One Piece at a Time

This weekend I was being interviewed on the radio and the interviewer said, "I want to get rid of my clutter, but then I look at all my stuff and I say forget it. I don't do anything about it. And then it gets worse and I feel badly. I don't know what to do. What should I do?"

I said, "Most everyone feels that way. That's because we look at everything and we get overwhelmed. As a whole it would be too much for anyone to try and do. That's why we pick one spot. Just one area. We have trash bags next to us. We pick up one item in that area and as we hold it we ask, "Do I need this or can I let it go?" One item is easy. It either makes you feel good or it makes you tired. You know. You make the decision. Then you pick up another item.

Yesterday I worked with a client at her desk. She said she rarely went into her office. The filing cabinets were left open and were overstuffed. The top of her desk was covered with layers of papers and unopened mail. As a whole the room was too much for her to even consider clutter busting on her own .

I picked out the first file on the bottom drawer and opened it up and calmly and easily asked her about the first sheet of paper. She saw that she didn't need it. We went through the entire file this way. She ended up throwing out more than 3/4 of the contents. Some of it dated back to the eighties.

When we approach one thing at a time we are in the moment. The rest of the stuff doesn't matter. It becomes easy to think. Suddenly you have your old self back. Things are normal and easy again.