Thursday, January 26, 2012

Stay Creative Every Day Tip #5, Go Clutter-Free

Today’s tip from my free PDF over at Live at the Edge with Dr. Doris Jeanette is about one of my favorite topics: being clutter-free. 

Tip #5: Keep your work and living space clutter-free. Let go of anything that makes you feel weighed down, or that you think you’re “supposed to” like or keep. Give away, sell, or throw out whatever might be holding you back, or that takes too much time to maintain. Aim for simplicity.


This year I’m taking my own advice a little bit further and really seeing what I can do without. So far within the last few weeks I’ve given away exactly half of my entire wardrobe to a local thrift store; donated a huge amount of “things I might need for a rainy day” art supplies to a third-grade classroom; passed on some very nice but just-not-me jewelry; gave away my sewing machine; emptied and cleaned my refrigerator (right down to the ice cubes); and on a recent trip to California resisted buying a single thing. My closets have never looked better and I’ve never felt more determined to keep them that way.

Maintaining a clutter-free environment is, I believe, a great boost to creativity. Some of my reasons why include:

-  You can find stuff! No more searching for that No. 6 sable brush or the collage papers you just bought last week. A place for everything and everything in its place.

-  Which means you can stop wasting time. Rather than looking for misplaced items, you can actually use them.

-  You can take your workspace from dull and messy to inspiring and nurturing with just a small amount of effort. Colorful organizers, printed file folders, woven baskets, and painted crates can help put the fun back into your creative work. And you can make them all yourself—how creative is that?

-  You can work on several projects at the same time when you’ve got everything labeled and ready to go in binders and clear plastic storage tubs.

-  In case of an emergency, keeping things like back-up discs of documents, pictures, and manuscripts in a sturdy case with a handle—one that you can just grab and go—could be the ultimate sanity-saver.

-  Thousands of people need what you don’t. Whether it’s toys, clothes for work, school supplies, or furniture—someone needs it, badly.

So what are you waiting for? Do a good deed for both yourself and others: attack those closets, purge those files, and let in the light of your true creative, and clutter-free, self.

Tip of the Day: Every year for our holiday party my writers' group has a "White Elephant Gift Exchange." What we do is bring to the party at least six or more wrapped items we no longer want or need. We then set these gifts in the center of the room and after drawing a number, we take turns at choosing the items one by one. Amidst much hilarity and a certain amount of "stealing" from each other, we all end up with some great gifts. Anything that remains unwanted goes in a box we then take to the thrift store. Not only is this a great way to have a gift exchange without spending any money, it makes a good start to a clutter-free new year (or any time of the year, for that matter). You might want to try it this weekend!

1 comment:

Charlotte Fairchild said...

Last week I found out about an indoor yard sale at a church. I need (not just want) an ergonomic chair for writing and sewing. I plan to take several things to the sale. Now if I could only go through the papers I have and decide to file, throw it away or do something now with it!