The Voice Within
A blog by Mary McDowall
The concept of clutter has been on my mind a lot recently. In part (in full disclosure) because I am co-facilitating a Creative Clutter Clearing: KMI Master Mind™ on this topic. However, clutter is also very topical in the media these days and clutter clearing is proliferating as an industry with books, TV shows, YouTube channels, courses and even coaches aiming to assist.
We live in a climate of excess. According to a study in a slate.com article written by Tom Vanderbilt, “One in 11 American households … owns self-storage space—an increase of some 75 percent from 1995.” And that was written in 2005! A 2017 9.4% SSA Self Storage Demand Study found that 9.4% of Americans rent a storage space. And I bet that stuff doesn’t bring happiness or a sense of accomplishment. Probably quite the opposite – as now it needs to be insured, cleaned, kept safe, and now stored.
As I look around at the stuff I have accumulated over the years – and if I’m honest, still accumulating - I dream of a simpler life. I watch Tiny House and minimalist videos. While these inspire me, they seldom sustain any significant momentum towards clearing my own excess of stuff.
And my clutter, isn’t just visible. It has spilled over into digital clutter. My iPad, cell phone and computer now need additional digital storage space. My email inboxes and e-folders are in constant need of purging. And then, there is my schedule and the thoughts I carry around in my head of things to do or that I could do.
My clutter left me drowning in piles of paper, puddles of despair, feeling immobilized and overwhelmed.
I started getting together with other people who are dealing with their own clutter issues. We gather online, learn tips, tools and techniques that can be explored and experimented with. We listen to each other, ask questions and draw out solutions that are personal and practical. We hold space for each other to set intentions and take action as we keep each other gently accountable. We also share giggles that keep the process upbeat and fun. We also take time to celebrate the Aha moments and small accomplishments.
But best of all, is the sustainable momentum that acts, as one participant describes, as “a gently propellant”, making it easier to keep going. After all, my clutter didn’t materialize in a day – and it is going to take more than a day to minimize it.
If clutter is something that you struggle with – consider joining our merry band of creative clutter clearers. Click here to get dates and details.
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.