Overwhelmed By Stuff? 4 Tips for Gaining Control

Time to read: Because you want bonus time to clean your desk, 1:08.02 minutes to read

The storage room in our attic. Many of those boxes are going to go!

The storage room in our attic. Many of those boxes are going to go!

Hello corporate rebels!

Every year at Christmas, I feel the need to purge my house. I feel stressed about the number of gifts that come in the door during the holiday so in preparation, I want piles of stuff to go out first. This urge got me thinking about you and the gifts you feel you can't send to Goodwill, your cluttered desk, or your filled basement. How are you effected by your stuff?

For better or worse, Christmas in America heavily features things. So, as holiday gift-giving fast approaches, here are some tips for dealing with the stuff on your desk and in your home.

  1. Stuff takes energy. Recognize that stuff isn't neutral. Your stuff requires management, sorting, and organizing. The crap on your desk takes attention, focus and time that could be freed for more creative and productive activities.
  2. Manage the in-flow. Minimize the amount of stuff that comes into your life. You know all those freebies given away at conferences? Resist. Does your mother show love by showering your kids with toys? Talk to her. You don't have to manage stuff you never get.
  3. Prioritize space over stuff. Empty shelves, clear counters, and a clean desk feel like a giant exhale. Create space so you can breathe and open your creativity for meaningful work. Space lets energy flow more freely. More of that, please!
  4. Trust the future. I've heard that holding onto things because you "might need it someday" is a vote of no-confidence in your ability to trust the future. You can trust that you can handle whatever happens in your life and that you will be ready for anything. Releasing things you don't use now is a testament to trusting yourself.

So, in those precious hours when the office is quiet during the holidays, use these tips to help you clean out your files and create space on your desk. The you who returns after Christmas will be grateful!

My commitment is to throw out boxes of mementos and files from my dissertation that I haven't opened since 1999. Hit reply to this email and tell me your commitment to creating more space in your life this holiday season.

Happy purging!


P.S. Have a friend who likes Christmas as much as I do? This December's theme is gifts. Forward this newsletter to them. They can join us here.


3 Hot Tips for Spring Cleaning

Time to read: So you have more time to clean off your desk, this will take 1 minute and 10 seconds to read!

Junk, er, treasures for my friend's thrift store

Junk, er, treasures for my friend's thrift store

Hello Rebels!

You may be wondering, "why the heck is she talking about spring cleaning on the Corporate Rebel?" Good question with a good answer:

  1. It's spring! Celebration time! Do you really need another reason to purge your closet?
  2. Even though I don't sell a purging and organization service, I'm a nut for the subject... like... I read books about decluttering, advise my friends on how to clean off their desks, and use the chance to clean off our stairs as a reward for doing my work. (Guess where I'm headed after writing this newsletter?)
  3. With all the new energy of spring, it's time to clean out the cobwebs and the junk that has piled up all winter. Literally and figuratively.
  4. I am a strong believer that purging out old stuff clears stale energy and invites fresh juju for inspiration and creating in your work and life. (Remember how much you want to put work and life on your terms? Don't let your crap hold you back!)

Here are my three favorite ways for getting the s&*% out:

  1. Make a game (I'm serious here) of getting rid of stuff. If you can only fit so many mugs on the shelf, some of them must go.
  2. Fundraise. Choose a cause to donate to or something you want to do with the money. Then channel your inner 12-year-old into raising the money by selling the stuff you're unloading. My son's old clothes are going to buy an apple tree.
  3. Choose a destination for your stuff. If you know your donations are going to a refugee family or to help someone learn work skills, you will dig deeper and purge more.
  4. OK, I said three tips. You get four. Purge a little at a time. Nothing kills the fun more than the urgent and stressful feeling that you have to clean out every closet this Saturday!

So, what will you purge to open space for your inspiration and creation? I'd love to see a photo of your pile of crap. As always, you can hit reply to this email to share!

Happy de-cluttering.


P.S. If you have a friend or colleague who needs to purge their junk, forward these tips to them. They can join the Corporate Rebel party right here.