Tag Archives: Peter Walsh

Lessons Learned from an Organizing Guru

joy of being clutter free

An expert in organizational design, Peter Walsh is a television & radio personality as well as the author of numerous New York Times best-sellers.

Peter has brought organizing into the public eye from his beginnings in the popular organization and design series Clean Sweep (Discovery’s TLC Network), on to his appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show where he was dubbed the “Get Your Life Organized Guy” and now leading his own series, Extreme Clutter. He’s also appeared and continues to appear on hundreds of national TV programs and in thousands of publications across the world.

Recently Katherine had the pleasure of attending a talk by Peter and came away with lots of gems we’d like to share:

Clutter is anything that gets between you and your best life (the life you want to live). This means clutter is different for everyone. You must decide what is getting in the way.

Stuff has power.  We have brought it into our homes. Our society says that Stuff should give us something.  We are invested in the promises sold to us with Stuff. We believe owning the item will fulfill the promise. Fear of letting things go is related to fear of letting go of this promise – which was false to begin with!

Our instincts know that too much stuff sucks the life out of a space and robs us emotionally, spiritually, socially and even financially. Often, we feel the burden of the clutter, but don’t connect it to the accumulation of too much stuff.

If you’re feeling that weight and instinct it’s time to reflect: “Does the stuff I own create a path to the life we want?” If you don’t create the home you want, no one else will.

Start With Your Vision. When you first moved in, what was your dream?  What did you want from this home? What is the feeling you want to have when you open the front door?When deciding whether to keep something ask yourself, “Does this move me closer or farther away from the vision I have for my home?”

Stop using the word “later” – later is the best friend of clutter

Use this rule of thumb: Don’t put it down, put it away

Kids need limits and routines…we all need limits and routines

When dealing with memory clutter: pick only the treasures, the peak of the peak…treat them with the honor and respect they deserve…the rest of the “memory clutter” will fade away, they will not be needed if you have preserved a few choice items.

The role of a professional organizer is to be your advocate in helping realize the vision you have for your own life and space.

Being organized can change your life at a fundamental level. Peter reported that every time he decluttered a space where children were living, when they come back into the space, they danced!

 

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under children, Decluttering, downsizing, General Organizing, Guest Experts, Memorabilia, organizing, Perspective, Strategies

Excuse: “It’s Too Important To Let Go”

Would it be heartless to pass on your childhood awards?

Do sentimental items clog up your living space?

Have you ever opened up your desk drawer trying to find a pen and find yourself sifting through memorabilia–the medals of your recent 10K run, certificates, photographs, or ticket stubs?   If your memorabilia impedes your use of active space, it’s time to get serious about its true value.

Lately we’ve been reviewing a wonderful organizing resource book, It’s All Too Much, by Peter Walsh.  Peter also wrote a companion book, It’s all Too Much Workbook.

We appreciate Peter’s style of getting right to the heart of the emotional holdbacks our organizing clients face. One section of the book covers all the excuses we’ve heard for justifying keeping things that are no longer being used. Here is a great one and Peter’s response:

Excuse:  “It’s too important to let go.”

Excuse Buster: “If it is so important, then I must give it the honor and value it deserves (or let it go.)

Here’s how Peter counsels his clients on this topic:

“Don’t tell me something is important, has personal value, or is a family heirloom if it’s covered in dust, lost in a pile of clutter, or buried somewhere in your garage.  If you value an item, you need to show it the honor and respect it deserves.  Otherwise, it has no place in your home.  No discussion, no negotiation–it goes! Either you value something or you do not. You have room for something or you do not–it’s that simple.  If we each had a palace, we’d have infinite space in which to cherish and display our prized possessions.  Maybe you’d devote a whole room to the porcelain figurines you inherited from your grandmother.  But most of us don’t live in palaces, far from it.  You can’t own everything, so you have to pick and choose.  The value you say an item holds for you must be reflected in the place you give that item in your life, otherwise your words have no meaning and the object is little more than clutter.”

 So the next time you stumble upon some memorabilia in an inconvenient place, ask yourself, “Am I giving this the home it deserves?”

Are you really honoring the memory of this person or personal achievement?  Or is it keeping you from moving through your life with ease?

Leave a comment

Filed under General Organizing, Perspective, Strategies