Years ago a book called “Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui” inspired me to start purging the junk I had swirling around me.
One of the concepts that sticks with me is that just because someone gives you a gift doesn’t mean you have to keep it. You can appreciate the gesture, sincerely thank the person, then get rid of it. The alternative is feeling guilt every time you see that thing you don’t want in your space, the guilt and obligation that forces you to junk up your life with something you don’t want.
I launched a campaign to get rid of one thing every day, which worked so much better for me than saying “This weekend I will clean the basement.” Then, of course, downsizing from a three-bedroom Midwestern house to a one-bedroom NYC apartment forced an even more radical purge.
So having some experience with this notion, I was struck by a SmartBrief blog post that connected uncluttering with success.
In “Q-and-A with Gail Blanke: Clearing the clutter can open your path to success,” Blanke, who wrote “Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life,” talks about getting rid of physical clutter, editing the electronic tidal wave of information coming at us — and letting go of your “too-small view of yourself.”
Periodically, we need to “throw out” the old view of ourselves and our companies, the way we always “did it” – and reinvent. Refining our brands is a constant imperative. And clutter blurs clarity. That means we have to let go of anything that drags us back to some old idea of ourselves or our companies.
And speaking of brands, don’t forget to let go of thinking that everybody has to love you. Think about Martha Stewart or Oprah or Ina Garten or Cher … or Lady Gaga. Some people love ‘em, some don’t. Here’s a fact: If enough people love you, the ones who don’t, don’t matter!
I love this idea of letting go of your old self.
For example, when I first graduated college, I made almost no money, and because I was both poor and working crazy hours, I ate pretty badly and gained weight. Years later, when I had a better job, I was still pinching pennies on my wardrobe, wearing cheap, ill-fitting clothes, until my then-boyfriend urged me to go shopping. It took that foot in my backside to realize I wasn’t that poor 21-year-old any more and it was time I stopped acting and dressing like it.
What clutter do you need to let go of — physical, electronic or emotional?