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.