Posts Tagged ‘mental clutter’

Through The Eyes Of A Child: What Children Can Teach You About Organizing

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Through The Eyes Of A Child: What Children Can Teach You About OrganizingChildren live big. They laugh from the heart … play like there’s no tomorrow … dream without boundaries … derive joy from the smallest of things.

As adults, the opposite often happens. We laugh less … play less … dream less.

The responsibilities of adulthood – work, bills, commitments, family – tend to create such a serious and task-driven environment that it’s difficult to enjoy YOU. So you find yourself thinking:

  • I’ve always wanted to …
  • I really miss doing …
  • It’s been a long time since …

And when you think like this, you normally experience one or more of the following:

  • Emotional Clutter: Regretting and maybe even resenting not doing more of what you love or not trying something new.
  • Mental Clutter: Rationalizing and making excuses about why you haven’t done or tried something.
  • Behavioral Clutter: Turning the above regret, resentment, rationalization, and excuses into damaging actions like negative self-talk or lashing out at those around you.

Your Easy Organizing Challenge™ is to either do something that you have always wanted to do, or if this “something” is a larger undertaking, then start making it happen by doing research, making reservations or inquiries, or setting money aside.

“Experience all things with the enthusiasm of a child,
as if you were seeing it for the first time. This is the Zen mind.
Always new, always aware, always that of a beginner.”
~ Daniel Levin

It’s time to put on the armor of childhood and … Teach a class. Run a marathon. Travel to Tibet. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Join the Peace Corps. Climb Mount Everest. Learn a second language. Take a poetry class. Meet the US President. Surf in Hawaii. Sing in a choir. Learn to ride a horse. Adopt a dog. Dive in the Caribbean. Act in a play. Learn to juggle. Become a drag racer.

REMEMBER: Even if your space is organized, it doesn’t mean you will feel like you are balanced and fulfilled. Organizing is an inside-out adventure, and you have to declutter all areas of your life to get the results you really want.

So … how will you live big today? Please let me know your thoughts, experiences, ideas, and other comments below.

Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. If you want to get organized and calm the chaos in your life, go to CarmenCoker.com for her free video how-to called the Secrets of the Super Organized™.

All You Need To Know About Learning How To Be Organized & Letting Go

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

All You Need To Know About Learning How To Be Organized & Letting Go

A Zen parable tells of a wanderer who happened upon a river. He wanted to cross it, but there was no bridge. Afraid to wade across the river on foot, he spent hours building his own raft from vines and trees, which ultimately carried him safely to the other side.

However, once across the river, he thought to himself: This is a good raft; I might need it again if I must forge another river.

So the wanderer carried the raft with him for the rest of his life.

Consider the moral of this story for just a moment. From the outside looking in, this decision might seem utterly ridiculous. Why would this obviously resourceful guy carry a heavy raft around when he didn’t need to? But, often times, we do this same thing in our own lives. In fact, you may be carrying around a lot of “rafts”!

It’s not uncommon for people to hang on to an item that was useful at one point but has since become irrelevant clutter, because … what if I need this later?what if it would hurt someone’s feelings if I gave this away?what if I regret my decision? There are lots of “what ifs” that can bubble to the surface when you are thinking about getting rid of your things.

In a very basic sense, this powerful Zen parable teaches all you need to know about learning how to be organized and letting go. To start your journey toward living clutter-free, your Easy Organizing Challenge™ is to purge five objects that no longer add value to your home, office, or life. Don’t carry these “rafts” when you don’t need to …

WARNING: It’s important not to allow yourself to get a mental block around five if it seems like a lot to you. You could toss five sticky notes, five pens that are out of ink, five pairs of holey socks, five magazines, five expired meds, five old emails. It really is that easy!

Declutter Bigger | Instead of trashing, recycling, or donating five items just this once, decide to do it once a week. You’ll be amazed at how much headway you make.

Declutter Smarter | When this strategy is applied wholeheartedly to your life, this Easy Organizing Challenge™ will help you declutter smarter by managing all of the six types of clutter: behavioral clutter, emotional clutter, mental clutter, physical clutter, temporal clutter, and virtual clutter. The type of clutter depends upon what exactly you decide to purge.

Red ArrowDeclutter Faster | Get the kick-start you need to get organized and calm the chaos in your life.
(Psst – it’s FREE!) Discover the Secrets of the Super Organized™ today at CarmenCoker.com.

Declutter You | How will you use this Zen parable to declutter your home, life, and world? Please let me know your thoughts, experience, ideas, and other comments below.

Easy Organizing Challenge: Three Things

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

1 - 2 - 3

One, two, threeuno, dos, treseins, zwei, drei. Languages can get pretty complicated, but counting to 1-2-3 is always an easy skill to master, no matter the language.

In the same way, clutter can really complicate your life, but purging 1-2-3 things is always a simple task.

Here’s the thing: we, as human beings, often won’t let getting rid of clutter be a simple task.

When you are experiencing an “out with the old, in with the new” transformation, there are a number of elements that tend to surface, build up, and then collide into a perfect storm:

1) Thoughts and Feelings
Every object in your life holds a different energy for you and comes charged with thoughts and feelings. This energy can be negative, positive, neutral, or any combination thereof.

2) Fear and Doubt
The idea of change, even if constructive, can aggravate your what-if sensitivity – most notably “What if I need this later?” When this happens, you begin to doubt your decisions and fear moving forward.

3) Outside Influences and Constraints
External circumstances play a big role in the flow of things in and out of your life. These externals can be serious concerns like difficult family relationships or smaller concerns like everyday distractions.

“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life, which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

When you face this perfect storm, it’s important to put on your raincoat, and shield yourself from your thoughts and feelings, fears and doubts, and outside influences as much as possible. Then focus and ask yourself these two questions:

  • How much of my life is this “costing” me?
  • Is it worth it?

Your Easy Organizing Challenge is to select three items that you no longer want or need, and purge them from your life today.

Declutter Bigger | Throughout the year and in keeping with the theme of three’s, make it a priority to eliminate three things from your life each month that cause chaos, clutter, and overwhelm.

Declutter Smarter | This Easy Organizing Challenge manages at least three of the six types of clutter: physical clutter, emotional clutter, and mental clutter.

Declutter Faster | Celebrate Simplicity Day happens March 3rd and helps busy people to simplify life. To find out how you can participate and how to get a complimentary copy of 33 Easy Ways to Simplify Your Life TODAY™, including actionable tips to get organized and simplify, visit CelebrateSimplicityDay.com.

Weekly Organizing Challenge: Leave Something Behind

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Weekly Organizing Challenge | Leave Something Behind

Weekly Organizing Challenge | Leave Something Behind

Manages | Behavioral Clutter, Emotional Clutter, Mental Clutter, Temporal Clutter

Promotes | A Better Life

Do you find that you are constantly tangled in a web of too-many-things-to-do, rush-rush-rush, and no-time-for-just-me?

If so, it’s understandable that you feel:

  • No matter how much you get done in a day, your to-do list only seems to gets longer;
  • Home, work, and life responsibilities are relentless;
  • You cannot rest until everything that needs to be done in your life is complete.

Here’s the thing: I’m willing to bet, if you scrutinize your schedule, you will find a task, project, commitment, appointment, or other that has become avoidable. This could mean it’s temporarily avoidable, allowing you to reschedule, or it could mean that it’s permanently avoidable, which is even better!

“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” ~ Lin Yutang

Today’s challenge is to leave behind something that is unnecessary or irrelevant. Look at your to-do list or planner, and ask these questions of each item:

  • Is it necessary?
  • Is it urgent?
  • Is it important?
  • Does it support my priorities?
  • Does it support my goals?
  • Can it be deleted?
  • Can it be postponed?
  • Can it be delegated?

Once you’ve made your wise decision(s), don’t look back … simply relish the freedom of letting go.

Get Bigger Results | Instead of picking one thing for today-only to leave behind, pick three things each day for an entire week.

Declutter Faster | If you want to calm the chaos in your life, improve the quality and quantity of your time, and finally feel that the time you have is abundant not scarce – then discover this simple secret: http://www.carmencoker.com/totally-organized-time/.

© 2013 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved

Weekly Organizing Challenge: Break The Procrastination Cycle

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Weekly Organizing Challenge: Break The Cycle

Weekly Organizing Challenge | Break The Procrastination Cycle

Manages | Behavioral Clutter, Mental Clutter, Temporal Clutter

Promotes | A Better Life

Everyone’s got one of those tasks that never seems to get done, no matter what. You know you are in trouble when you start to joke about it, laughing at your failure to accomplish the task. Making light of the situation takes the sting out of the fact that you have procrastinated yourself into Never Never Land.

Yet, when you ignore tasks you should do, that doesn’t mean they leave your mind. They remain nagging little thoughts that may:

  • Keep you awake at night.
  • Distract you from other tasks and projects.
  • Become enablers for excuse-making.

Think of all the things to which you have given lip service, or mind service, about getting done – but subsequently, you pushed them aside for something else, or perhaps nothing at all.

“How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never’.” ~ Martin Luther

Never, nada, zilch, zero. Have no doubt that those results are the only results that procrastination will give you.

Today’s challenge is to break free of the procrastination that has become a vicious cycle in your life. Pick one task that’s been eluding completion for too long now – and just do it!

Get Bigger Results | Instead of picking one task for the entire week, pick one task for each day of the week.

Declutter Faster | This is a small excerpt from 7 Days To A More Organized You™. Claim your *F*R*E*E* copy of this brand new resource at http://lessonsfromorganizing.com/want-your-story/ – and reduce the clutter in your life in one week or less!

© 2013 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved