I am really a very organized person. I know where to find what I need. I could say, “A place for everything, and everything in its place,” only that is not quite exactly true.
While I am organized and I know where everything is, I can become someone who is consumed by stacks of this and that. Yes, I know what is in the stacks, but all those stacks are robbing energy from me.
When the space is clearer, so is my mind. When my mind is clear, I will work better. I know this to be true. I also know that once I start working in a clear, clean, clutter-free environment, new opportunities show up for creativity and for business. Why would I — or you — not want this to happen?
Here are some reasons I came up with. Do some these resonate with you?
- Someday! “I might need this someday.” This could be your fabric stash, paints, embellishments. Thing is that your tastes will change and you may not like the fabric any longer. The paints may dry out before you use them. One of my neighbors was going through her mother’s sewing materials and offered me some of her threads. I took her up on this. When I went through them, some cost 10 cents and were on wooden spools. Some I offered to a friend who did work on vintage textiles. Others I tossed believing that some older threads had “expired” in use and quality. Let’s even look beyond what is in your studio. Who has a collection of vases that came with flower deliveries or broken equipment that you might fix that you might use someday? What are you holding on to use “someday”?
- Someday! “I bought this kit, paid good money for it, and I’ll make it someday.” You may have a good intention here — I certain did — but get real. How long has that kit been in the drawer or the trunk, waiting for you to get to it? I have a basket weaving kit hidden away. Yes, I made a few baskets, and it was fun. No, I’m not going to make more. (Too much fabric to use first!) What projects, or bits of projects, do you have that are squirreled away to make when you find the time?
- “I spent good money on this?” This is just sending yourself on a guilt trip. You think if you keep it, you’ll get your money’s worth. Likely you won’t. Likely you still won’t use it, wear it or enjoy it. And, you will still feel bad.
- Where does it belong? Once you start decluttering, you are faced with what to do with what you find. You can just have so many junk drawers. And, have you looked at what is really in your junk drawer. I have one drawer that is actually called the junk drawer. I am sure you do, too. It has way too many rubber bands, pencils and clips that belong in a box that is labeled office supplies in the basement. It has things that really belong in the garage. If I would move them to where they really belong, I could see what is necessary to keep and what is not. It even has a plastic bag with pieces from a small bowl that I think I want to repair because I like it so much. I do not know how long I have been saying I will fix it, so I tossed it.
A couple of years ago, I decided I really needed to get back in control of my space and my energy. I launched a clutter reducing plan. (I think the visit to the used book store where I could not find my way was part of the incentive.) I am making it fun for myself. I have three days a week that will have clutter-reducing activities. They are Toss-Out Tuesday, Weed-Out Wednesday and Throw-Out Thursday. I really only have to schedule a little time each day to reduce what I am saving. Am I perfect at this? No, but I am still trying. And, so can you.
I have planned my rewards. In addition to a treat at the end of the declutter session, I purchased an new plant to keep on the quasi-desk I have behind my computer. It looks nice in its new space!
It is nice to have the files in a drawer, and fewer files in the drawer. I managed to get rid of quite a lot. I have boxes of books in the garage waiting for a friend to pick them up and deliver them to the Virginia Quilt Museum where they will be sold to support the museum. Old quilt magazines are set aside for another pickup. My church is having an afternoon tea and auction this fall and has specifically requested quilting paraphernalia and books. (Did they know who to ask for that one?!) I may even hold a “garage sale” and try to winnow it down. And, the recycle bin has been quite heavy on its weekly trip to the street. Why was I holding onto this? In some cases, I thought I might need the material in the future. (Wonder if I would remember where it was?) Some I felt guilty about having purchased and not used. Some were pretty projects that I wanted to make. Of course, I have not yet, so I tossed 90% of those, too. Not to mention my tastes have changed over the years.
As you pick a time to sort through what you have, ask yourself some questions. Why are you holding onto this? What happens if you toss it? Will you really even miss it? Will you join me and make space for good energy in your business and life?