The Clutter Campaign - Design Your Vision

I like a room you can dance in the middle of! Mariah Burton Nelson

One of the prime reasons that most of us have occasional or everlasting problems with clutter is that we do not have a clear picture of the ideal setting we want to create for ourselves, our family and our work. In the absence of that clear picture, specific to you, your life, your family, your dreams, goals and taste, you may be too easily influenced by conflicting external ideas.

You look at a magazine, or a television decorating program and you think, "That might work for me." You see your friend's new home office, and say to yourself, "I'll bet I could get a lot done in that kind of setting." You glimpse an infomercial while you are exercising at the gym. The program demonstrates an amazing closet or garage makeover, and you picture the extra space and freedom you'd enjoy if only you bought their product. You absorb a host of seductive, sometimes contradictory images while bemoaning the mess that seems to regenerate around you every week.

Today is a perfect time to clear away all those images coming from outside yourself, and to explore how you personally choose to live and work. Ask yourself, what is my ideal environment? What is the setting in which everything I am or wish to be, everything I do or need to do is supported by everything around me and nothing extra weighs me down? If you are starting a business, that setting includes the basic tools, in good working order, to do your work. If you are raising a family, that setting includes areas for quick and easy toy access and cleanup. If you are an aspiring Tango dancer, that setting includes a sound system and room to dance!

Options for taking the first step:

? Assess what your setting is like right now - On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 defined as "sabotages my dreams and directions" and 10 defined as, "supports and nourishes my success," what rating would you give your current environment?

? Document your current condition - Take some "Before" pictures so you'll be able to track the improvements you make.

? Define what you want your setting to be, exactly - Relax over a cup of tea and imagine the ideal setting. How would it look, feel, smell? How much space, light, air, sunshine, warmth, furniture, color would there be? What would NOT be there?

? Connect to your life purpose - If your life made a single statement within your family, your firm, your community, what would that statement be, and does your setting reflect the message you bring to the world?

? Document your desired future state - If others were willing to help you create this ideal setting, how would you show them and tell them what you are trying to achieve? How can you get the picture from inside your head into a form others can understand and help you achieve?

? Set milestones, budget, and time frames - What strategies, resources and schedules can turn your design into a reality?

One person we worked with described her experience at following this process. "I was so tired of feeling frustrated. It's like I was part of the banquet of life and living stuck in the mashed potatoes - all the stuff holding me down. Now I've define an entirely different place at life's banquet table. I'm now feeling as bright as a bowl of fresh raspberries - rich, tangy and colorful."

So what is the setting that thoroughly supports your most cherished dreams and directions? What is the first step you can take toward that setting in the next 24 hours?

© Barbara Hemphill is the author of Kiplinger's Taming the Paper Tiger at Work and Taming the Paper Tiger at Home and co-author of Love It or Lose It: Living Clutter-Free Forever. The mission of Hemphill Productivity Institute is to help individuals and organizations create and sustain a productive environment so they can accomplish their work and enjoy their lives. We do this by organizing space, information, and time. We can be reached at 800-427-0237 or at www.ProductiveEnvironment.com

In The News:

Organizing | Times-Tribune  Middleton Times Tribune

Getting Things Done: A Guide To Next-Action Lists

Getting Things Done (GTD), is a productivity methodology designed by... Read More

10 Tips for a More Organized Morning

1. Teach your children to use an alarm clock or... Read More

To Make a Change -- Take a Chance

Life is really all about CHANGE. In order to make... Read More

Is Your To Do List The Problem?

You start each week with great intentions. You are determined... Read More

Declutter Your Home in 11 Easy Steps

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of organizing your home? Start... Read More

9 Simple Strategies for Home Organization

Home organization means being able to find your stuff when... Read More

Organisation - Getting Back To Basics

If you look at any major organisation, there is this... Read More

Organizing Lessons from a Bookstore

The store reminded me of a well-worn slipper ? tattered... Read More

Organize Your Children & Save Your Sanity

It may be difficult to relate saving money with organization... Read More

8 Signs Your Home is Out of Control -- and What to Do About It

It happens without warning. One day you notice your home... Read More

Have an Ugly Day

"Do something every day that you don't want to-do; this... Read More

Three Effortless Ways to Win the Paperwork Battle

Buried under mountains of paperwork from your company? Do the... Read More

Clutter-Clearing and Your Authentic Self

Have you ever felt so discouraged, your life so out-of-control,... Read More

Ending The Morning Madness

Back-to-school time ? what does that mean to you? For... Read More

Lightening The Load

When I tell people what a FREEING experience moving is,... Read More

The Top 10 Habits of Organized People

Have you ever wondered how some people seem to have... Read More

How Can I Deal With It All?

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Have a to-do list a mile... Read More

Kids Clutter: Organizing at Every Age

Our children are probably the biggest clutter creators we have... Read More

Be More Productive - Books to Help You Be More and Do More!

How many of us have enough time to do everything... Read More

Basic Organizing Principles

So you've decided to get organized, but you just don't... Read More

The Clutter Campaign - Design Your Vision

I like a room you can dance in the middle... Read More

Clear Your Clutter and Free Your Life

Whatever your clutter problem the answer is the same: make... Read More

Sticking to Your New Years Resolutions: Ten Tips for a More Organized Life

1. A calendar is an essential organizing tool ? start... Read More

Heres A Great Way To Organize Your Work From Home Office Virtually

How to do keep track of all you have to... Read More

Control Your Childrens Clutter!!

Ever feel overwhelmed by all the papers, notices, artwork, and... Read More