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'Organizing & Decluttering' from Your Talent@Work with Shawn Kent Hayashi

Organizing & Decluttering

Posted: Aug 9, 2011

Several people shared with me that they want to change their space and / or that they are moving into new space. This has made me laugh out loud when I hear it because I am in the process of moving myself and so like when a person gets a red car they start to see red cars just like their own everywhere they go - that is now happening for me with people who want to make a change in their space. If you identified creating space you love or preparing for a move into new space as something you want to change, you are going to love this tip!

I wrote this for you and me:

Organizing & Decluttering

Shawn Hayashi's Philosophy on Organizing includes these 4 Steps:

  1. Keep only what you love and use
  2. Group like things together and have a place for everything
  3. Keep everything in its place
  4. Have a system to return things to their place 

Step 1: Keep only what you love and use -- go through your possessions one by one. Begin in one corner and go clockwise around the room.  If a file folder, chair, or picture on the wall does not represent you, let it go - if you can't say, "I love that!" then donate it to someone who would appreciate it so you have space for new things to show up that you do love. Your things have a vibration -- they trigger an emotional wake in you. Are you keeping only the things that trigger a positive emotional wake? This works in your office, calendar, closet, or anywhere you go. To prove this to yourself choose one area, perhaps your office, begin in one corner and go around the room, look at each item -- everything - and ask yourself the question, "Do I love this? Do I want to keep it? Will I use it?" If something is sentimental but you will not use it, take a picture of it if you need to enable your emotions to part with it.  What you can't answer yes to, place in a donate or trash pile and let it go. By the way, this step also applies to regular appointments or meetings in your schedule.  Ask yourself, does this standing appointment add value, is it useful? Do your belongings and the way you use your time make you feel great? If not, it is time to let go of the clutter! 

Step 2: Group like things together and have a place for everything applies to everything you own. Like in a kitchen, each item has its own place. Have a specific place for pens, tape, scissors, financial files, stamps, a place for books to read and a place for books you've already read.  On my laptop I have a place for my schedule, client folders, a place for the budget, and every other part of my business and life.  There is storage space for emails I've already read and put into their folders so that my inbox is only emails I have not yet read - once an email has been read it is moved out of the inbox into an appropriate folder (for example: Waiting For, Action Required, or a topical or client folder.)  You can have a place in your schedule for the key commitments that are vital to you - these are the habits that support your success.  I have a place in my schedule for responding to emails and administrative details, exercise, and family dinners.  Also, consider a place in your schedule for retreats to keep you refreshed.  (You will deserve one when you have decluttered and moved!)

Steps 3 and 4:  Keep everything in its place and have a system to return things to their place.  Think about your kitchen.  You have a place for your glasses and plates.  When you use them, you put them in the dishwasher, and then you return them to their place so you know where everything is.  You can go from organization to the chaos of cooking an amazing meal and then back to organization quickly in the kitchen because you have a place for everything and you return items. How could you apply the same process to your paper, time and space?


What idea could you use from what you just read to make a positive change in the way you are communicating with yourself or others about Organizing and Decluttering?

What other changes would you like to create?  I'd love to hear from you if there is a change you want to initiate that you'd like me to focus on in an upcoming Communication Tips.

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