Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Email clutter-bleah!

Well, I got bit by the bug this weekend-yep, that decluttering bug. I kindof enjoy when that bug bites. I started clearing out the bottom of my closet (which was needed) and then while I was checking my email I started deleting massive amounts of old emails (also sorely needed).

I didn't notice how many emails I had originally, but after deleting about 2 full screens of emails I noticed I had a total of some 800+ emails. I kept selecting, and deleting many many emails. Some I wanted to keep and sorted them into the appropriate folders.

I now have about 250 emails. I think that is doable and worthy of a "YAY for me!" because I let go of about 66% of my emails. After exiting I realized a whole other batch of emails (a weekly e-zine I subscribe to) can also probably go, but I'm not going to worry about that just yet.

My criteria in deleting: -
-If I sent it to myself (like I forwarded some good info from work) and haven't opened it yet, it's gone.
-I am on a list serve that sends out sometimes 10+ emails a day. I deleted all the old ones. I'm usually pretty good about clearing them out as the come in, but the volume is so great that I can't keep up. I know that the day for me to unsubscribe to that list serv is coming rapidly closer and closer. But all of the old ones are GONE. I read what I wanted to, deleted all else.
-I also get mailings about twice a month for a committee that I volunteered with about a year and a half ago. I could have become more active in that organization, but decided (long ago) that it was not really my passion. Plus, I got a job, so I haven't attended a meeting since. I still get the emails. I deleted all of those, and I probably should unsubscribe to that one too (but sometimes they do put out useful locally appropriate information; and they don't come so often.) But the day will come when I will unsubscribe to that one too.

So be mindful in your emails. Don't subscribe willy-nilly to all sorts of things. You might feel important because you get all these emails. But then you get a cluttered inbox-which can cause stress because for some insane reason you may feel obligated to read every last email. Don't ever think that, especially with your own personal inbox. Only subscribe to the things that will delight you and engage your mind, things that will inspire you. Why bother subscribing to news and doom and gloom info. That's out there for me to deal with enough, I'm not going to invite it into my inbox (nor my house!)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Meeting MN organizers-and my favorite organizing tool!

I want to become a professional organizer. Well, not really, that sounds so rigid, sterile and Non-Fun to me. I want to be a decluttering consultant--I want to help people declutter their homes. I have experience doing this and have a BLAST when I do it. The thing is, the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) is an industry and association that is recognized, recognizeable and reputable. So this may be the angle I take to get where I want to be.

I went to my first Minnesota NAPO chapter meeting this Monday. It's National Get Organized month, if you didn't know. This meeting was, hmmm. Interesting. That's a good non-committal "Minnesota nice" type of description. It was good in some ways and sort of a let down in others. Definitely more good than bad.

I do have to report--at this meeting, due to it being National Get Organized month, different organizers were showcasing some of their favorite organizing tools (boxes, bins, racks, etc.) I already know what I would promo if I were to do a demo next year.

My favorite organizing tool comes in all sorts of colors, shapes, sizes and materials. It is sometimes called a "circular file". Yep--the good ol' garbage can is my favorite organizer. Why? Because I need to 'Let Go' of a lot of stuff before I can even think about organizing it. I think a lot of people can stand to let go of a portion of their things prior to organizing. (You can also add recycle bins and paper shredders to my top 3 pick of organizing tools.)

Before I was married, once I cleared the crap out of my apartment and just sat with the space, (the lovely, free, energizing gloriously empty space) ideas came to me of how I could organize what remained.

So forgive me. I know that's a cool box, gadget and doodad, but I will still work on letting go of what needs to be gone before I start organizing it. Here's to a Decluttered 2010!

Letting go Lessons from the Monster Dash Race

Okay, so this post is only 2 months past due. I ran my 5K race on Halloween, and we've now had several other holidays pass between now and then. But I want to list some of the important lessons in "Letting go" that I learned from my 5K experience.

The was a 5K and a 5K-9 race (The 5K-9 being a play on canine, meaning people ran with their dogs). The 5K-9 race started 10 minutes after the regular 5K -to try to space out the runners I guess.

Well, I was only a few minutes into the 'race' before I had to deal with issues of letting go. The original bulk of the runners had spread out and already passed me by. Soon I was surrounded again (only temporarily) by a new pack of people AND their dogs. I reminded myself "I let it go" and let go of my ego. I had to allow myself to be ok with being passed by people running with their dogs who started 10 minutes after I did. That was a testament to how slow I am. But I let it go.

I tried to enjoy seeing the dogs all dressed up in hilarious costumes, often matching their owners. I thought that perhaps people who have dogs run more often, or are more used to running and it makes sense that they run faster than me. Either way, I was going to finish the race, at my own pace.

Throughout the entire race I had to keep reminding myself "What matters is that I am DOING it" as I kept getting passed by hundreds and hundreds of people-literally. Maybe even thousands. This can be a serious blow to the ego if you don't let it go. I don't think I passed many people. I kept my mind focused that speed wasn't necessary, the accomplishment came from actually doing it.

When I did finally make it to the finish line--there was no one there cheering for me. Everyone at the finish line seemed to be looking for their particular friend/spouse/whatever. Throughout the race there were people along the sidelines, cheering us runners on. My lesson was to take any cheering and feel as if it were for me. While I knew that none of them were there for me personally, I used the anonymous cheer-us-on'ers and mentally thought of them as cheering for me. I took any form of encouragement and acted as if it were specifically for me. Crossing the finish line was not super climatic, because there was no one searching for me there. But as I crossed it, I felt my accomplishment--I did it! I quickly moved away from the throng still searching for loved ones who would finish behind me (yay! I wasn't last!) and I bumped into my running teacher. She had a sticker for me!

She had little stickers for us each week during our 6 week running class. There were times during the class that the thought of sticker at the end kept me motivated:) and my own personal "I'm DOING it, that's what matters" mentality.

The sticker at the end of my 5K was an awesome little reminder of the BIG accomplishment--that I DID it. And I didn't let the ego get in my way. Yay me!