Imagine if the person you admired most just knocked at your front door and wanted to come inside for a cup of tea. Would you be embarrassed by your home? Or what if your boss stopped by your office and asked for that critical folder. Would you know where it was or would panic set in?
Your space has a direct correlation to many aspects of your life, including your relationships, your business, and your happiness. When you work and live in a space that feels disorganized and cluttered, you wil more easily start to feel anxious, overwhelmed, and scattered. And you begin to lose focus and your momentum.
After all, “stuff” takes up space, it zaps our energy, and it fills our time.
By clearing your space and bringing simplicity and flow into your home and office you will gain the clarity to make aligned decisions. You will have the space to step into your confidence and focus on what matters most. You will have the space to feel connected to your desires, vision, and to others. And this connection you gain is key to making the impact you desire.
Early in my career in human capital and consulting, people often described me as organized, and honestly, for a while this surprised me. Because I knew that underneath it all I was disorganized – my papers and files weren’t in order, I didn’t know where anything was, and I didn’t take the time to clear things I no longer needed. So even though people saw a neat stack of papers on my desk and closed drawers in my office, I knew the real chaos inside and within. I felt the disorganization on a daily basis and I could feel it weighing me down. I felt like I was always in a rush or in panic mode because of it.
It wasn’t until about 10 years into my career that I finally took the action steps to streamline my space, and as a result, my time. And I’m not alone. The strategy of clearing and organizing is often overlooked by the busy professional. Organizing isn’t seen as something that is essential. However, after working in the leadership realm for 8 years I found that disorganization is one of the top challenges faced by leaders. They are experiencing disorganization in the office and at home. And disorganization in their life has been holding them back from getting the results they desire at work and at home with their family.
So if you can relate, let’s take an intentional look at your space and start to simplify by following these three steps:
- Eliminate the nonessentials
Get rid of the things you don’t use. While this may seem simple, it can also be challenging. “I’ll use that someday,” or “When I get around to ____, I will use this.” Do any of these statements sound familiar? Rule of thumb, if you haven’t used an item for one year, then it’s time to pitch it. Yes, this even includes books, articles, office supplies, clothing, paper, note cards and anything else that feels essential.
I always thought having two of something would save me time just in case one ran out or broke; two staplers, two tape dispensers, two notebooks, two binders, sometimes two of the same book, just in case someone wanted a copy. If two things serve the same purpose, eliminate one!
- Find the power in passing it on
Over time our styles and taste for things change. And although I’m not one who follows the trends, I can tend to tell if something feels outdated. If you don’t feel like your classy, modern self in something get rid of it. Whether you sell it, donate it or take it to consignment, regardless of where it goes, if you no longer care for your once go-to blazer or overflowing bookshelf, pass them on and find a new home outside of your space. One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. Let it go. This process of letting go can be one of the most therapeutic exercises when done with love and opportunity. You are getting rid of the item and opening up space for growth, AND at the same time someone else is using the items you have passed on.
This giving and receiving brings a sense of gratitude. And gratitude is key to your success.
I have held onto about ten pairs of dress pants and blazers for about five years too long, simply because they were still in good shape and I spent what felt like a lot of money on them. But I didn’t like the way I felt in them. Finally, I found Year Up, an organization that provides professional clothing to rising inner-city professionals, and I cleared the majority of my closet. In doing so, I opened up space for a style that I love!
- Stand in your decision
If you need an item and use it, then by all means, find a home for it and keep it and feel good about your decision to do so. But, if you have any doubt whatsoever, follow the above rule – have you used it in the last year? If not, then it’s time to clear it from your space. This exercise is an incredible practice for letting go and detaching from the non-essential things in your life. Because too often we hang on. We become attached. And we keep things in our lives because it is easier than letting go. However, when we hang on to something nonessential, we are giving up the space for the essentials that fuel our desires. And when we honor our desires we gain the clarity, confidence, and connection to live a happy, successful life.
Your space is your haven. You space serves you physically and emotionally. Your space represents your lifestyle, and your lifestyle fuels the impact you make.
What would it feel like to have a space that helps you thrive in your business and life?
Be intentional about your space. A clear space will lead to the growth you desire, both personally and professionally.