Welcome to Spring!

Everywhere I turn I see another article about declutter this, organize that, buy these fancy new containers here, look at this new decorating style, here is another minimalist/simplicity/organizational book on SALE today only!

What if, just for a moment, we consider the possibility that we are not all the same?

“Clear the clutter! Clutter is a sign of dis-ease. Clutter outside is a sign of clutter inside. Clutter is a reflection of what is going on in your head. And clearly, that cluttered space is just not good.”

So much judgement. Negativity. Fear. Why?

What if, just for a moment, we stop buying into that old inaccurate assessment that a cluttered desk equals a cluttered mind. Okay, maybe it does, but a cluttered mind does not mean incompetent mind.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a minimalist at heart and am striving to reduce my material possessions on a daily basis. But minimalism isn’t about having less stuff. It’s about valuing the stuff you have. Whether that stuff fits in a back pack or you need a big house to hold it all.

What do you value?

I am a messy desk person. No matter how many bins and organizers and folders and pretty this, functional that I buy. My desk always returns to a state of mess. When I was younger, I accepted this about myself. I am a creative and all the creatives I knew were messy. Then I grew up. And people started giving me organizational tips and techniques. Judging me. Questioning my performance at work because my work area was what they called “sloppy.” Judging me. I was asked how could I possibly find anything? How could they find anything if I was out? That last question got me. Convinced me to judge myself. It made logical sense and I began a journey into organization. One that I am very good at.

I can take the ugliest, messiest of spaces and transform it into a glorious machine. Everything has a place and everything is in that place. I structure it so that everything you need can be within an arms reach – thereby making you more efficient, right?


At least, that is what the experts say.

What if the experts are {{GASP!}} wrong?

What if we actually are more efficient when we live in our natural state?

As I write this, I look around my desk. I have been taking part in a self experiment. I have been allowing my creative side to win over my organizational side. I have been accepting me, in my natural state.

What began two weeks ago as a large pile of papers in my office and another pile in the kitchen (the *important* stuff) none of which was not being actioned – because my focus was on finding it a proper home – has turned into a very small pile. Well, five small piles actually. The five items I have left to action out of this huge pile of “stuff”.

Because instead of spending my free time and my mental agility on organizing and cleaning or stressing because my office was a mess, I simply set about the task of completing the work that needed to be done.

Know what I’ve found?

More clarity. More focus. More progress.

In the mess, I have found me. My focus, my clarity, my free time. I am in the process of accepting me, as I am. This is one of those areas where I have made an agreement with myself to “do me” as the new buzzword says. And stop trying to live in an office that perpetually looks ready for a magazine article. That was so exhausting. And honestly, I could never find anything. I could never remember which bin or folder the items I needed had been sorted into. My filing cabinet had multiple files with the same name on them because I would forget I had already created one. When really I didn’t need the file at all, I needed to do the work and get rid of the paper.

I can tell you exactly what is in each of those five piles, what needs to happen with it, and by when. That, is organization. That is efficiency. That is me doing me, being me, allowing me.

I can’t tell you how many Friday nights I spent with the music blaring, the room gutted and me trying to organize it all. What a waste.

Gone is the stack of receipts waiting to be entered into my budget. They are in my budget and tossed in the recycle bin. Why in the world did I listen to people who told me to block time in my calendar to do this??

Gone is the stack of camping options for the kids this summer. Instead of spending hours pulling them together and looking at them, I grabbed the one for the closest camp, scanned the schedule, picked the week that works best and booked their camps. Last year, the same task took a week of back and forth and maybe they will like this program or that program? how far is this drive? day camp or overnight? This year? Finished, in less than fifteen minutes and it only took that long because the camp system had a glitch.

Gone is the pile of research topics for a side project. Scanned into my Evernote, tagged, and searchable for when I get to that stage of the project. Which is a few months away. A few months without those papers cluttering up my space.

Also gone? The three different list taking tools I had. I don’t need them. I’ve actioned the work. Rather than spend hours making the list, setting the list up in a way that would be accessible wherever I was, I just did the work.

I have to insert humble apologies to former coaching clients right here. Yes, for some of you, I was wrong to make you do all those lists. Others of you though, it was perfect. I will be making lists too. Lists are a must in this day and age. We have too many things to do to keep all of that in our heads. With the piles of extraneous paper gone, I have need for small lists. Project lists. Not massive, multipage, task lists. I see the difference now.

I read a book awhile back that taught how to roll socks and towels so that energy could flow. The book set me on edge, angered me. I couldn’t understand why at the time. I get it now. Rolled and stood on edge is not my natural state. I had reached the apex of trying to roll myself into someone else’s methodology and my psyche could not take even one more “too” or technique. My psyche rebelled.

Now listen, I am in no way advocating allowing your house to fall to pieces. No ma’am, no sir. I am advocating being your true you.

What standards are you trying to live to that are outside of who you are and want to be? Where are you placing your value? Where are your techniques and efficiencies actually holding you back?

I have been nearing this buzzword, buzz phrase actually, a lot more lately. I am adopting it into my own lexicon. “Do you.” Who are you? Accept that. Be that. Do you. Stop the comparisons and the modeling and the attempting to fit your star shaped peg in someone else’s round hole. Glisten, glow, be free. Be you.

In Light and Love ~

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