:
- Find a partner. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend like Joy, accept her kindness and invite her to be there for you while you struggle with the immensity of the task at hand. Don’t go in alone. If you need to hire help, visit The National Association of Professional Organizers and get a professional organizer. Linette George of Get Organized by George is a terrific resource here in the western suburbs of Chicago.
- Start somewhere, then move from left to right around the room. This is a tip from my friend Rita Emmett’s book, The Clutter-Busting Handbook: Clean It Up, Clear It Out, and Keep Your Life Clutter Free. It’s easy to get overwhelmed but if you work clockwise or counter-clockwise, you’ll begin to see progress.
- Be responsible about Mother Earth but don’t go overboard. I’m a rabid recycler and Joy knew that, but every so often she’d say, “Just get rid of it.” So out it would go, in the dumpster. There are times when that’s the appropriate place for something.
Today, I’m celebrating my birthday and thanks to having that clean space, I’m looking forward to creating all kinds of amazing things in this new year. There’s an opening for moving forward to my goals. And with a clean desk, space on the shelves and a willing heart , anything’s possible.