The Blog

Take On Clutter And Feel In Control Again

The start of a new year motivates many of us to streamline and organize at work and at home. One of the most nagging challenges we face is dealing with too much stuff in our lives. We could all use a little more simplicity, to reduce stress and help us actually enjoy life more.

Things start to fall into place in every area of your life when you de-clutter your surroundings. The stress in your face and body will ease and your confidence will return when you feel more in control of your environment. De-cluttering releases mental and emotional blocks that have been holding you back. It ignites energy within you that you didn't even know you had!

We can think of de-cluttering as unmanifesting, which simply means releasing things that no longer have value or importance for us. This is critical because these material items are draining us of time, money, and life energy.

De-cluttering a whole house or office can seem overwhelming. But if you break it down into bite size chunks, you can handle it with ease. Here are a few tips to create order out of chaos:

1.    Start by de-cluttering for 10 to 15 minutes a day. This is short enough to fit into a busy schedule, and enough time to achieve something. Once it becomes a habit, it will also ensure you keep your home or office clutter free in the future.

2.   Pick one room or area for your 15-minute daily sessions and stick to it until everything is cleaned up.

3.    De-clutter storage space first. This will make it easier to find a home for everything you decide to keep.

4.    Be ruthless in deciding what to keep and what to let go. You can't succeed at simplifying your life or office unless you’re willing to let stuff go. Remember that most “stuff” can be replaced. Take the attitude that if you happen to get rid of something you need in the future, you’re prosperous enough to buy it new, rent it, or get it at a bargain from a secondhand store.

5.    Immediately assign storage space for any new item you bring into the house or office. Always keep it in its place when not in use.

6.    Stop paper clutter by creating a simple routine for dealing with incoming mail. Set up a filing system that suits your personality and needs. Bills, invoices, receipts and appointment cards can get out of control fast, so create a physical or online calendar to schedule payments, appointments and events.

Few things feel quite so good as looking around and seeing your home or office in order. There's also nothing more energy-draining than living with clutter. De-cluttering frees up your life energy for new things, and opens up new opportunities for you in your personal life and career.

Remember that it takes much less time to de-clutter than it does to look at piles of stuff and feel bad day after day. Make a resolution for 2019: If it doesn’t serve a purpose, have personal meaning or monetary value—out it must go!

Homo Ludens

Play isn't just silliness. As children, we learn through play, developing and practicing the physical and intellectual skills necessary for our grown-up lives.  In his 1938 book Homo Ludens, Dutch anthropologist Johan Huizinga noted that play emerges when it's given permission to be present.

But as adults, we stop allowing ourselves to play. We hesitate to put ourselves in situations where we might get things wrong, because then we might look bad in a world that predominantly celebrates success.

When we play, mistakes are expected. We allow them. They're fascinating instead of frustrating. It was a playful 'what if' approach to a mistake that led to one of the biggest office supply innovations in the world.

In 1968, 3M chemist Dr. Spencer Silver was trying to create super-strong adhesives for the aerospace industry. Instead of something useful for building planes, however, he accidentally managed to create an incredibly weak, pressure-sensitive adhesive.  It was an embarrassing mess-up. That is, until a colleague of his, who sang in a church choir, got frustrated with the way page markers kept falling out of his hymn books. He mentioned this to Silver and suggested they use the ‘mistake’ adhesive on the back of pieces of paper, so they could be stuck down and then easily removed and moved whenever needed.

And so the Post-It Note was born.

Designing your ideal life is a creative process that thrives in a playful environment. To create, you have to be willing to mess up every now and then, hit roadblocks and find your way around and through them.

We never know what opportunities might be around the corner, or what unexpected paths might open up in front of us. Opportunity rarely knocks right on time – more often than not, it shows up early. So try new things. Do more of the old ones you love.

Be ready. Play.

© Clear Simple SOULutions LLC 2017