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Brenda-Avadian-in-Mexico-Drinking-leche-de-Coca-fresca

Most THINGS don’t Matter Unexpected Gifts Do

Life Lesson: Most THINGS don’t Matter Unexpected Gifts Do

Oftentimes, we are caught up with THINGS.

We collect things. We clean, organize, and display them. We feel a loss when things go missing.

Yet, if we let go of some of these things or even better, don’t bring them into our homes, we’ll receive unexpected gifts that may surprise us.

Brenda Avadian in Mexico Drinking la Leche fresca de CocoWhile on a trip to Mexico, my husband and I lived high on the hog, we also lived along the middle of the hog, and under the hog. Okay, I’m stretching the cliché a little.

We returned home appreciating that we had a shelter even though it was a fixer-upper. We questioned if we should proceed with remodeling.

Even now, in our information-rich world, the more things we acquire, we run the risk of creating physical clutter, which soon grows into toxic mental clutter that takes time away from what matters in our lives.

Ever ask a person a question and not get a straight answer?

C’mon, what is it? Yes or No?

It’s hard to decide with a clutter-filled mind.

Instead, when we declutter the various cluttergories in our lives, we feel lighter, more focused, and are more decisive.

At around 7 minutes in the video, you’re invited to do an exercise. Click on link for an overview of the STUFFology 101 Cluttergories. Print a copy and then write your notes (from the video) on the reverse.

And the hog?

We finally ate the hog, but carnitas are not part of this story except for an unexpected gift.

I crossed one item off my Bucket List—a goal I’d had since I read stories in the 5th or 6th grade recounting family gatherings in Mexico.

What was it?

Watch the end of the video for my unexpected gift.

Yours will be different, and that’s what makes these gifts unexpected.

ENJOY.

If the embedded video does not display below, click on http://youtu.be/ViA9Xdsvz2g

 

Brendas-Outlook-folder-Digital-declutter-Web

Which type are YOU when managing emails?

I disagree with Joe Pinsker’s article in the Atlantic that “Those who can comfortably ignore unread notifications, and those who feel the need to take action immediately.”

A Third Type of Person

There’s a third kind of person when it comes to email messages and I find myself among them. We are those who check our email inboxes throughout the day to respond to important, urgent, and sometimes quick emails. We are those who consciously decide what to subscribe to and what to let go. We are those who may have multiple email addresses. We are those who access our emails when we want to and, in some cases, turn off the notification sounds to avoid annoying Pavlovian bells.

Judging from the comments to his article, others agree.

In 1995, I had one email account with AOL. I received about 35 a day and replied within the hour and in some cases, within 24 hours. Even then, colleagues lamented the fact that they couldn’t respond quickly due to a deluge of 35 emails a week!

Ahh, it’s all relative, isn’t it?

Over the years, my email input has grown and leveled off at about 100+ emails daily. I respond within the day or 24 hours—sometimes, just to acknowledge receipt and that I’ll respond by a given date. (This assures senders that their email was received and the ball is now in my court.) I’ll hit “Reply” then add a note in my calendar or in brackets at the start of the subject line of the draft reply email  such as [PROMISED Reply by #/##/####] before saving it to my Drafts folder.

Emails and Volleyball

I view email correspondence like a game of volleyball. When the ball’s in your court, you need to return it.

Sure, there are people who insist on making others play volleyball by themselves. I’ve heard my husband say, “If you really need to reach me and I haven’t replied to your email, call me.” Others place the burden on the sender with an automated reply informing them of the hundreds of emails they receive and if they don’t reply, to resend them the email. Again, this places the burden on the sender to run to the other side of the net and serve, to keep the ball/email in play.

Organize Emails

To organize the emails I receive daily, I use nine email addresses: six for work with two different websites (STUFFology101.com and TheCaregiversVoice.com) and my publishing company; two personal email addresses; and a Google account I use twice a month.

We have our own methods to organize our emails, just as we organize our sock drawers. However, a little inspiration and new ways of organizing can go a long way. While some use all the bells and whistles (tagging, filtering, flagging, categorizing), I go so far as to create subfolders in Outlook. I find these especially useful when I’m corresponding with a client on a project. Once the assignment is finished, I delete the subfolder.

Lost Subfolders

Brenda Avadian's Outlook folder - Digital declutterEarlier this month, after work-related travel subsided, I directed time and energy to two old subfolders with a combined 200 emails. They included Los Angeles County emails, environmental studies, initiatives, reports, and related correspondence from my work last year as a town council president. I was shocked to discover they were gone. GONE!

I back up every week, but I just noticed this, which means I’ve since backed up Outlook with the lost subfolders. Besides, in one week I can get through 1,000 emails. Restoring last week’s backup would mean redoing a LOT of work. Just a thought for you to consider when relying on backups.

A visit to the online forums indicated that Outlook subfolders do have a tendency to disappear. This is the first time this has happened to me without my being aware of the cause.

At a crossroads and in a quandary

Is this one of those unexpected gifts?

On the one hand, I’ve saved myself a lot of time, because these data-intense emails will no longer take my time.

On the other, what about the lost records?

Those who can DELETE

Some people, you may be one of them, easily delete backlogs of emails when they grow too large. One publisher/broker wrote to tell me his Outlook froze after having tens of thousands of emails. YIKES!

One of our readers wrote that she deleted 4,000 emails since 2010. I’ve learned in most cases, when people tell me this, it’s usually because they haven’t deleted those sales announcements, newsletters, and other non-essential emails that fill their inboxes daily.

What I’m writing about are those emails that require follow-up during the course of business, day to day.

In STUFFology 101, I shared my goal to reduce all top-level emails to less than five carried over to the next day. I’ll achieve this goal this year. It takes disciplined effort during days, evenings (without TV), and even some weekends to dive deep. Not letting the ball drop and surprising people (even after a year) are worth it to me, an old-fashioned person who believes in following up. After losing touch with some, they’ve ended up becoming clients.

Reducing emails brings me clarity of mind, increased focus, and a feeling of lightness that comes with reducing digital clutter in order to have less mental clutter.

Alice in Wonderland Small door

Down the Alice-in-Wonderland Rabbit Hole of Cluttergories

When one part of our lives grows cluttered, so do other parts of our lives. Hence, the term we’ve coined to describe various areas of clutter – cluttergories.

When we think of clutter, it often deals with physical clutter—the stuff that makes us fear judgment by others.

What kind of person do we become when we hold onto these feelings?

Do our fears affect our relationships with others?

Beyond the obvious—don’t invite anybody over to see our clutter—what signals are we sending by our behavior?

Are we at risk of falling down the Alice-in-Wonderland rabbit hole of cluttergories?

Alice in Wonderland Rabbit


Let’s turn the tables for a moment.

We’ve all experienced relationships when we get to know someone initially and feel comfortable. Somewhere along the line, we start feeling the person is holding back. It’s not the shy or introverted behavior; rather, the kind of withholding that creates an inexplicable void in a relationship.

Some people tend to dismiss such observations as thinking too much. The reality is, we humans are far more observant and can sense anomalies in our relationships—things that don’t add up—well before we learn the truth.

Now, let’s look at ourselves.

I don’t intend to address the psychology of human behavior. Instead, I’m trying to raise awareness that such voids in our relationships may serve as clues to the struggles we have with the different cluttergories in our lives.

Whether it starts with physical clutter—what we observe easily—and then radiates outward to the burden of mental clutter. Or it starts in our mind with secrets we hold onto so tightly, we spiral into a life filled with sensual clutter; such as, too much entertainment, alcohol, or food.

Cluttergories play a greater role in our lives than many of us are willing to admit. Unless we do something about them, we’ll continue bearing the burden for a lifetime.

Isn’t it time, we crawl out of the rabbit hole and let the light create awareness?

Clutter free Kitchen table - Avadian - Web

Nature abhors a vacuum and other clutter postulates

About a decade ago, I came upon “Nature abhors a vacuum” in a book on feng shui. It left a lasting impression upon me. If we resist this force of nature, we may gain control over the cycle of clutter in order to enjoy the unexpected gifts in life.

At this time, I needed to get rid of a number of classic-tailored suits. I no longer wore them because after years of living in a dry climate — the High Desert of Southern California — the finely woven wool fibers had shrunk significantly; yet, I couldn’t let them go.

Isn’t it funny how when we don’t even need something, we insist on holding on?

That changed when a fellow caregiver and friend needed donations for the Children’s Hospital fundraiser. Knowing these clothes were to be purchased by women who would recognize the finer quality details, I donated a half-dozen suits and other clothes.

The void in my closet provided relief. I no longer had the toxic reminders of what was not in my future — a body to fit in those clothes.

And while the force of nature pressured me to fill that void, I resisted. I bought two new outfits. I needed something to wear at speaking engagements!

Today, I consciously resist the urge to replace something I give away or discard. I try to live without it a while to see if I really need to replace it.

This past weekend, one of our living room tabletop lamps stopped working. My husband took it apart to try to fix it. We agreed it wasn’t worth his time and tossed it. We considered buying a new one. Then, to fill the void with light, we experimented by moving two floor lamps. Amazingly, the new arrangement resulted in a much better effect with one less lamp!

What is it that compels us to give into nature’s force and fill a newly created void? And why?

It turns out that Aristotle made this statement. Ahh, now that explains why we accumulate clutter! It’s a physics postulate! And who can resist nature’s law?

We can, if we try hard enough.

After all, with enough power, we defy the laws of gravity and enjoy air travel around the world.

We CAN defy the laws of physics.

When we resist the urge to fill a void whether it’s physical, mental, or even temporal, we free ourselves to receive the unexpected gifts in life.

Unexpected gifts

Clutter free Kitchen table - AvadianYou may recall reading the part in STUFFology 101 about my husband’s and my commitment to keep our kitchen table clear after we grew tired of having to clear a space to eat. Instead, we put our food on trays and ate while watching TV.

This is a photo taken on May 4, 2015 of our clutter-free table. And we took advantage of two unexpected gifts. First, we focus on what we’re eating, which means we eat less. Instead of permitting TV to be a distraction, we take our time to enjoy meals we prepare together from scratch. Second, we’re talking more, just as we did when we became a couple almost 38 years ago.

You may also recall the article that we cancelled our television subscription earlier this year, in order to have more time.

This means less temporal clutter. We have more time to catch up with the things that piled up while our attention was diverted to the TV. And there’s no more mindless blur of daily entertainment that overloaded us with mental clutter.

As we consciously strive to defy Aristotle’s (clutter) postulate, we’ll have more time and energy to enjoy life’s unexpected gifts. One such gift presented itself a couple months ago after I took steps to reduce the hours and days I worked each week.U.S. News & World Report - Brenda Avadian

For almost twenty years, I worked 14-16 hours a day for 6-7 days a week. Last year, I began to take stock of my time and energy and reduced my schedule to 12-14-hour days. After facing some difficult decisions, I let go of several volunteer activities and reduced my work schedule even more.

This year, I’m working 10-12 hour days 6 days a week. This reduction left me with enough time and energy to accept an unexpected gift–an invitation to write for U.S. News & World Report.

This opportunity helps me to reach a wider audience with my message for caregivers. I would not have been able to accept this gift had I not cleared the temporal clutter in my life. Plus, I’m getting out more often to hike in nature.

What unexpected gifts will you invite into your life after resisting the urge to fill a void with stuff?

The Mental Codes by Dr Michael Duckett

STUFFology 101 REVIEW – The secret is in The Mental Codes

In this STUFFology 101 REVIEW, an older and little known work by Dr. Duckett entitled, The Mental Codes, contains the missing ingredient to our success.

Remember the book, The Secret?

Remember the book, The Mental Codes?

Remember The Strangest Secret?

The Mental Codes by Dr Michael DuckettThey all sound familiar, right?

Depending on your age, you may only have vague familiarity with Earl Nightingale’s, The Strangest Secret.

Almost everyone’s heard of Australian-born Rhonda Byrne’s blockbuster, The Secret. It was a marketing fait accompli!

And what about Dr. Duckett’s, The Mental Codes?

If it sounds familiar, it may be because of its similarity to Dan Brown’s bestselling, Da Vinci Code. Yet, it contains the missing ingredient of The Secret.

I will illustrate with an example.

Since my husband and I gave up TV this year, we find we have more energy—physically and mentally. We are being more proactive by reading, hiking, and catching up with those things that were left behind while we passively soaked up satellite-delivered entertainment.

Each night, before I go to bed, I’ve noticed that my brain is not stuffed with sensual clutter—thoughts and images spinning out of control from hours of TV viewing. I feel more focused and more at peace.

The Mental Codes

In 2008, when I received a signed copy of The Mental Codes, I set it aside to read later. For seven years, it leaned against one of the boxes in my home office. I picked it up multiple times, ready to donate it to the local library. It was adding to my physical clutter, which created mental clutter.  Each time I saw it, I wondered: Shall I make time to read it or let it go? It’s still there!

Ultimately, I resisted the popular advice from personal organizing experts, “If it doesn’t make you happy or you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it.”

The Missing Link

Although, The Mental Codes never became a blockbuster, it contained an important ingredient missing from the other blockbusters. Self-help gurus didn’t create a wellspring of expectation; instead, The Mental Codes quietly shared the missing link.

You’re familiar by now with the saying: When the pupil is ready, the teacher will come. I must have been ready, because I finally picked up the book, earlier this year, and began reading it. It all came together for me in about an hour.

EMOTIONS

It’s all about the strength of our EMOTION!

If I recall, Byrne’s The Secret offered one quote near the beginning that addressed our emotions when attracting what we want. She didn’t emphasize it though, and I missed it. I can’t even find it now among the twenty morsels I had marked with sticky tabs when I read it in 2007.

The intensity with which we feel an emotion while trying to form new habit will determine our success.

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

As we know, the world didn’t self-actualize after The Secret. Although Rhonda Byrne’s life was forever changed, after hundreds of millions in sales. Meanwhile, the rest of us, still depend on self-help titles to get us through life’s tough spots.

The Mental Codes, published after The Secret, devotes two chapters to the importance of emotions in getting what we want in life. Duckett highlights this missing yet important ingredient throughout the entire first and last chapters of his book. Duckett’s book truly deserves more attention than the six reviews it received on Amazon.

Unexpected Gift

It’s amazing when you take one step, like letting go of TV, the kind of space it opens in life. It was an unexpected gift within the chapters of a seven-year old book. To think, I almost tossed this missing link, convinced it was clutter.

Today, I focus on the level of emotions I feel as I try to create new habits in my life.

I continue to be in awe of how diverse forces work together to paint a clearer path during our life’s journey. I feel the benefit of a feng shui related practice–to clear cluttered energy–be willing to let go in order to invite in.

I was ready to let go. Yet, I became that pupil who was ready, and that’s when it happened. I opened the book, found the missing link, and if there was any doubt, a day later, I came across this article, The simple secrets to happiness. About midway, it addresses the important role our emotions play in manifesting new habits.

For more information about these titles, visit the Amazon.com page for each.

Weeds-of-mental-clutter-1

What’s on Your Mind?

What’s on your mind?

Have you ever been asked this question and wondered, “Where do I start?”

We lead busy lives with endless items added daily at the workplace, at home, and elsewhere. So much input leads to mental clutter. Mental clutter includes thoughts, worries, emotions, and regrets that distract and drain us.

I view my own mental clutter as a weed filled garden. Just like weeds choke out healthy plants in the garden, so too does mental clutter choke out healthy thoughts in the mind. Weeds-of-mental-clutter-2

That feeling of fatigue, even when you get enough sleep, may well be mental clutter, weeds that must be pulled from your mental garden.

What do you do to clear the mental clutter?

A few suggestions to consider:

  • Take a walk outdoors
  • Call a friend you haven’t spoken with in awhile
  • Read a book (preferably a novel or something light)
  • Watch a comedy movie
  • Listen to classical music

Just as what you define as clutter is unique to you, so too is your response to the mental clutter in your life. Please share something that helps you clear the mental clutter in the comments section below.

Weeds often reappear in the garden despite our best efforts at keeping them away. Mental clutter does the same thing. Keep pulling the weeds.

Decluttering Tax Records Avadian

Using S.T.U.F.F. to DeClutter

While dealing with the STUFF of LIFE, we could use a helping hand with clearing the mental clutter swirling in our minds or the physical stuff that stops us from going after what we really want.

When a helping hand is not an option, an inspirational reminder can lift us over the obstacles created by clutter.

To help you declutter, we use the word STUFF as an apronym.

Huh?

The only difference between an apronym and an acronym is that in the former, each letter actually spells a word. I admit, I recently learned this, myself.

S.T.U.F.F.

When you find STUFF getting in the way, it’s because you haven’t Started yet.

START

Once you decide to START, define an area of clutter, and then do something about it.

Your one action will make it easier to keep going. A little progress is better than no progress and means one less thing you need to add to your growing To Do list for tomorrow.

Decluttering Tax Records AvadianAfter five consecutive Sundays of going through old paperwork for two to three hours each time, my husband and I took a break this past weekend. We’ll  return to reducing the clutter of old tax records, next Sunday.

It’s harder to Start than it is to continue. So get started with even one small step.

TRUST

When you hit that wall of resistance, you’ll need to TRUST the process and yourself.

As you build trust in the process, you’ll gain self-confidence.

I made progress in spurts over the years. The older I get, the more I realize that I need to devote the time and effort to getting this done.

I trust that the process will take time and it’s a bit easier sharing the misery while going through old tax files and statements with my husband. During five consecutive weekends, we reduced our records by eight inches. That’s a lot of shredded paper!

UNDERSTAND

Progress helps give us strength to UNDERSTAND the nature of how STUFF accumulates. This is why it’s important to go through the process of decluttering in order to learn the important lessons, which will help us prevent clutter from accumulating.

For lasting results, we can’t expect to get rid of years of stuff in one weekend.

We understand that the small steps we have taken each weekend means we’ll be finished decluttering our old tax records before the end of this month. YAAAAY. This encourages us to define another area of clutter in order to continue the process.

To avoid a future of toxic clutter, we understand now the importance of scheduling regular intervals to manage our records. Drinking wine helps make the process easier.  🙂

FOCUS

In our information-overload world, it’s hard to keep FOCUS.  Watching television becomes a major obstacle for many of us. When in a decisive moment, my hubby decided he was ready to let it go, I cancelled our service.

I didn’t realize all the mindless thoughts filling my brain until we stopped watching TV.

WOW, is Geraldo’s ego really THAT big? His almost rivals Trump’s on Celebrity Apprentice! How much gold do we really need on Gold Rush? Look at all that pristine Alaskan wilderness being torn up just for gold dust! Is Hillary going to run? What’s the deal with Kim Kardashian’s butt?

In the scheme of life, what substance do any of these thoughts add to the contributions I choose to make in our world?

Nothing. They prevent me from focusing on what matters and that is to get my life in order. FOCUSED effort on decluttering one area at a time will free my mind of distraction so that I may help you from a place of focused strength, rather than scattered weakness.

FINISH

Finally, understand that this is an organic process–things come in, they turn into piles, and then they need to go out in order to keep life from becoming toxic.

If you manage your clutter, your progress—cleared space on your desk, space in your file drawers and storage bins, will bring you a feeling of lightness and freedom from not being tied down by too much stuff.

 

What are you waiting for?

Start decluttering your stuff. Trust in the process. Understand how clutter accumulates. Focus on one area at a time and you will Finish.

For more information, click to read Start (again).

 

While Eric and I are happy to give you a helping hand…

You must first define YOUR clutter.

Old books  Avadian

What you define as clutter, I may enjoy as a walk back into time—such as reading a book or letters from the late 1800s.

While you think I should delete all my older emails, I may value following-up with an old acquaintance not forgotten. 😉

If you haven’t yet, pick up a copy to read STUFFology 101 first and then send us an email for HELP@stuffology101.com. Today, our virtual communications allow us to help you almost anywhere!

 

 

Processing POOP - our Tax Papers - Avadian

Getting rid of POOP flows through other Cluttergories

Processing POOP - our Tax Papers - AvadianIt’s amazing what happens when we take steps to de-clutter.

With tax season coming, we’ve run out of space to file our paperwork.

My husband had removed older records from the filing cabinet, which made it so much easier to file current paperwork.

Now, the IRS requires us to save the last seven years of records. For some of us entrepreneurs, who file Schedule C’s, that means lots of documentation.

What to do?

Store the papers in plastic containers or bankers boxes.

But there’s no more room!

Okay, just buy another container.

Wait, that means MORE STUFF!

The time has come for us to do something about all this POOP—Piles of Overwhelming Paperwork.

Our once-every-three-year approach has resulted in a backlog of POOP.

Surprisingly, hubby agreed to sit down with me for two hours every Sunday, until we clear up more space. Hubby usually doesn’t agree to such things; especially, when I want to take the time to reflect on our past, together. You may remember from the book, he’s a “toss-it-all” kinda guy!

Yet, it’s amazing what two people can accomplish by setting aside a little time each weekend, until we get the job done. The photo at the top of this article is one-week’s carefully digested POOP that’s now ready for the shredder. Imagine how much space we’re creating in our storage container after several weeks of this!

What has happened so far has been unexpected.

I feel the relief in other areas of my life—in those other cluttergories that encroach on our daily functioning, without our knowing (or admitting) it.

I feel lighter.  I’m losing a few winter pounds, too. More importantly, I feel lighter, mentally (mental clutter).

Maybe that lightheadedness is a warning of something else!

Seriously, I feel less burdened by those nagging thoughts, like: When will I have time and the energy to get to it?

We’re gettin’ it done!

And I have the energy to move on.Walk in the Angeles National Forest -Brenda Avadian

I’ve made the time to take more walks in nature.

Next, is the bankers box full of stock and options trades from years past. I actually, look forward to revisiting these records. Although, trading in today’s market is vastly different (more speculative); I expect a goldmine of hindsight within those records—learnings that I may apply, today.

Maybe an article or two… or even a book! 😉

Tax season is here. What will you do differently?

To help you without adding to your paperwork, LISTEN to an audio edition of STUFFology 101.  🙂

For a related article click on: We need to declutter and archive statements more often.

 

Giving up Television_Avadian photo

Letting GO to Welcome In

Giving up Television_Avadian photoLast week, I cancelled my satellite TV subscription.

Two years ago, I suspended service for two to three months. Since then, I wanted to let go of subscription TV but hit a roadblock—my husband.

When he suggested giving up TV completely, recently, I jumped and cancelled our service.

The following day, I received an unexpected gift.

When my neighbor and I walked the 0.7 mile down to our mailboxes, she received a postcard. An announcement about a play– Great Expectations. I got EXCITED, because Charles Dickens’ story of Pip and Miss Havisham was one of those childhood stories that left an impression on me. Time to see the play after reading the book several times and seeing the movie.

When ONE door closes, ANTHER DOOR opens.

Or, to using another cliché:

You can’t get to second base with your foot still on first.

In order to take a leap of faith, you must be willing to let go.

We don’t realize it: We watch more TV than we think we do.

Couch-Potatoes_AvadianI would have guessed that I watched only one to two hours, some nights, but the truth was,  I could watch three or more. After a hard day of work, I enjoyed being a couch potato. With all that TV watching though, this spud was going no where.

All those hours lost… watching TV

All those hours watching actors, actresses, news broadcasters, documentaries, and even some reality TV.

All those hours of distraction taking never-to-be returned hours from finishing the tasks that would give me peace of mind and reduced mental clutter.

Things I look forward to doing as I get used to this new schedule without TV—

  • Reading an hour
  • Walking an hour
  • Telephoning a friend
  • Catching up with emails
  • Catching up with some online reading
  • Making progress on the stacks of paperwork accumulating on my worktable, mail shelf, and desk

Saturday afternoon, while shopping, we bought a DVD and watched a movie that evening. Two hours of TV in five days. WONDERFUL!

Sunday night, instead of watching the line-up of shows, I took two-and-a-half hours to review the past minutes and Bylaws for one of the associations for which I serve as a board member.

Exciting, huh? Not really.

What’s worse is seeing the folder on my L-shaped desk over the past seven months. I realized if I review the papers again, after having served on the board for seven months, I‘d have a clearer context for our work going forward. I’ll need to devote at least an hour more before I can file the folder for future reference.

We have a choice.

We can spend our time in front of the TV or spend it catching up with the things that pile up in our lives.

If we take at least ONE hour each evening to catch up with reading, imagine what we will gain, in one month–thirty hours of knowledge and progress reading books and/or magazines.

I don’t suggest marathon reading.

Our brains won’t be able to use everything our eyes gloss over. Marathon reading produces similar results as overeating at an all-you-can-eat buffet. You’ll feel upset and won’t be able to use all the information/nutrition at one sitting unless you take time to reflect or digest.

Taking time away from TV to to sit and talk with your spouse during dinner, talking a walk, and reading an hour each day, will have a cumulative effect on your life. I’ve also noticed, I’m less distracted. It’s like my brain isn’t buzzing with thoughts. I can focus and see more clearly. Who would have guessed this as on outcome of giving up TV? Again, after only five days!

If you give up something similar, let us know how it goes.

We can all learn from one another.

It’s not easy to give up something we’re used to in our lives—but as the saying goes (cliché alert): If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. Most often, getting what you’ve always gotten,  isn’t good enough.

For a related perspective, read, WISDOM of the AGES.

Office-clutter-phsical-02032015

START (again)

Does an area you like to keep clean and tidy suffer from clutter creep?

My home office desk area suffers from clutter creep as it is the repository for all household paperwork, and assorted other items. Even a dedicated STUFFologist has a hard time keeping it free of clutter!
Office-clutter-phsical-02032015
I share this because I like to keep it neat and tidy as much as possible. When it accumulates like this, I define that as physical clutter in my living space. If I let it pile up, it becomes mental clutter weighing me down!

Often we forget to take our own advice when we get busy with life. I am no different. In the book we advise people to START small and ”…define clutter in one area at a time to avoid being overwhelmed.” It is time for me to START in my home office (again).

I also consider clutter removal to be an ongoing process, not an event. Don’t beat yourself up if clutter reappears. Take a deep breath and START again in that area.

Some stuff takes longer to complete than other stuff. Digital clutter is a hit or miss issue for me. The same advice applies to de-clutter what is weighing you down in the digital realm.

For example, we like to share the eBook version of STUFFology 101 on different social media platforms and book websites to help people get their minds out of the clutter. We recently STARTed to use a feature called BookShop from our eBook distributor as part of that sharing process. Once we have it finished, you’ll be able to purchase the eBook from multiple platforms (like iBooks) from one location. We will share that on the blog in News and Views when it is completed.

If clutter creep happens to you, remember to START small and focus on one area to avoid being overwhelmed. Doing so will get your mind out of the clutter.