Now anyone who knows me knows that I’m not naturally tidy or great at organising. It takes just a single glance to realise that my work space and home will, under no circumstances, ever be described as a showroom. I can organise historic stuff without a problem, but when it comes to ‘work in progress’, I need everything in my view to ensure it doesn’t disappear from my ongoing, constantly growing To Do list. As a result, I’m usually surrounded by piles of stuff – yikes! (I will get better, honestly!)
I’m usually juggling myriad tasks at any one time, whether it’s work in my recruitment business, which can range from interviewing candidates, meeting clients, writing advertising copy, arranging interviews, navigating the needs of candidates and clients, and managing expectations, or growing my coaching practice, developing and maintaining business relationships … not forgetting managing my own household alone with a teenage son (and all the emotional angst that can bring with it too!) Are you still with me? Suffice it to say that there’s plenty going on!
So, you can probably guess that my paperwork isn’t overly tidy, but this fact doesn’t actually worry me unduly. However, I have started to see the benefits of being more organised at home. Given that it doesn’t come naturally, despite growing up listening to my mother’s mantra of ‘Don’t put it down, put it away’, I’ve struggled throughout my life to do just this. Why? Because I’m always so busy and excited to be doing other stuff, so the organising and tidying tends to get put off until later when I’ve run out of steam.
We are, thankfully, all very different and we all see the world in a different way. However, we aren’t our behaviour and we can change our ways with some focus and determination.
After a good two and half years of what I call ‘manic madness’, juggling all of the above along with a relationship breakdown and the associated financial fallout, then writing and publishing a book, and undertaking additional training, I have reached a point of wanting to clear the clutter and be more organised so that I can achieve other things.
Now that I have more time to breathe, I can now deal with the things that have needed sorting out for a while, but weren’t top priority. I’ve mindfully and purposely recognised what I’d been doing and deliberately taken action to slow myself down in order to recharge my batteries and give myself space to think. And clearing the decks enables you to do this. Energy can’t flow when there are obstacles and blockages in the way, and to attract new things into your life, you need space – making space creates a vacuum and a vacuum always needs to be filled!
So, where is this all going, I hear you ask?!
Well, following a Boden warehouse sale shopping trip with the lovely Hayley Eleanor Smith (my personal stylist and friend – read her career change story in my book: Shining a Light on You) and a discussion about my cluttered wardrobe, I decided to pack away all my summer clothes. After all, autumn appears to have arrived, along with the need for warmer clothes. I want to be able to easily see my autumn and winter clothes and put together outfits without rummaging around an overstuffed and disorganised space! I also want to stop myself buying stuff I don’t need. It doesn’t stop at the wardrobe either… I am also in the process of focusing my energies on decorating my lounge and upgrading my kitchen. ‘Operation Declutter’ is well underway!
I even went out and bought vacuum storage bags! I am happy to report that my wardrobe looks so much better now. Who knew I had so much knitwear?!
Here’s a thing. If something doesn’t flow and feel right, you have the power within you to make the changes if you really want to make them. I’m not saying that it’s easy, but certainly on a grey, damp Saturday morning, clearing my wardrobe out, sending some items to the charity shop, and bagging up summer clothes for next year has certainly made me feel lighter.
About a year ago, I read a book on Feng Shui, which focused on clutter clearing. Bit by bit, I am incorporating some of those elements, making a difference in my house and I am getting somewhat tidier. Well, it feels like it to me – anyone who is totally fixated on everything being put away would still have kittens if they saw my house! But as I said to start with, we are all different. One thing that is true for all of us is that when you clear space, you feel lighter.
Go on, try it. Clear a drawer, a work surface, sort out your pants and socks, throw away anything that you’ve not worn because you don’t like it, it doesn’t fit, or it’s damaged. If it’s not useful, get rid!
Next up is my HUGE pile of books, including a lot of novels that I’ve picked up over recent months that I need to read. And then there are the books that interest me that I’ve had for years, but I don’t even look at … hmm, I am still a work in progress!