Archive for the ‘Paring Down’ Category

The Rewards of Organizing

Monday, March 6th, 2017

The Rewards of OrganizingThis story is true but the names have been changed to protect the privacy of the innocent.

Given a choice, would you choose freedom or burden?  Pierre chose to fly like a kite, free from the burdens of his “stuff.”

Pierre is 60 years old.  For decades, he ran a successful business and was the family member in charge of multiple generations’ history.  Can you imagine the collection of papers and artifacts that accumulated in his home, office and multiple costly storage rooms?

Each storage room cost Pierre $4,800 each year.  The thought of facing the contents of the room was stressful, causing daily anxiety.  He was determined to simplify his life but overwhelming feelings influenced his procrastination.  Finally, with lots of caring, non-judgmental support and the dedication of 5 hours organizing with me to sort through and make decisions, here are the results:

  • Emptied one storage room.
  • Found forgotten items to be used today.
  • Enjoyed various memories.
  • Connected and shared with assorted family members interested in artifacts.
  • Employed a shredding company to shred 25 boxes of old tax info and dated material.
  • Made charitable donations of supplies, electronics and furniture to a local children’s after school center.
  • Added tax deductions for donated items.
  • Received help from an intern in exchange for a well-deserved college recommendation.
  • Saved $4,800 per year on storage bills.

Pierre is now relieved of much stress and anxiety, feeling lighter, happier and energized.

As you can see, simplifying and organizing is not only freeing, it’s giving, sharing, connecting, and empowering; in addition, it’s making others happy and successful.  It’s also cathartic, emotional and strengthens relationships.  The costs of storing “stuff” are more than monetary.  They can take their toll on our emotions and relationships.

Pierre chose to take the time to reduce his burden and feel the freedom.  Can he tackle another storage room and gain more freedom and joy from the burden of excess?  I think he knows he can.

Now that you know what is possible, think about your “storage costs”.  Is it overwhelming?  Now, count to 10, and recapture your senses from the burden of your own overwhelmed accumulations.  Can you tackle your stuff, and rejoice in the same accomplishments that Pierre achieved?  The rewards of organizing and de-cluttering are beyond monetary.

The Right Strategy for Paring Down

Monday, February 15th, 2016

How do you tackle your accumulations? All at once? Five minutes a day? Work alone? Make a plan? Start with a drawer? There are so many different strategies to pare down and/or organize your “stuff”. I believe that there is no “right way.”

BlankCanvasWe cannot compare our stuff with others’, and we cannot compare our lives with that of others’.   We each have our own “best way” to organize.

The industry of Professional Organizing officially began in 1985 by a handful of bold women. Today, there are thousands of professional organizers in the world, each having a specialty, unique personality, style and philosophy. Marie Kondo, a new popular author of simplifying, emphasizes that if “the thing” does not resonate with you, “it” no longer belongs in your life. That makes for an easier decision to keep or eliminate.

One strategy is to start with easy decisions. The easier the decision, then the organizing process flows. If you start with the hard decisions, one could get stuck. I vote for easy, and small changes over time.  

Leo Tolstoy, the great author of Anna Karenina and War and Peace, knew that great success was achieved by taking baby steps.   He stated, “True life is lived when tiny changes occur.”   Taking baby steps give us a chance to experience the changes in our lives. When we give ourselves time to make decisions to keep or eliminate our things, relationships and/or relationship(s) with things or people, we have great opportunities for success.

Follow the advice of Tolstoy: The two most powerful warriors are patience and time. So remember: Great achievements take time, there is no overnight success.”

Be successful at organizing your space and your life. Make thoughtful decisions to keep or eliminate, and organize the “best way” for you.