I’m searching for my fairy godmother right now. Not because I need a date or a dress for the dance, but because I have so much stuff to clean out of my life it isn’t funny. And although I’m not a big fan of rodents, if she shows up with a dozen or so mice dressed in aprons and carrying brooms, I can find a way to develop a tolerance for small furry animals.
The cleaning is not just in my house, although that’s a big place to start. I just threw out phone books from 2005 (I’m pretty confident I won’t find I need them again!) But I’m really trying to consolidate my life right now, and that includes getting rid of things that just take up space, that I have to take care of and clean around but that I don’t really use. I’m trying to simplify and streamline my life, and that means cleaning out those things that don’t “fit”. I enjoy the concept of the three piles to sort clothing- one to keep and use now because they work now, one to throw or give away, and a few things to hold onto because you hope they might fit later. I’m spending this month trying to apply this concept to not only my closet, but my life.
My business is part of this early spring cleaning. My email inbox is ridiculous. Truly ridiculous. I have a tendency to think “wow- that’s a really good idea for my business!” and immediately subscribe to whatever applies. And it may be a great idea. But sometimes it’s not a good idea right now. I am spending time right now unsubscribing to those things that just don’t make sense, and that realistically I just don’t have time for. For those things that don’t fit now but may work well later, I transfer them to a “bulk” folder in my inbox. Those emails are still there, but they aren’t in my general inbox. I can find them when I need them, without tripping over them on a regular basis.
I’ve also thought long and hard about some relationships during the last few weeks. I had a long talk last night with a friend who has been deeply wounded by a family member. The rift is now so vast a letter from an attorney arrived, instead of a phone call or visit to sort out differences. What they have right now clearly doesn’t “fit” for either of them. I’m not sure if she will choose to remove this person from her life completely or if she will put the relationship in storage. But it clearly needs to be out of her living space for right now. I have a few relationships that have been moved into the little plastic containers in the basement of my life right now. We will see if they fit later, but for now they just don’t. And I refuse to spend any more time trying to pretend they do.
I’ve found I really enjoy this exercise for a few reasons. First, it’s easier to find things you want when you clean out those things you don’t use. Another thing is that clutter, whether on my desk or in my life, is just stressful for me. I feel so much better now that I feel like I can fit everything comfortably into the space I have available.
But the third and most important reason is the pleasant surprises I occasionally get when I try something on to see if it fits. A sweater I barely touched in years past is quickly becoming a big part of my wardrobe- I liked it when I bought it, but it just kind of got lost in my closet. And some relationships are that way too. I stumble across an email from someone I have not talked to in a long time, and I make an effort to get back in touch. Some relationships, both business and in my personal life, that felt a bit uncomfortable months or years ago, are just perfect now.
Insisting on a good “fit”, in both my closet and my life- another big change for 2012!