Clutter begone (poof!)

A magic genie came down from above and helped me unpack my well-stocked trunk this weekend, which I had not dared peek in for about a year … except for the day I backed up to the industrial-sized beach garbage can fully intending to just dump the whole load right in there.

But you know how it is … there was the tiny pink flower the little girl gave me with her initial embroidered on it … and TW’s unusually-warm gigantic leather jacket that he declined the return of which a girl could really use on a freezing winter day when she’s desperately cold because she refuses to buy anything other than cute jackets herself, not warm ones … and then there are the things you can make this from or that from and the things you can give to this child or to that adult and on and on … so as I’m sure you already can imagine, two little things went into the industrial-sized garbage can and the rest went pitifully back into aforementioned sardine-can car trunk.

How EVER … this weekend was different.

THIS weekend I had a magic genie at my side. (Aren’tcha jealous? He can be rented out for parties and special events for a fee … a mere $700 hotel stay plus $400 plane fare should just about do it … a pittance for the feeling of freedom you get when you’re staring in awe at your newly clear car trunk that you haven’t seen the bottom of in years! I got mine for free, how did I get so lucky, huh?)

For those who cannot afford a magic genie, here are some tips:

Phrases like this come in handy. Your genie-impersonator should say something like this about every minute or two as you pick up random things from your stack of shi … um … important-things-you-need-to-keep-in-your-trunk. It’s good to say these things with kindness and fun, with punch, authority, and vigor as if “hell yes, this is true! Let’s keep moving since we already know the answer to that one!”

  • “This is great! You’ll really feel free if you let go of that!”
  • “Do you really need it?”
  • (if you have magazine with art ideas in them) “You have your OWN ideas!” said with this rolling-of-the-eyes face like, “oh come ON now, YOUR ideas are SO much better, too! Who needs these crummy ideas!”
  • “Hey, wow, I’m so impressed! You’re doin’ great! I didn’t think you’d do so good, wow, wow, look at you go!”
  • “Wow, you are the PRINCESS of clearing-out! I had no idea!”
  • If they’re really good, they can even throw in a “hey, you want this?” for a particularly useless item, to give you the power-trip of saying, “NO, THROW IT OUT, AARGH!” as you plow through. It’s really quite an experience.

Powerful, refreshing feel-good stuff to remind yourself of, from Peter Walsh … you know, the guru from Clean Sweep, who wrote It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff. He’s amazing. He could motivate the worst pack rat to Martha-it-up.

  • The single most important factor in deciding what you should have in your home is clear: Does this item enhance and advance the vision I have for the life I want or does it impede that vision?
  • Imagine the life you want to live and ask yourself, “How does your home serve your notion of the life you wish you had? Do the things you own help you achieve that life or distract from that vision?”
  • Every item filling your home should move your life vision forward and serve a real function … one that you can explain without making excuses. (Col’s side note: This part makes me laugh because I can completely recall in the past picking up a “thing” and giving this long detailed explanation for why it really and truly should be here in my house … way too long and way too detailed for it’s value … like the desperation of the explanation belied the fact that it was a complete and utter EXCUSE! If it were true, I would need no explanation, the reason would just be so strong, no rationalization would be needed. I’d just pick it up and keep it, period end of story. Am I right?)
  • Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
  • Trust me when I tell you that it will be a life changing experience. The liberation is astounding. What you are doing is taking the power out of the things you own and bringing it back to yourself. You own these things. They don’t own you.
  • It’s about helping people see what it is that they need, love, honor and really use in their homes. Once these items are identified, what’s left has no place in the house. If you understand that from the clutter and disarray you are going to unearth those things that are most important in your life like a thrilling archaeological dig, then what we are doing is the most positive and exciting thing you have done for yourself in a long time.

See what I mean? Isn’t Peter Walsh soo cool?

By the way, I highly recommend paying the $1100 for the magic genie. If you do, then send him on over to my house afterwards, I have an art studio to tackle next.

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~ by gigablonde on August 1, 2007.

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