The Voice Within
A blog by Mary McDowall
This is based a blog I wrote last year but never posted. In 2017 I committed to emptying a drawer or a shelf each month. The results - read on to find out.
My most empowering achievement in 2016 was … drum roll please … an empty drawer.
Yup, you read that right.
In the fall of 2016 I co-facilitated Creative Clutter Clearing: a KMI Master Mind™ with fellow facilitator Donna Mills. A KMI Master Mind™ is process focused, and so I wanted to document my process of the tool, The 1/3 Rule, to share with the members during our Tips, Tools and Techniques segment.
The aim of The 1/3 Rule is simply to reduce the contents of a space, a closet or a drawer by 1/3. The space I choose was my bedside dresser which has 3 drawers. I emptied everything out, threw away a bunch of stuff, sorted and found a different home for some items and then returned the remaining items to the dresser.
Then, I decided to reorganize the space a little further. I decided to leave one drawer completely empty. I can’t remember exactly why, perhaps it was just a way to illustrate The 1/3 Rule. Either way that empty drawer became a huge source of empowerment.
It was like a delightful little secret – a source of calm, control, an inspiration, a reminder that I can conquer my clutter. Occasionally, when the world felt like it was closing in I would just open the drawer to marvel at its expansiveness.
Life happens … one day in 2017 I opened the drawer and stuff had found its way back in. Ugh
That’s when I decided to start The Empty Drawer Project. I decided that each month I would empty one drawer or one shelf in one room of our house. A month gives me amble time to choose my target, plan and implement. As of January 2018 I have 7 empty spaces plus I have eliminated an entire display cabinet and a set of shelves. A few other spaces have been significantly reduced in stored items.
What’s my bigger why? This challenge helps me to move towards my dream of building and living in a much smaller house. To be able to live a more simplified life that has less stuff to look after and be responsible for and more time for doing what I want. Less frustration at not being able to find things and less time to spent on cleaning and more on living.
Are you downsizing? Adapting to an empty nest? Perhaps you just want to feel a greater control over your surroundings. Whatever ever your reason you aren’t alone in your struggle clutter. And you don’t need to deal with it on your own. I invite you to check out latest online series of Creative Clutter Clearing: a KMI Master Mind. Join us for one, some or all in these independent sessions.
I share how I see the world through everyday topics that connect me to my creativity - my challenge with clutter, master minds, ideas, strategies and process - mostly though the lens of my kaizen training.