Friday, July 31, 2009

Tips for Success 3.0

I will try to glean today’s tips from Michelle Passoff’s Lighten Up! (HarperCollins, 1998). Although the book is written in chapters within three major sections and not in the form of the other books I have been consulting which are generally a series of short paragraphs giving tips or answering questions, there are “at-a-glance” checklists at the end of each section that serve as a helpful summary of the ideas Ms. Passoff has presented in that section. The following tips are direct quotes or are paraphrased from the at-a-glance sections of the book:

Part One - Getting Started At-a-Glance (pgs. 50-51)

1. Being clear on what you in your life (instead of the clutter and the time wasted on its maintenance) will help you choose what to keep and what to get rid of. Write these goals down and refer to them for encouragement.
2. Start by taking a non-judgmental tour of your home to identify clutter hot spots. Keep a journal of the process, including your goals on what you are making room for by clearing the clutter. Take before and after pictures of each location for encouragement along the way (have your digital camera handy to record these images and to capture an image of items that you want to remember, but not save.)
3. Seek encouragement from family and friends, like our de-clutter club!

Part Two – Learning Skills At-a-Glance (pgs. 154-155)

4. Handle one item at a time. Don’t worry about getting everything where it is ultimately going; just get it on its journey whether it be to somewhere else in your house or out of your house altogether – to the dump, the recycle center, the consignment shop, etc.
5. Leave no stone unturned – go 100%!
6. Dispose of stuff with panache and ceremony! Celebrate your successes!
7. Don’t cover your tracks – once an area is de-cluttered, don’t put any more clutter there! Be diligent and don’t be afraid of empty space – this is a good thing!

Part Three – Living Clutter Free At-a-Glance (pgs. 185-186)

8. Routinely handle the daily mail and don’t let it accumulate – have a system in place and discipline yourself to use it until it becomes habit. Adapt it as necessary until it feels comfortable.
9. Use your new found time wisely – let go of ideas that restrict and confine you. Use time for its best and true purpose – as the space within which you can live your life fully. Keep and carry only one time planner or date-book system and use it to create a schedule that corresponds to what you are making room for in your life and that you look forward to following.
10. Housekeeping at regularly scheduled times can not only help you keep the space you created open, but make it sparkle. Declutter emotional, mental and spiritual realms as a way to continue to honor yourself and be more at home in your world.

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