Breast cancer survivor and clutter clearing author learns to walk her talk

Clutter clearing cancer coping author and motivational speaker We can learn to live our priorities fully (and not just surviving or getting by on a day to day basis) by clearing out the distractions and focusing on what is important to each of us, our families, and our lives. Cancer Survivorship Coping Tools: We'll get you through this by Barbara Tako, two-time cancer survivor and published author and motivational speaker on the topic of clutter clearing. For updates on this new book, click here.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Clutter & Prioritizing

Life has a lot of clutter whether we try to clear clutter or simplify or not. A component of clutter clearing to think about is prioritizing and re-prioritizing. What do priorities have to do with clutter? Lots. Clutter distracts people from their priorities. It pulls them off task and even sends them in the wrong direction.

A good friend of mine once said she can re-prioritize on a dime. That's important. A parent can leave a partially sorted pile of mail on the counter to go help a child in distress. Is that person disorganized for doing that? Of course not! The parent put a higher priority on her child than her paper clutter. The point to getting rid of clutter is to achieve the benefit of more time and energy for priorities.

What do you think about the relationship between life's clutter and life's priorities?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What does our stuff say about us?

Our homes, our cars, our possessions all make a statement to the rest of the world about us. People purchased status symbols hundreds of years ago and they continue to do so today. It has been going on a long time and it appears to be ingrained in our nature.

People buy pianos to put in their living rooms but they don't play them. The piano makes a statement. People buy cars. Even sitting parked on the driveway, those cars make a statement about the people who bought them.

Sometimes people intend their purchases, their stuff, to make a statement. Sometimes they don't intend their stuff to make a statement but it does any way. Why do we look at each other that way?

Is this true? Are we stuck with evaluating each other and ourselves this way? Do we make too many judgments about people based on the stuff that surrounds them? I think so.

I don't want to be judged by my clutter or to judge anyone else based on theirs. I also don't want to be judged by my car or house or stuff or to judge others based on those things.

After all, they are just things. Can we learn to see past the things? What do you think?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Gradual Change Creates Clutter

I was thinking about my previous post where I say life change creates clutter. Part of the clutter problem is that gradual life changes create clutter. Our children often don't outgrow toys or clothing or anything else overnight, and neither do adults.

Something that wasn't clutter one month or six months or two years ago may now have become clutter. I discover this as I begin to go through my closets and my basement. Oops! I am finding items that weren't clutter when they were first deposited in these areas, but now I wonder...

Should we beat ourselves up when we find this gradually outgrown clutter? I don't think so. Instead, be vigilant! Regularly review these less visited locations and make the tough decisions that may have gotten less tough as stuff has aged from marginal clutter to clearly clutter. Life is a process.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Clutter Clearing Isn't Rocket Science: We Can Do This!

I think sometimes we over-think things. Clutter clearing isn't rocket science. What is clutter? Clutter is too much stuff. Clutter happens because our current routines/procedures/habits aren't adequately allowing stuff to flow out of our lives when that stuff has outlived it's usefulness.

Why does clutter happen? There are lots of reasons. We may bring home too much. We may be given too much by well-meaning family or friends. Perhaps our lives change. Maybe the lives of people around us change. Any of these things can bring clutter into our lives.

How can we improve our current clutter situation? We can weed out by recycling, donating, selling, or gifting our excess.

How can we keep clutter from coming back? Be vigilant! Modify routines on an ongoing basis to keep clutter from building up again.

See, we can do this!